Can you believe it…we’re already at the end of March 2023! The first quarter of the year has flown by so quickly and many of us are still trying to get started on many of the resolutions we’ve made for the New Year.
It’s amazing to see this happen every year…we start out excited and energetic about the plans we have for the New Year. I see it when I go to the gym. During the first several weeks of the New Year the parking lot is full. But by the end of February, there’s plenty of open spaces. What happened to the people and their passion?
Statistics show that of those who make a New Year’s resolution, only 75% of people keep it after one week. After one month, only 64% of people maintain it, and after six months it drops to only 46%. What happened to all of that passion and excitement?
Well, not only does this happen with our habits and goals, but also spiritually. There’s a zeal and passion that we had when we first began our relationship with God. But for many, as time went on and the cares of this world got in the way, we’ve lost our zeal and passion for God.
This actually happened to the church in Ephesus, where their love for God began to falter. But God gave them some great advice in Revelation chapter 2. Not only does God’s advice work for spiritual growth, but also for many life goals and habits that people strive to be successful at.
The first thing God says in verse 5 is that we should consider how far we’ve fallen…in other words, evaluate. Evaluate or measure where we are compared to where we used to be or want to go. Scripture tells us in several places that we should make objective examinations of ourselves so that we posture ourselves for where God would move or direct us to be. We can’t move forward if we don’t first recognize that we’re not in the place we’re supposed to be.
After evaluating, we must then repent. Repenting is not a feeling, it’s an action! It’s humbling our hearts before God and actually moving in the new direction that He directs. Let’s not stay stuck in the same place, doing the same thing and expecting a different result…that’s insanity. Instead, let us move in the opposite direction of what caused us to get stuck in the first place.
Lastly, in that same verse, God says that we should go back and do the things we did at first. In other words, we should go back and do what we were doing before we began to decline. What kept us on track or what made us successful? Whatever it was, let’s go back and do what it takes to be where we need to be and allow God to launch us to where He wants us to be.
In the case of the church in Ephesus, it was their love for God that had declined. But the steps to rekindle their love are also helpful for any area of life that requires revival. So don’t just sit there, examine, repent, and get moving in the towards the place that you’re supposed to be.
By Rick Wood