// Lynette Hagin
THE WORLD TODAY is spinning at such a frantic pace that it's easy to drift away from our first love for the Lord. It's easy to be distracted by things. I believe God is calling His people back to their first love.
If we want to experience the victory God intends for us, we must have an intimate relationship with Him. We must ask ourselves, "Is my love for the Lord growing stronger every day?" It should be! Our love for God should
grow stronger and more precious every day, just as love for a spouse should.
When I first married my husband, I really didn't know what love was at the time. The love I felt for him then was just a smidgen of the love I feel for him now.
We've been married since 1965, and we love each other more today than when we said, "I do." Our love for our Heavenly Father should be the same way.
Delighting in God
One of the most powerful ways to deepen our love for God is to delight ourselves in His Word. Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart" (NIV).
Psalm 1:1–3 also tells us, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. BUT HIS DELIGHT is in the law of the Lord [God's word]; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And . . . whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
I learned at an early age that if I delighted in the Lord and in His Word, He would be pleased with me and whatever I did would prosper. I began going to the altar with the adults to pray at church services. Such a deep hunger for God was stirred in me during those times! Why? Because I sensed my Heavenly Father's presence and that made me want more of Him.
In these stressful and challenging times, we need a burning desire for God. Why is that so important? Because only a strong relationship with the Lord will get us through these last days. But the world is so chaotic that we forget sometimes.
When Doing Good Turns Into a Distraction
Satan is subtle. If he can't get us off track by luring us into sin, he'll dominate our time by getting us to do good deeds. He'll do anything to keep us from having time in the Word or prayer, where we develop our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
A passage in Luke describes this.
38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Mary had chosen the good part! So many times in dealing with the nitty-gritty of life, we get trapped in "the Martha Syndrome." We become so busy that we forget about communing with our Heavenly Father.
While we're busy being "Martha," we feel like we're the ones doing all the work while the "Marys" are enjoying themselves in the Lord. The enemy has us so occupied doing busywork for God that we've neglected the most important thing—delighting ourselves in the Lord by sitting at His feet.
We then try to triple up on the "Mary" part by saying, "Oh we love You, Lord! We praise You, Father!" God in His mercy always comes through for us. But how much better would it be if we learned how to balance the roles of "Mary" and "Martha" by spending more time basking in the presence of the Lord?
It's so important not to let even good things rob us of our time with our Heavenly Father. We need to set aside time regularly to study the Word, be in the presence of the Lord, worship Him, and pray.
Hunger and Thirst for God
Matthew 5:6 says, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." And the psalmist expressed his hunger for the Lord in Psalm 42:1–2 when he said, "As the deer pants for water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. Where can I find him to come and stand before him?" (TLB).
Our Heavenly Father desires so much for us to hunger and thirst for things of God. Spiritual things should never become stale or commonplace.
We all have our favorite types of food. We probably could eat them several times a week. However, sometimes our favorite meal can be extremely filling, and it may be a couple days before we're hungry for that type of food again.
That's not the way it should be concerning our hunger for the Word and the things of the Spirit. God wants us to hunger and thirst for Him continually.
No More Complacency
Even in the church today people haven't been as hungry for things of God as they once were. But I sense in my spirit a fresh, new hunger for the Lord rising up in people's hearts!
We must shake ourselves out of complacency. It's time we draw closer to God than ever before. He has specific assignments for us in these last days. The only way we're going to clearly understand those assignments is to develop a closer relationship to our Heavenly Father by getting back to our first love.
As we earnestly open our hearts, He will make Himself real to us. We will experience divine visitations and a new wave of His power—a new outpouring of the Spirit.
When we who are His people begin to stir up that first love again in ourselves, we'll see those who don't know the Lord experience their first love for Him too. And the convicting power of the Holy Spirit will cause the lost to come streaming in.