Keep your First Love
In the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), you see how a young son had a good connection with his father and how he was very blessed living in his father’s household. Nevertheless, he idolised a different lifestyle outside the safety of his father’s covering and family home. So, he asked for all his inheritance, and then left home to pursue his own escapade (he forsook his First Love). In his case, by the time he had lost everything, and had got to the point of tending pigs to survive; he realised that living life on his terms was not working out, it was disastrous. He therefore longed to return to his father’s house.
Being a Christian, requires you to live life on God’s terms. God is not ridiculous in what He requires from you, He is a reasonable and loving Father. God does however, want to be the priority in your life. The reality is, if anything else is put before God in your life, then that object, activity, lifestyle, or even occupation becomes an idol.
An idol is anything you worship or pay more attention to than God. Falling into a trap of idolatry, often starts with small acts of disobedience until your heart becomes harder and harder with regard to adhering to God’s direction and Voice.
At times, you can even develop certain idols due to “time stealers.” For example, like in the case of doing sport or playing in a band: if this activity starts to consume all the time in your schedule; then you should recognise this as a warning sign. Another “time stealer” is when your work life is completely out of sync with God’s daily plan for your life.
Therefore, forsaking your first love is literally putting anything above your Lord and Lover of your soul. The Word of God tells you in the book of 1 John:
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:21 New King James Version)
You must therefore make a concerted effort to remain vigilant in your life and be bold to share truth with those you love when they step into such a trap.
If ever you feel out of sync or notice an idol in your life, be encouraged, because your loving Father is always ready and waiting for you to return home.
Verse: “Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: ‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not remain angry forever.’” Jeremiah 3.12(New King James Version)
Practical Action Step: Ask the Holy Spirit to impress it on your heart where your life is out of balance. Spend some time with the Lord, asking for some practical wisdom on how to rebalance your life. Also ask the Lord to show you if you have any idols in your life or if certain areas within your life are at risk of becoming traps into idolatry.