Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love (Revelation 2:4).
I believe this warning to the Ephesian church is intended for every Christian living in these last days. Simply put, the Lord is telling us, "It's not enough for you to be a caring, giving, diligent servant who grieves over sin and preaches truth. It's not enough for you to uphold moral standards, endure suffering for My sake, or even be burned at the stake for your faith. This is all part of taking up My cross.
"You can do all these things in My name, but if your affection for Me does not increase in the process of doing them, if I am not becoming more and more the one great delight of your heart, then you have left your first love. If your affection for Me is no longer a matter of great concern to you, then I have something against you."
Consider David's words: "Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee" (Psalm 73:25). These are strong words, yet David is not saying, "I don't have human love." Rather, he is saying, "There is no one I love exclusively in my heart as I love my Lord. I desire Him above all others."
David also writes, "O God . . . my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is" (63:1). "As the hart [deer] panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God" (42:1-2).
David says, "I thirst deeply for the Lord, the way a deer thirsts after it has been chased. A deer will go past the point of exhaustion to find the water it seeks."
Likewise, Jesus is telling the Ephesian Christians, "You no longer seek Me as the deer seeks. I am no longer the chief object of your desire. You may be willing to do things for Me, but I'm not at the center of your heart anymore!"
Go back to your first love today. Ask Jesus for grace and strength to begin again to guard your affection for Him!
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon