I can’t remember the last time I started a post with references to the book of Revelations. Ok…I never have. But Something was brought to my attention this week that I wanted to share:
I had a long talk with a man who had walked away from his faith but wanted to come back. He told me that he grew up as a believer, interned at his church and even felt called to ministry. But now he was very ashamed of the life he was living…. he and his girlfriend are living together (yes it is wrong), he struggles with substance abuse, he is “tatted up”, pierced everywhere and has trouble keeping a job. He is full of self-doubt, unbelief, and addictions. He was at the “end of his rope” and he wanted to “GET RIGHT with GOD”.
His story is like many who start their faith well and then, for whatever reason (I have some ideas) they just fall away…. some, like my new friend, embrace everything that is the antithesis of what they once stood for.
So, I walked him through the following simple steps found in Revelations 2:4-5 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.
1. REMEMBER. Can you remember what it was like when you desperately loved Jesus? Maybe it was when you first came to faith. Maybe when a child was born or you saw God do something miraculous. It might have been when you were a teenager….. whenever it was…… REMEMBER!
2. REPENT. literally “change your thinking” about the “sin that so easily entangles you”. Agree with God that some of what you are doing, thinking and even planning is SIN. Anger, jealousy, hatred, malice, gossip, fornication, lust envy etc….. turn from it and embrace God….then KEEP TURNING FROM IT.
3. DO THE THINGS YOU USED TO DO. Pray, seek, believe, trust… you used to do all of those things……. do them again.
By the way…this simple process works when restoring any relationship. If you are in a marriage that is “on the Rocks”. Remember what it was like early on in the relationship, repent of the “junk” that has infected the two of you, then do the things you used to do when you relationship was new.