People in full time ministry have folks who come to us when their marriages are on the rocks. We hear comments like, “I just don’t love him anymore” or “The spark is gone” or “My feelings are dead.” And in almost every case, it didn’t just happen overnight. A marriage falls into trouble because gradually, over time, the husband and wife aren’t prioritizing one another as the primary human relationship here on this earth. When that happens, their love can grow cold. Then a person really feels separated from the one that they originally loved very much. One of the things that Anne and I both of us have learned to ask as we counsel folks struggling in their marriage is, “What was it to caused you to fall in love with that person?” The responses are always amazing.
It’s really quite similar in our relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s very rare that we suddenly rebel against God, wanting to have nothing to do with Him anymore. What tends to happen is over time, often subtly, we begin to drift away from God. He begins to no longer be the priority of our lives. Other priorities creep in. Our hearts begins to grow cold towards the Lord. When that occurs, we find ourselves leaving who should be the first love of our lives – that is Jesus Christ.
Obviously, many of the reasons for leaving our first love, Jesus Christ, are well intentioned. But sometimes, good things cause us to neglect the best thing. Good things like family, a job, or even our ministries. I really believe that perhaps the major temptation for anyone who serves in Christian ministry is to begin to confuse their ministry with their relationship with Jesus Christ. After all, what could more important than doing the work of the Lord? It’s a constant temptation.
Nothing or no one is to come before our relationship with Jesus Christ. The starting point is confessing it and loving Jesus most. Do you remember when you first came to know Him and what you focused on? Get back to doing those things.