People ask Dale and I all the time about our divorce. They ask us questions like, “How did you get the love to come back?”, “What happened with your extended families?”, and “What is the one thing that caused it to all fall apart?” The truth is that it was not just one thing. It was a bunch of things that together were the makings for a relationship explosion. Issues left unresolved, slowly eroded our intimacy, sometimes without even noticing, until one day, we were so disconnected, it felt like there was a HUGE gap between us that could never be mended. Our complacency in the relationship and our avoidance of our problems led to the destruction of our marriage.
The slow erosion. The slow fade. It effects our lives in every way: body, soul, and spirit. Relationally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Our walks with God can easily get lost in our complacency and avoidance. We can lose the close fellowship we once had with the Father. It can often go so undetected, because of the slow disintegration that takes place.
We stop spending time reading God’s Word. Soon, we stop having any kind of conversation with the Lord in prayer. Then, we quit going to church because we feel so guilty for not praying or reading the Bible, and somehow fear that people know. Soon, things that once caused our spirits pain, are now being tolerated. Then, our desires change from wanting more of God to wanting more money, possessions, prestige, and power. We begin to open the door to watching and listening to things of the world that begin to slowly change our thinking. Our words get harsher. Coarser. We become so numb spiritually that no longer does worship and the Word move us in any way. As a result, actions take place that we know are wrong and yet our conscience has become so seared that we don’t even care. The soil of our hearts have become as hard as the ground with no water. The seed cannot even penetrate the soil. God’s Word can’t penetrate our souls.
Where do you find yourself as you enter 2017? Where are you on this continuum? 2017 is a beautiful opportunity for things to be different. You can start fresh. All of this can change for you, and the Bible tells us how.
“Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” Revelation 2:5
John is encouraging us to do three things:
Remember what it was like when you walked with God. Oh the longing to have that back again. It’s that longing that begins to stir in our hearts as the Spirit woos us to Himself. Memories motivate. Take a minute to remember.
It’s this wooing, this lovingkindness of God that draws us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Repentance is a change of the mind that changes our direction. The choices we’ve made have taken us down the wrong pathway. God’s love, grace, and kindness towards us adjusts our mindset and turns us in a whole different direction. Instead of running from God, we start running toward Him. Turning Transforms. What do you need to repent of?
Do the things you once did. God is not mad at you. He misses you. He longs to love you. He longs to speak to you and tell you who you are, but He needs you to come to Him and go back to the things you did at first. Get back in His Word. Stop monologuing with God and start dialoguing with Him. Share with Him where you are. He already knows it anyway. Set new filters on what you allow into your life. Let worship music begin to encourage your soul again. Repetition Results. What things need to be put back into place?
A promise comes at the end of the Revelation verse. It’s says if we choose not to repent, we will lose our influence. We will lose our spiritual edge and thus, lose the spiritual impact we once had in the life of others that God puts in our path.
Make the choice to remember, repent, and repeat, and watch God do amazing things in your life this year.
So, do you want 2017 to be the best year of your life? Make it the best one spiritually, and it will be.
You are loved.
[if you are ready to get yourself re-focused spiritually, get your copy of the FOCUS book and begin an incredible journey back to where you once were, or long to be, with the Father. Click HERE for more info or to purchase]