But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love].Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord]… Revelation 2:4-5 AMP
I currently reside somewhere along the Lekki Axis and the Lekki Toll Plaza is a part of my daily commute. When the Admiralty toll plaza was first opened, the operators announced that there was an option of pre-payments for frequent users. With these options came discounted rates, saving 10% and more if the trips were more frequent. Beyond that, prepayment also offered access to express lanes, one of which is the e-tag lane so one could drive past without needing to stop and swipe a card or pay cash.
I immediately got the e-tag and started enjoying the option with all its laden benefits but some months later, my e-tag failed which meant I had to replace it. However, I was quite busy at the time so I had to settle for second best which was swiping my card every time I passed by relative to a seamless drive. It was supposed to be a temporary second best until I got an opportunity to have a new e-tag issued.
I did that for months and months became years. I could have driven into the toll office and had it fixed but somehow I became accustomed to the second best and learned to live with it. But I was the key proponent of the e-tag so if a friend moved into the neighborhood, I would encourage them to get it and hound them until they got it. All this time, whilst I knew all the benefits and encouraged others to acquire same, I had made myself comfortable with less.
As I thought about this experience, God started to ask me questions about what I know, versus what I teach versus what I do. And truly, like it was with the e-tag, there are things I knew for a fact and was eager to share with others, but I was no longer experiencing to their fullness having become comfortable with the sub optimal level.
I know what walking in the Spirit can do for a believer because I have experienced it. I am constantly encouraging others to walk in the spirit but am I? Or am I sitting pretty in my carnality? I know the benefits of prayer and making time out to seek God and I have taught others to come to the same understanding, but am I lackadaisical in my attitude to prayer? I know what discipline can do in the life of an individual and I am constantly encouraging my subordinates to be focused and disciplined but am i?
The challenge is that we could all easily be like me. We get comfortable with less than we can be because it takes us home. But why be content with just getting home via swiping the card when you can get home faster by the express lane? Why stay content with a religious experience of God when you can walk in the Spirit and be aligned to Him every step of the way? What was worse with the situation was that I had experienced the convenience of the e-tag, but still chose to live with less. I would see people come on board and encourage them to get to the highest level whilst I stayed making excuses for my sub-optimal experience.
Not sure where you are today but perhaps like me, it is time to look back and see where your teaching is not aligning with what you practice or where you are managing less despite an acknowledgement that you could be more. Perhaps you need to retrace your steps and check what you are doing now relative to what you once did. Our text says you have lost your first love. We can talk about God as per we once experienced him but is that experience fresh or is it history? Is our testimony fresh and flourishing? Like a pidgin parlance says ‘I get before na story.’ What is the case with me today?
Recently however, I drove in and had a new e-tag affixed to my car. It took me all of 30 minutes to make that switch. To think that that was all I required for the switch up and I am doing same in other areas of my life.
Why settle for less?
Have a blessed weekend.
Images: LCC, ronkebalogun.blogspot.com