5 Steps to Return to your First Love

5 Steps

The first time I remember hearing the old saying, “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” I thought that was just SO sacrilegious!  (I think I was about 20 at the time.)

Because, anybody that has read their Bible through knows that THAT is not a verse in the Bible.

But I have since then discovered that the Holy God we worship is a God of order.

“for God is not a God of confusion but of peace,” 1 Corinthians 14:33a (NASB)

“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”  Colossians 1:17

So, I was thinking recently that if our God, who holds the universe together, were to let things go like I do at my house, orbits would get off kilter, planets and stars would collide, and the universe as we know it would be destroyed.

So, maybe that saying isn’t so far off base after all!

Then I was thinking about how God has established a spiritual order for our lives, as well.

After we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, there is a certain order He desires to see in our lives.

  • Love God first.
  • Love others because you love God first.

Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Matthew 6:33

In Revelation 2:4,5 He commends the church at Ephesus for their good works, but He says,

“I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place — unless you repent.”

I’ve got to be first to admit that I have lost my first love more than once and have had to repent.

I’m not sure why I let myself get lured down those rabbit trails till I find myself standing in an unfamiliar place in that spiritual forest, looking up at trees so tall and thick that I can barely see the sky, and wondering what exactly is the way back to the trail.

So, what are some steps we can take in getting back to the right path in our walk with the Lord?

  1. The first step is to start a conversation with the Lord. At this point it might sound something like this,
    “Lord? I know You’re with me even though I can’t see you, and even though You aren’t pleased with my having wandered off the path. Please show me the way back.”
  2. Then, sit down with His Word and let Him speak to you from it. (I have a laminated prayer of confession that has those verses He has shown me through the years that show how I’ve gone astray. I use it over and over, anytime I feel like something is just not right, but I can’t put my finger on it.)
  3. Confess that you’ve left your first love, and confess what other things you have elevated in your life to the place only He should occupy, and ask for His forgiveness. (1 John 1:9)
  4. Ask for His help banishing those things from that place of idolatry, and reaffirm your love for God, not just in words, but in deeds.
  5. Find a prayer partner who can lift you up in prayer and hold you accountable.

Here’s a short version of a prayer you might pray; you’ll need to fill in your own specifics.

Prayer:

I’m sorry, Lord Jesus, for having left my first love, for having put myself, my desires, the opinions of others,____________, ____________(you fill in the blanks), on the throne of my life when only You should be there. Please forgive me.
I surrender my life to You again.
I give You the steering wheel.
I trust You to take me where You want me to go and at the right times.
Thank You.
Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and guide me along the right path.
Help me to seek You first in everything at all times.
Please help me to walk in victory for Your glory and honor.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Linking up with:

Faith on Fire,  Fresh Market Friday

Dance with Jesus,  Spiritual Sundays

Faith ‘n FriendsGrace & Truth

Warriors of the Word

Chasing Community

Heart Encouragement

Grace Moments,  Tune In Thursday

Coffee For Your Heart

Sitting Among Friends

Glimpses

Monday’s Musings

Moments of Hope

Soul Survival

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25 thoughts on “5 Steps to Return to your First Love

  1. I love this prayer, Ruth. Thank you for this reminder to examine our hearts. I am so prone to put myself, my desires, the opinions of others, and other things before God. It’s so easy to take the steering wheel of our lives in our own hands instead of surrendering it into God’s hands. So thank you again. Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Trudy! Thanks, and you’re welcome! 🙂
      Yes, I think if we will just admit it, we all are prone to wander. Isaiah 53:6 says, “All we like sheep have gone astray.” That is our natural bent. Praise God that He is the Good Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep! He leads us in green pastures….!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a convicting piece for me. I am so much a girl of order that I often feel like I can not stop, sit down and rest in the presence of my Savior until everything is in order. The truth is, complete order almost never comes! The few times that it does and I am finally through and able to stop and focus on prayer and reading, I am so wiped out that I am dozing off. God has been purging my life this year and removing things that I thought were priorities. I am painfully gaining a new understanding of what is and is not a big deal. He is wiping away my desire for perfection and telling me that it is ok to leave the bed unmade. I do not want to stand before His throne one day and have to tell Him that I did not pursue Him more on this earth because I was obsessive about having exceptionally clean bathroom floors! God is the author of order it’s true. My prayer is that I have my priorities in a order that is pleasing to Him. Thank you so much for sharing and I will be sharing it too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Jessica, for sharing your testimony of how God is working in your life in this area! I like it that you put into words one of the excuses we might use and how lame it will sound when we are actually standing before God.
      You’re right; it all comes down to priorities. If we can’t get order to perfection (because we aren’t God), which order would He have us choose first? What is HIS greatest priority for us? I think He has proved over and over again that our relationship with HIM is HIS top priority for us.
      Without faith it is impossible to please Him (Heb. 11:6) and
      “but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42 are only a tiny portion of Biblical examples, not to mention the many testimonies of modern-day saints.

      And thank you so much for sharing!! I appreciate it so much! 🙂
      God bless you, sister!

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  3. Even when we’re praying often, it’s so easy to find you’ve elevated something to a place of idolatry, isn’t it? I guess it’s the human way. But — oh there’s nothing that satisfies the way that He does, is there? No thing will ever come close to the joy found in letting Him have His seat on the throne of our lives, will it? Thank you for these tips and reminder to remember our First Love, Ruth. ((xoxo))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, Sarah! Just taking the time to be still before the Lord and talk to Him and listen for His answers can be so difficult when we have so many demands on our time and distractions that seem to call our name and lure our attention elsewhere. We can be involved in all good activities, but when we leave behind the BEST, everything else can become an empty shell.
      May the Lord continue to draw us back to Himself by His amazing grace.
      Thanks for your visit! 🙂

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  4. Hi Ruth! Glad to connect with you once more through Sitting Among Friends blog party. I love the call you’ve made for us to order our lives spiritually. Putting God first does make everything else fall into place. I like that last number about having a prayer and accountability partner. No matter how high we are spiritually, we need the support of other brethren as we run this race. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Edith! I praise the Lord for this opportunity, again, to connect with you! Thanks so much for your visit and encouragement!
      I’m so glad God has given us brothers and sisters to cheer us on in the race He has given us. Sometimes it feels like no one is there for us, but I have personally experienced more than once the Lord bringing to mind a sister who is in need and urging me to pray for them even though I am not in the same location or even the same country. I can only believe that He has done the same for me at times. He is not bound by time and space. But even if the Lord does that for us at times, I believe He still wants us to seek out the prayers of other saints. Without His help we are powerless to save ourselves from the enemy who “prowls like a lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

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  5. Ruth – I am so sorry, it has taken me almost a whole week to stop by and comment from #TuneInThursday linkup last week. I was away at a Conference since last week and the wifi was practically non-existent.

    Great post – the prayer at the end was so very touching and much needed. Yes Lord, help me to focus on you and return to you, my first love. Thanks for sharing your heart and your prayer and making it easy for us all to pray for our own personal needs as well.

    Again thank you for linking up last week, and I hope to see you tomorrow at #TuneInThursday

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem, Debbie! I understand; things happen that we can’t control. And you did get back with me, and I appreciate that!
      I’m glad you like the prayer; when prayed from a sincere heart, God can do great things in us.
      I’ll plan on tuning in next Thursday. In returning to my first love, I realized I had put off some things that need to be priorities over linking up for a few days until I get back on track. We have family coming this evening from out of town.
      Grace and peace to you. May your celebration of our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection bring you to a fuller, heartfelt love for Him as you practice dwelling in His Presence.

      Like

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Ifeoma!
      That is a great prayer! Too often we want to minimize how bad sin is in the sight of God; instead of hating it, we kind of want to keep it close. But if God says it is grievous and awful, then we need to agree with Him and surrender all to Him. I agree with you in prayer that the Lord will grant us a holy hatred of sin. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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