To the Church in Ephesus
Rev 2.1“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.
2“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’
The Ephesian church was on the verge of crisis. It had been faithful and patient; they had been diligent and hardworking. They were bearing up under the pressure of demonic attack and spiritual warfare as well as the worldly influences that were assaulting them. Often we find ourselves on the brink of crisis because of the stress of living in our day and age and standing faithful for Christ. Like the Ephesians, we need the recipe for restoration.
1. Remember (v5)- the lofty heights of the intimacy that you once expereinced with Christ. It wasn't a fluke- it was the result of a devoted heart chasing hard after God. Find your first love again... love the Lord with everything in you.
2. Repent- otherwise you will be commiting spiritual suicide. All disobedience and rebellion is spiritual suicide. The Lord never wants to remove the anointing (lampstand) from our lives... that is always the discipline of the Lord to save us from ourselves.
3. Return -to your first works. Do the things that you once did when your hearts were on fire. Reading the Word, Radical prayer times, faithful obedience, etc.
When we practice these things, we avoid the impending spiritual crisis' of burnout,frustrations, and bitternesses and find again the joy of living in the love and service of a God who madly loves us.