Paul and Jamie were inseparable when they were newlyweds in 2003. When they were together cartoon birds and butterflies would be seen fluttering about. Paul would often skip lunch just so he could leave work a little earlier to be home with Jamie that much sooner. Paul and Jamie went on walks together. They laughed together. They cherished their time together. Paul vowed to Jamie that their love would never fade.
Over time came three kids, late meetings at work and let’s just call it “Life.” It’s been months since Paul and Jamie have been alone. Paul has been busy. His new position at work has him working late if not traveling many nights a week. He also has committee meetings at church and volunteer meetings for the local shelter he volunteers at. He has a lot going on in his life. His calendar is always full. Paul hasn’t been able to keep that promise he made years ago to his beloved bride. Paul still loves Jamie, but that important vow and intimate relationship now seem so distant.
I’ve gone through times very similar to what Paul is going through. Yes, at times with my bride, but more importantly with someone else. Let’s read it a bit differently…
Paul’s time with his Savior was of utmost importance when he trusted his life in his Saviors hands. When Paul sought out his Lord there were still struggles, but there was peace. Paul would often get up very early just so he could start every day with his Savior and commit the day to Him. Paul shared his struggles and his joys with the One who died for him. Paul cherished their time together. Paul was determined that this commitment to his Savior would never fade.
Over time came three kids, late nights and let’s just call it “Life.” It’s been years since Paul has sought out personal time with Jesus. He’s been busy. His new position at work has him working late if not traveling many nights a week. He also has committee meetings at church and volunteer meetings for the local shelter he volunteers at. He has a lot going on in his life. His calendar is always full. Paul hasn’t been able to keep that promise he made years ago to his Savior. Paul still loves Jesus and believes that He died for him, but that important vow and the intimate relationship now seems so distant.
In Revelation 2:4, the apostle John transcribes what God had shown him. One of the many things he’s shown is a command from God to the church at Ephesus. God said “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first.”
What if you were Paul and your wife Jamie sat you down and told you that she believes that you don’t love her the way you did when you were first married. How would you feel? Would you be motivated to change? Jamie is your wife. She is your best friend and partner. There have been times in our marriage that my beloved has been that honest and frank about certain subjects and it’s made me aware of changes that have needed to take place. It’s difficult to hear.
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. (James 4:8 NLT)
Earthly relationships are incredibly important to us. But what if God, the maker of all the heavens and the earth, is saying that to you? What if He’s got your attention and is saying, “You don’t love me the way you used to.” It’s not condemning, it’s a passionate plea from a God who, even though at times we don’t love Him the way we used to, has NEVER faltered in His love for and pursuit of us.
If I’m being transparent, I feel God is speaking that to me a little bit as I write this. I feel a nudge from the Holy Spirit saying to me, “You’re not pursuing me the way you once did.” That’s a wake up call! I’m praying that He would reveal those areas in my life that need to move down (or off) my priority list so that my number one priority is my relationship with my Savior.
Paul couldn’t wait to spend time with his love. When he pursued his bride, their love flourished. When you make it an honest priority to pursue Christ, you will draw closer to him. Just like in any type of earthly relationship – relational drift will occur if great care and constant exercise is not taken to maintain your relationship with our Savior.
Father God, thank you for pursuing us. There are so many times we fail at pursuing not only earthly relationships, but the most important one – our relationship with You, our King. It is my prayer that our love for You would be renewed and refreshed as it was when we first believed. May we put the highest priority on closeness to You. Lord, as we draw close to You out you have promised that You will draw close to us. (James 4:8) That’s our desire, Father! Amen.