Encouragement for Today - January 16, 2006
Encouragement for Today
“You've Lost that Loving Feeling”
Wendy Pope, Director of Development, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Revelation 2:4, "But I have this against you, that you have lost your first love." (NIV)
“You've Lost that Loving Feeling” may be remembered by some as a love ballad recorded by the late Everly Brothers. Those in my generation remember actor Tom Cruise serenading Kelly McGillis with the love tune in the movie “Top Gun.” But have you ever thought of the song in relation to your walk with the Lord? I had not until recently.
I had being battling the "routine" in my walk with the Lord. My morning meetings with my Savior had become nothing more than a check in the box. Where once I used to meet Him with anticipation and receive His new mercies, I now kneeled and recited off a list of prayers for those I love. Where once I sat and experienced true worship as the morning dawned, I now sat in the dark and listened to "noisy gongs and clanging symbols."
"What is wrong, Lord?" I cried out. The answer did not come right away but it was right on time. The agony went on for weeks as I drifted further and further away from my once thriving and exciting relationship with my Lord. I was participating in a Bible study at this time, and as I was completing my daily work I read the words, "One of the most obscure traps the Devil sets for the deeply spiritual is to tempt us to love loving God more than we actually love God." I had been caught in the trap. Slam! I heard the jaws close tightly.
The enemy had cleverly hidden the trap in the underbrush of some very important things. The object of my affection had become loving loving God instead of loving God. I had become so "proud" of myself for the time I was "giving" God. I loved the love I was showing Him through leading Bible study, praying on my knees and quoting Scripture. I loved the feeling! To ponder on my behavior makes me feel physically sick.
Another object of my affection was my service to Him. I had forgotten that serving Him is a privilege in which He invites me to participate because He loves me. He can accomplish all things, without my help. He doesn't invite me because He needs me; He just likes having me along for the adventure.
Have you lost the love for God that you had when you first believed? Have you been caught in the trap? I learned something very important during my painful stay in the steel jaw of my trap: Love is a choice, not a feeling. Feelings fade, but real love lasts for eternity. How about you, are you going to choose to love God even if you have lost the "loving feeling?"
My Prayer for Today:
Lord, forgive me for any substitute I have consciously or unconsciously made as my object of affection. It is my heart's desire to love only you. Thank you for being the God of second chances and for extending your grace to me in a limitless capacity. I cry out to you, believing that you will answer me and restore to me the joy of my first love, your son Jesus. You are great and are greatly to be praised! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Pray and ask God to show you what you are loving more than Him. Make a list of your objects of affection. Then cross them off as you are able to restore them to their rightful position, with God at the top of the list. Hang this list in a place where you will constantly be reminded of all God has shown you.
Do I know Jesus Christ as my first love? (If not, choose the “Do You Know Him?” link below to accept His free gift of love and grace.)
Have I lost my first love?
What can I do to avoid this trap?
Who I am trying to please?
God is faithful to me; am I being faithful to Him?
Psalm 4:1, “O GOD, you have declared me perfect in your eyes, you have always cared for me in my distress; now hear me as I call again. Have mercy on me. Hear my prayer." (TLB)
2 Corinthians 5:21, "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." (NIV)
Philippians 1:6, "And I am sure that God who began the good work within in you will keep right on helping you grow in His grace until His task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns." (TLB)
Do You Know Him?
What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst
Coming Out of the Dark, by Mary Southerland