Your First Love
"I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me." Proverbs 8:17 NASB
For sometime now, the lyrics of "Go Back" by Israel and New Breed have been on my mind. A while back, I finally downloaded the song. Only now in light of some major changes in my life, do I realize why I needed to listen to this song.
It was revealed to me that I have always in some way, since I was at least 14 years old, in some type of relationship with a guy. I either had a boyfriend, a friend or two, or just some guy that liked me, that I would talk to. Of course, I would develop an attachment to those people. Instead of seeking after God, I would be more concerned about that person and where our involvement would go. I got saved and baptized when I was 9 years old. Don't get me wrong, I was excited about being 'born again' and 'getting saved' and just learning more about God. But I didn't understand the brevity of the commitment I had taken. I didn't realize that God, who is love, wanted to love me more than anyone in the world. More than my momma and daddy ever could. You could say I had a misconception of God and Jesus for a long time. But as I learned this about myself, I realized I had never taken the time to love God and let Him love me back. I had never been in a relationship with God. Initially, having a boyfriend was just something to do, so I often didn't keep one too long. But once I had my first few 'serious' relationships, I got into the habit of succumbing to the other person and losing myself by not nurturing my relationship with God. The truth is I did not know myself, because living a life without a true relationship with God will never allow you to know yourself.
As I experienced situation after situation, sometimes in a relationship, other times not, but still 'talking' to someone, I would question and ask God why, as I built the wall around my heart and against Him. Why had this person hurt me, when they said they loved me? Why did I get sick in college, have my kidneys fail right after my 23rd birthday, have a transplant, lose my cousin, and most of all my earthly father–if God loved me, why did He allow it to happen? Well, as I listened to this song a few nights (literally, I'll play one of my playlists the entire night) I realized it was to draw me closer to Him. It is His turn, He says, to be in a relationship with me.
Many of us, both men and women alike, try to fill the voids with people–family, friends, and romantic relationships. We then put God on the back right or left burners to simmer and we check in with Him from time to time. Meanwhile, all the hurts, hang-ups and pains in our lives continue to grow in the back corner like ignored dust bunnies. And all along, God is back there, reminding us who He is to us and that He wants to save us, heal us, deliver us and make us whole.
I know it is often easier said than done to 'be' in a relationship with God. But like I said, I was saved at 9. So for me, He really is my first love. He stirred something within me then that has always sustained the need to return to Him. I encourage you to evaluate your relationships, and make sure God is your first love–not money, not a person, or some other inanimate thing…because all those things fade and when it comes time for God to call your name it would be sad if He said He doesn't know you.
"Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" Romans 8:35 NASB