Our beautiful Jesus. Our blessed Savior. Our precious Redeemer. Our Lover. Our Everything. Where has our attention gone? Have we completely lost focus on the Only Thing that matters in our lives, our First Love? The beautiful and glorious one that gave us His life?
“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp-stand from its place—unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:2-5)
More and more, I am noticing the shift that has occurred. The alarming shift away from adoring our Beloved in true relationship with Him toward merely seeking the benefits of a relationship with Him. With urgency, I compel us to swiftly turn our attention back onto our Lover, our First Love, adoring Him with all we have. We must follow the narrow way. We must have our eyes locked with His. We must give up the ways of the world and give Him our everything.
Focus on God
What if our focus in our relationship with God was not our works, our wants, our desires, or our dreams? What if our focus was not on gaining more for ourselves, receiving a new job, obtaining increased provision, or developing greater influence? What if our focus in our relationship with God was simply… God? Loving God. Being with God. Serving God. Giving our all to God. Worshipping God. What if, with every ounce of our being, we gave our all to God, realizing the magnificence of His nature, recognizing the gloriousness of His beauty? Being captivated by God, simply and purely. Truly treating Him as our center. What if we moved our attention away from what God can do for us and what we can get out of our relationship with God and moved it toward the simplicity of who God is, what He did for us, and how we can adore Him?
“And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who is seated on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.’” (Revelation 4:9-11)
Let us imagine that: our jobs being to simply adore Jesus with everything we have, giving Him our crowns and exalting His majesty. What if we loved Him with every ounce of our being, putting all our eggs into His basket? What if we served Him and His people from that place of complete and utter lovesick adoration of Him? What if the Gospel was really that simple?
Temptations of this World
In our society, even as Christians, it is so easy for our focus to be turned to the world. We might be interested in how we appear to others, what we have, how we are representing ourselves. Even if we are Christians working in ministry, we may find that our focus is on leadership positions, revival, greater power, increased influence, and the like.
I wonder if we have made the Gospel more about us than about God. If all or most of our attention lies upon the benefits of a relationship with God rather than the actual relationship with God in and of itself, we have missed it.
“…’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38)
Our call is clear. And our call is simple: love God. With everything we have. With all we are. When in doubt, when confounded by the duties and tasks of this world, when buried with all of the different things we think are required of us as Christians, when trapped by the constraints of religion, when we do not feel that joy and lightness anymore, when a slight feeling in our stomach exists that something just is not fully right… that is when we must drop everything and refocus on Jesus. Completely eradicating anything in our lives that may take us away from our All.
Call To Action
This may seem like a sweet notice. A simple article reminding us to focus on Jesus as our center. However, this message is much more pressing. It is a call-to-action. A call for us to all rise up and return to our First Love. Even if our gaze is one centimeter off-center, we must refocus. Choosing Jesus over any of His benefits. Choosing Jesus over our own positions. Choosing Jesus over our prayer lists. Choosing Jesus over our wants. Our needs. Our desires. Our lives.
It is at that point when our focus turns up from the world (and ourselves) and onto our Creator that we find ourselves on our knees crying out, “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (Revelation 4:11). We begin to join Heaven and sing songs of glory, declaring the majesty of our King.