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 havethis against you, that YOU HAVE LEFT YOUR FIRST LOVE. Revelation 2:2-4
The time was 1982 where most movie goers learned a lesson that the thought of making it big, looking the part and the idea of what it looks like to have peaked in life, can often become the very disillusionment and counterfeit to the passion that drives you. It was through this portrayal of the life event of a certain Rocky Balboa that many fans of the Rocky series sat in on this life lesson of what it means to trade your passion for glory. To accompany this truth, the song “EYE OF THE TIGER” was released in the cinema and made it safely into my ipod, as I among many, ascertain the character of an overcomer, at least when I have to finish a “excruciating” run.
However where the life of an overcomer really counts is when it comes to a life led and lived by the Spirit of God, under the present reign of Jesus Christ. Today many hijack some good godly attributes such as peace, love and kindness and yet want nothing to with Christ Himself. However such fail to realize that you cannot have the Kingdom without the King. What cannot also be obtained, unless one is BORN AGAIN into the saving knowledge and grace of Christ is the very essence, nature, promise and power of an OVERCOMING LIFE!
Here King Jesus acknowledges the labor, the sweat, the tears, the power, the operation for gifts all from this particular church in Ephesus. This church was operating in such a capacity of the spirit of God that many churches today desire to aspire, but what was overlooked and seemed to have been forgotten was THEIR FIRST LOVE! In other words they had no problem identifying themselves TO The Name, but forgot what it was like to be OF The Name. When it came to the intimacy behind the closed doors of the secret place; the very place where no secrets are kept before God and the alter of consecration is the only floor to stand on, such a place was found to be empty. Somewhere along the journey this demon blasting, faith stomping, hardworking, power punching church began to operate for the wrong kind of glory. Oh sure they have done all that they had to glorify God, but Jesus identified the absence of a heart that was found hidden within the rendezvous of their first initial love for Him. What a frightening place this is! Every believer has come or will come to face the temptation of trading in their passion for Christ for the glory of self. This temptation is not from God, but comes from a lack of occupying the secret place of communion with Christ, they place where others are not found spectating. As important as all spiritual gifts are, they do come about without repentance and The Lord called this church to repentance and returning. (Rev. 2:5)
This truth is no reason to keep any believer from weaning off the milk and taking on the meat of God’s Word or even endeavoring to see the operation of the gifts of the Spirit, but just note that it is the attitude of the renewed heart coupled with the cultivation of first love passion that keeps any believer a strong onward Christian soldier.
Revelation 2:5 REMEMBER therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
Like with the story of Samson, the conquest of self-reliance and self capability will become the very distraction that will strip you of the anointing and make whatever you deem as prophetic…pathetic. (Judges 16:20)
To those of my generation presently serving under leadership and given the opportunity to stretch out your wings in developing your calling, be mindful that first and foremost beyond any other title you are given, Christ calls you to be both a child and a servant of The Most High. Don’t forsake the attitude and heart towards your first love, neither misplace your “Christian duties” with the place of complete consecration, surrender and obedient faith that God ONLY finds to be acceptable and pleasing.
The glitz, the gold and the glamour can not even come close to compare of what God has in store for one with an contrite heart and a passionate zeal for Christ alone! The idea to live a like a "King's kid" as was taught years ago ought not to be the focal point of a Christian who has been called to maturity in Christ. It is time to not think or be "me centered", but Jesus centered; for if you are the only thing big in your world, then it is apparent that your would is not big enough, neither is the God who you claim created it. Trade not your passion for your glory, but cause your passion to magnify His Glory!
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3