You know what’s really neat? When you hear the same lesson in multiple places. This is how God works sometimes. He uses a mentor, a sermon, a daily devotion to speak the same message. I’m so glad he does this for me, because clearly I am hard of hearing.
A few Sundays ago, the celebration of Advent started and my church began a series called, “Return to Wonder.” You can listen to the whole series here. Here’s a brief overview: all children have a sense of wonder and amazement over everything. Babies go nuts when mom makes a silly face. Children can’t believe a plane just flew over their heads. First dates, first kisses. All these things bring wonder, excitement and thrill.
The same thing happens in our relationship with God. We are amazed at the new knowledge that the Creator of the universe knows about ME. He doesn’t just know, He loves us more than we could ever comprehend. This incredible news changes our lives. And with that change, we burn with passion to know God more. But what happens? We lose the wonder of who He is and what our salvation means. Pastor Chris has spurred us on to “reverse the slow fade.”
We are some forgetful people, you know? That’s why I had to hear the same thing in five different conversations.
I’m missing the heart of God.
Twice, Revelation 2 was brought to my attention in one week. Apparently, the Church in Ephesus had the same problem that I am having. Revelation 2:1-5 reveals a church that had lost their wonder in God.
I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 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 get these people. They worked endlessly for good, for the spreading of the truth. They racked their brains day and night to stop heresy from spreading. After all this work, they forgot the heart of God. I guess they were so zealous in ambition they stopped focusing on their personal relationship with Him. Perhaps, they just outright stopped caring about it. Either way, they had forgotten, and God took this very seriously. If they did not return to loving God there were serious consequences ahead.
How do I miss the heart of God? I do not make his heart my priority. There is nothing wrong with spending time on hobbies, with friends, or volunteering at church (obviously). But, if I do all these things for several weeks and do not praise God for how wonderful he is or confess my sin to him, that’s a huge problem. I don’t know about your sin, but mine tends to leak over into most of my life if I don’t guard against it. Prayer helps me guard. His Word helps me guard. These two things keep me sensitive to God’s leading. I miss his heart because I am not listening to him. And then I become a wonderless child of God.