Recently I have witnessed the awful fallout of allowing our love for God to grow cold. I have seen it recently in a number of people who were at one time “on fire” for God. Once their first love was Jesus Christ and His perfect will in their lives. In the beginning they diligently sought to please God and carry out His works for His glory. The “fallout” of turning from our “first” love for God, is a “lukewarm” experience and relationship with God. Sadly many who are lukewarm are wondering why God is allowing them to reap the “whirlwind.” “Because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you” (Proverbs 1:25-27).
The symptoms of “fallout” can be readily diagnosed in the “direct hits” Satan makes in the lives of the “lukewarm.” An increased appetite for pleasure and a constant seeking after things which are pleasing to the “senses” and profit nothing in God’s kingdom are evident. God becomes only an adjunct to their lives (an unessential part of the whole). Many claim God as their father and yet they have ceased His works. His perfect will is no longer their priority. “For in Him we live and move and have our being….. ‘For we are also His offspring.’ They answered and said to Him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham’” (Acts 17:28;39).
God is a loving God and He wants us to have an abundance of the good things which bless our life with righteousness in Him. I have been praying with a number of people lately who have allowed themselves to become estranged from the Spirit of God’s love through the enlarged importance of people and things in their lives. They are no longer totally dependent on God, and they no longer pray about every word, thought, and action before they make decisions. They call him “Lord” but they do not allow Jesus Christ to be “ruler” of their lives. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear” (Psalm 66:18).
Some children of God are being led by their flesh instead of putting it to death and allowing God’s Spirit to rule them. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:13-14). If we place our flesh and its desires before the perfect will of God in our lives, we stop the flow of the Spirit. As the flow of God’s Spirit is replaced by the flesh we become spiritually dead and empty. Satan immediately comes in and begins to deceive, lie, rob, kill and destroy. The whole truth is “we separate ourselves!” God will never leave or forsake us. However, we can separate ourselves from His presence and allow sin to take over. “These (KJV “These be they who separate themselves”) are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Judges 1:19-21). The strangest part of all is that they usually do not recognize their love for God has grown lukewarm or cold.
God is love and when we allow ourselves to become lukewarm God says “I will spew you out of my mouth!” We become spiritually useless because He generates His love through us. Love is our motivator to use His power for His glory. God’s love makes us into a person commended by God and man. “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1Corinthians 13:4-8).
Only God is the source of pure unconditional and healing love and wisdom! When we lay aside our close relationship with God and put it at the bottom of our priorities, we have sabotaged our only source for a life pleasing to God. When we fill ourselves with worries, self-interests, needs, and circumstances instead of: “… seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). We have clogged our divine pipeline. We then fix our eyes on our problems instead of keeping our eyes at all times on Jesus.
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Revelation 2:4). When we lay aside, even for a moment, our first love for God, we come under Satan’s oppression. If our mind is occupied with problems we begin to spend all our time wrestling with our thoughts and our mind instead of relying on His Spirit. The answer to everything in our life is to put “God first!” He alone is life and there is no abundance without Christ being in control of our body, soul, and Spirit. “You shall have no other Gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3). “’And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. ‘And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).
The first thing to do with worries and problems is to take them to God. Continual concern and worries can occupy our life to the degree that we allow them to close off our close relationship with God. We must go to God’s throne room and ask Him to enter our lives in His power, love, wisdom, and discernment. Christ is the key to handling all of our trials and temptations. We must remember that our lives are all about Him (we are not our own) and if we want to live to please Him and successfully traverse all the mine-fields Satan has laid for our destruction, we must live, move, and have our being in Him.
We cannot have God’s love flowing in our lives when we stop the flow by sin or by failing to acknowledge God as Lord of our lives. God must be first in our lives! The witness of the presence of God in our lives is God’s love. These scriptures point out the “fall-out” of stopping the flow of God’s love through us. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
Dearest Lord and Savior and my Father God, I come before You bearing many wounds and heartaches. I recognize that I have opened the door to Satan to pillage me and I ask Your forgiveness. Please wash away my sins because I have allowed problems and other people to be more important than my love for You. From this hour forward I place You on the throne of my life and I will make You “first” in my life. Teach me “to live and move and have my being in You!”
Please help me to clear up my mistakes and give me Your wisdom in all things. Give me Your strength and power to stand in Your righteousness. I am longing for more of You in my life and a greater understanding of Your word and ways. Help me to make my life all about “You”! I want to live for Your glory. Make me in Your image! I love You! Amen.