“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” – 1 John 5:2-3
I’ve seen it time and time again. A person gets saved, they repent and are delivered of their past, they love God and have a zealousness to do God’s will, but then somewhere down the road they start “struggling”. They start giving in to temptations more and eventually come to the point where they find it grievous to follow God’s commandments. At this point one of 3 things will take place. 1.) They will stop trying and turn away from God all together. 2.) They will keep trying in their own flesh and stay miserable. Or 3.) They will put forth the effort to figure out how to fix this problem, humble themselves, do what needs to be done, and get the fire burning again in their hearts.
What causes this? Why did it go from being so easy and joyful to serve, live for, and obey God, to being so hard? It’s really not difficult to understand and yes, it can be fixed. Let’s look at it as a parable.
Let’s say a young single person meets someone special and falls in love. It’s easy to find time for that person, to do things for that person, or even to change there bad habits to please that person. Now let’s say that young person always expects the person they fell in love with to come meet them, to set up dates, to do sweet things for them but they never do anything for that person other then a knowledge the relationship and receive. They expect everything to be done by the other person and before you know it the other person feels used and neglected and pulls away. At this point the young person is in the relationship in name only but not in his/her heart so it becomes easy for that person to fall for temptations they know would displease the other person. They will then do one of three things. 1.) They will walk away from the relationship and that person all together. 2.) They will try to fake being in that relationship because they know it’s not right to walk away. However, they are no longer in love with the other person so they try to walk out the motions of a faithful relationship in their own strength, failing often and being miserable continuously. Or 3.) They realize that a true relationship takes effort, time, attention, and sacrifice from “both” sides and that they have failed to do their part. They then put forth the effort to start the relationship anew and rekindle that flame of love in their heart. They go to that person and acknowledge that they were wrong, apologize and promise not to do it again. In other words, they repent. Then they start over, this time the young person puts forth great effort to spend personal one-to-one time with them, set up dates, shower them with gifts, songs, and attention. The relationship is no longer one-sided, so it grows and flourishes. It’s now easy to be faithful again, drop those bad habits, and pursue that person and the relationship as a whole. Because love is there, the heart is in it.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – John 14:15
You see, every long term relationship takes deliberate sacrificial effort to keep the fire going, we can’t have a one-sided relationship with God expecting Him to chase after us continuously with attention and sacrifice. He has already done that, now it’s our turn to do our part. As the spiritual bride of Christ, if we don’t put forth the time and effort to honor, cherish, and pursue our Bride Groom the relationship will grow cold. We need to seek Him to find out how we can better serve Him, not spend all our time telling Him how to serve us. It’s not about our wants, it’s wanting to bless Him with our eagerness to fulfill His… Just like any good relationship.
“and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” – Isaiah 62:5
“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” – Ephesians 5:31-32