By this time I normally would have been working on a “2012 in Review” post for a few weeks, ready to hit “publish” this morning… but I’m taking a different route this year.
2012 has been full of ups and downs, struggles and victories, and celebrations of new lives coming together. It’s been a great year on the outside, but it also has been a giant spiritual struggle on the inside for quite a while now.
I’ve struggled to dig into the Scriptures with a hunger for the Word I once I had. I’ve been apathetic toward spending time with the Lord and my attention span quickly dissolves when I finally convince myself to sit and try to focus.
This past Sunday the Lord moved in my heart, stirring up all the pieces that had settled into the dust. I clearly heard him speaking to me, addressing this problem I’ve been struggling with and angry/depressed about for what seems like so long now. When John writes to the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2:4-5, he says, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.” I have abandoned the joy I had in Christ. That joy we all experience when we first meet him- we are so excited to dig into the Word and read until our eyes fall out! We’re eager to pray- all the time and about everything. We’re eager to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn. I’ve forgotten my first love and let myself become apathetic about what I sometimes feel I’ve “read so many times already.” (How arrogant is that?!)
So it’s time to repent, Lauren, and return to your first love. It’s time to do the works I did at first, when I first fell in love with Christ. It’s time to sit at his feet and soak in every word he says. Part of the “works I did at first” included spending a lot of time with other women studying the word together, both older women, women my own age, and younger women. It’s time to return to intentional community, and the Lord planted some exciting ideas about those very things in my heart yesterday.
I asked the Lord to give me fresh eyes when I read his Word, and he did. I’m so excited to tell you that I could not get enough of Bible last night, and it was so, so refreshing.
So in light of the new year, I am returning to my first love and pursuing him the way I did at first.
For the grace of God has appeared (!), bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce all ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us for all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14) What beauty!!