Bored. Unmotivated. Apathetic. Tired. Fearful. Hopeless. Sound familiar?
I don’t where this season came from. But it is here in full effect. I was Voxing with a friend recently, and I told her I was feeling blah these days. I am not super depressed. I’d say I have been feeling a low dose of it. I’m a bit anxious. There are no specific reasons or big life happenings going on. I have just been in a general state of anxiety. My mind races about all the things. And I have been taking naps every chance I can get. I wake up tired and go to sleep exhausted.
I’m not sure why. I’m in the process of trying to learn better rhythms in my life. I am not good at resting, really resting. I don’t mean doing nothing. I think I do that fairly well.
As I am growing in this practice, I realized this fall it’ll be twenty years since I met Christ — two whole decades. That blows me away! Where did all of that time go? Where is the girl who had one day realized she was a sinner in need of a Savior one minute and found herself a righteous daughter of God the next? What happened to all of that joy and excitement of meeting Jesus and falling in love with Him?
I think I misplaced her or maybe I lost her. Maybe she was taken. But something happened to her. I am not the same person I was then. None of us are. I have changed for the better, but in some ways I haven’t really changed.
I heard about this lead pastor in California who every year tells the first-year students of his church’s school of ministry that he’s excited they’ve sacrificed to be in school. Then he tells them to take him to coffee in twenty or thirty years and to tell him they are still burning and in love with Jesus.
Every time I hear that story, it hits me — every time.
I feel like I was burning easy for years on years. But over the last few years, that flame has dulled. I think it has been a number of reasons why — a little bit of apathy, along with the cares of this world, mixed with a little bit of life overwhelming me, and at times the enemy attacking me.
But I’m done! I want that white hot fire again. I want Him as my sole desire.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
Revelation 2:4-5 (NIV)
In the first few verses of chapter 2, the church in Ephesus was being commended on their ability to do the right thing and discern truth and false teaching. They were a church that endured suffering well and held on to the faith. But God essentially was telling them that they had grown cold in their love for Him. They were going through the motions of religion and obligation. Their deeds were good, but there was no love for Him motivating them.
I often wonder after decades of walking with God, how easy is it for us to slip into duty over delight. Our lives get busy and hard. The demands continue to increase. We know what we should do and we do it, but we do it just because. We don’t do it because we love God and want to please Him.
I want so badly to live a life that bursts with love and gratitude to the One who saved my soul and set me free!
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NIV)
When Paul writes to Timothy in this letter, it was written in the context of his family’s legacy and influence. It’s beautiful. Paul tells him that the faith he has was an overflow from both his mother and grandmother. Verse 6 is two-fold. First, Timothy has a role: he is to fan into flame the gift of God inside of himself. But the second role comes from Paul laying his hands on Timothy offering prayer and imparting faith and gifting.
How many times do I struggle and suffer in silence? How many times do I avoid asking for prayer or help when my flame is burning out?
He has given us this gift of His beautiful church to come alongside us a family, to spur us on to continue to fight the good fight and finish the race.
I don’t have all of this figured out, and that’s okay. You don’t have to have it figured out either. The Father delights in our process of pursuing Him. He loves meeting us in our dry and weary places and pouring out His living water.
His Spirit refreshes us, encourages us, builds our faith, and equips us with everything we need to thrive in our relationship with Him. Today is the day! I’m returning to my first love — simple and wholehearted devotion to God. I will love Him with the love He has given to me. Will you join me?
Do you feel as though you’ve forgotten your first love of Jesus?
What are the things that have pulled you away from Him?
I don't have all of this figured out, and that's okay. You don't have to have it figured out either. The Father delights in our process of pursuing Him. -@karina268: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Tammy Brown says
My favorite verse is Ephesians 6 10-20. I love this verse because it prepares me daily to follow GOD and put on my armor against the spiritual war fare.
Karina Allen says
Amen Tammy! That is so good!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
It’s hard to believe that I have walked with the Lord as pilot of my life for 45 years…wow, where did the time go? In 4 1/2 decades, I have walked through seasons of apathy and the blahs. Being the one who continually defaults to “self-sufficiency” mode, I think it is up to me to get busy and muster up some faith. The verse you quoted from 2nd Timothy reminds me that the source of my faith is not me, it is the Spirit of God moving in me. “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” So if the Spirit is the source of my faith, how do I fan this gift into flame? I ASK. I remind myself that apart from the Lord, I can do nothing. It’s not “I” do something, it’s I ASK the Lord to work and move in me. I then have to obey, and that means being in His Word daily. I’ve found that I can’t FEEL my way into actions, but I can ACT my way into feelings. When I get a case of the spiritual blahs, I SEEK, I ASK, and then as God promises, I FIND. Praying for you, sweet Karina, that God would answer the desire of your heart and that through the gift of the Holy Spirit, He will set your heart on fire once more.
Karina Allen says
Amen Bev! I receive that! That is such strong revelation! So good!!!
Denise Pass says
Thank you for your great article. We can all feel the condemnation of being lackluster from time to time. I so get this. Pursuing Him is so key to reviving us. It is getting into His word and journaling that brings me back, every day, and yet we are prone to wander. Prone to religion instead of a relationship with Jesus. Thank God He never stops pursuing us! He restores our first love. <3
Karina Allen says
Yes Denise! I am so grateful for His continual pursuit of us! All the tears!
Michele Morin says
For years, I made the mistake of trying to “return” to a particularly fervent season in my walk with Christ. Finally, it dawned on me that there is no “going back” in faith, but God invites us ever and always into a new and intimate love that has all the brightness of that first love’s flame–added to the heat and radiance of a fire burning on coals formed over the years of knowing him
We’re always pursuing–and I love the way you’ve framed that here, Karina. Thanks for your continual outpouring of beautiful truth!
Karina Allen says
Michele, you are so kind! Thank you! I love your revelation! It is so good!
Please change Voxing. Look it up.
Karina Allen says
Thanks for your comment. Voxer is actually an app to communicate through voice messages and texts. When talking, it is termed “voxing”. The message is called a “vox”. It is a great way to stay connected with friends!
Beth Williams says
I was raised a Christian. There were many years I just did church. No relationship, etc. I would say “I’m a Christian. I go to church each week, sing in youth choir, do hand bells & help with local missions.” After HS I got apathetic some. Didn’t go to church as much, & never read the Bible. No one ever talked about a relationship or being “dunked baptized”. It wasn’t till I got married & attended a Christian church that I heard that teaching. Our pastor would mention being baptized several times a week. Finally a year later I decided to “take the plunge”. Then I started to realize about a relationship with Christ. Each week we do communion & get to visualize what Jesus did for us on the cross. In 2015 I quit my job & was really on fire for God. I read the Bible daily, listened to two preachers-on line, attended church 3 times a week & prayed daily. Then life got busy & I began to let things slip. I don’t pray as often as I should or read the Bible as much. Like you I’m asking God to help fan the flames of my first love. To make me desire Him more. I listen to Christian music & praise Him often. I do breath prayers & pray when Holy Spirit brings people to mind. It is so easy in today’s world to get lost in the trappings of work, daily living, & societal norms. Praying to God that He will fan that flame for you & help you rekindle your first love.
Mildred Morris says
Amen.. we all get caught up in busyness and/ or ourselves. Thank you for this message. Please pray for me to keeping seeking the Lord and praying without easing.
Thank you for this article I too have been struggling to find the joy I once had. My job keeps me from being able to go to church, which I missed desperately. I keep praying that God shows me another place for me to work so I can be with my church family.
Alisa Christian says
My favorite verse is 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. “ there are a lot of things I love about this verse. “If anyone” means ANYONE who is hidden in Christ becomes a new creation and old things have PASSED AWAY —died and new things are to come! This excites me ❤️❤️
Karina Allen says
Thank you so much Beth for sharing! I love what He is doing in your relationship with Him. Thank you for your prayers. Praying the same for you.
Kelly G says
Thank you for your honesty, Karina. I never had that passionate, on-fire born-again experience. I was raised in the church and accepting the Lord at 8 or so seemed like the right thing to do. I have since had some exhilarating experiences of God’s love and healing, but they’ve been relatively few spread out over many years. I often wonder what’s wrong with me when I compare myself to others, but I think that question just puts more distance between me and the Lord. I do recognize tender mercies regularly, which keep me going through the struggles I face. I love the expression “long obedience in the same direction” as this seems to describe my faith journey so far.
Your love and desire for the Lord, and your care for others, shines through all your posts, Karina, and while I am truly sorry you are feeling this way, I can’t help but think the Lord is so proud of you ♥.
Karina Allen says
Well gosh Kelly, now I’m crying! I needed that encouragement and reminder that the Lord is proud of me. Thank you for sharing!
Father, I thank you for saving Kelly and all of the work You have done in her life. I break every lie that says something is wrong with her. I bless her to know the truth that she is loved by You despite what she is experiencing. May she tangibly feel Your presence in this season. You are as close to her as the whisper of Your name. May she see signs, wonders and miracles often. May that build up her faith that you are always near and at work in and around her. I bless her with intimacy with You. Give her eyes to see and ears to hear Your voice.
In Jesus’ Name
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Excellent reading today. I feel offal when I miss a day not spent with Jesus in prayer and Bible reading. There are days I get so busy I get tired. I don’t have the energy to anymore. I want just sit down and do nothonh but rest. Then the next day I feel so guilty I have not spent the time with Jesus. I say tomorrow I must wake up before I get dressed to spend the time with Jesus in prayer and Bible reading. Again that never happens. Because I need my sleep. It so hard. I end up saying God forgive me for not saying my prayers today and not spending time in your word today the Bible. Then there are days I do get the cooking and other jobs done and seem to have the time. To the spend in God word the Bible and prayer. I then that day feel great. But I know God does not want me to beat myself up over this. So I am strarting to try hard to get back to my first love I had with Jesus. It not that go bed late. It just I find it hard. So I go start with reading someone might find the helpful one chapter of the Bible each day if I can. Today say pray for family and unsaved. Tomorrow the sick and maybe do it that way. Pick a time if I can in the day that suits me. Do it everyday if I can. Thank you so much for todays reading. Dawn Ferguson-Little
This was so timely for me and hit a nerve. Thank you for your openness and your willingness to be open with this area.
Thank you Karina.. And Bev and all the other comments! I often try to rekindle through my own efforts with out actually asking for HIS help! Makes me think of my toddler granddaughters who try to do many things without help… A recipe for disaster most of the time! LOL. I’m so thankful for a patient Father who is waiting for my plea .. “Help me!” … As my 2 year old grand says, Hepme!
Nancy Ruegg says
You’ve made clear your heart’s desire: ” I want so badly to live a life that bursts with love and gratitude to the One who saved my soul and set me free!” And of course your Heavenly Father hears those words and sees the intensity of emotion behind them. Please know that ALL of us go through dry spells and periods when God is silent. When that happens, we’re meant to hang onto scriptural truth that everything has purpose, and cling to His promises that assure his abiding presence–no matter what we feel. When the silence is broken, our relationship with Him is more beautiful and treasured than before! God speed toward that day, Karina!