Leaving Ephesus

This is a post from my first blog (posted on August 7, 2007). It came to mind the other day when I realized that I didn’t migrate posts from that blog onto this one. It was a pretty monumental post (or time in my life), so I thought I would share it here.

I suck.

I could leave the blog at that, but people would think it’s a cry for help, and that I’m helplessly fishing for affirmation. That’s not the case – let me explain.

I decided to follow Christ when I was 16, and my life has never been the same since. As you grow, your life morphs, in every area. Specifically, your Christian life changes drastically. You could relate this type of change to a baby growing into a child, and a child into a teenager, and so on.

I guess you could call my current situation, “growing pains.”

I’ve been a youth pastor for 2 years, and have been following Christ for 8. God has rocked my world in the last year through revelation and change of life plans; it’s been a whirlwind. Beginning the process, knowing I needed God’s guidance, I sought Him with a passion through prayer, reading, and contemplation. I was really able to connect, and as a result, I was able to understand what the will of God is (Romans 12:2).

When God reveals His plans, though, I have a tendency to get busy bringing the plans to fruition, while God is left wondering where His child ran off to. I began to get so busy that I forgot to be in fellowship of my Creator and God.

My life started showing signs of malcontent and selfishness, which manifested itself in my personal life, my marriage, and my ministry. It all came to a screeching halt on our 1-year anniversary, where I realized that the genesis of all the muck came from the fact that I left God behind a long time ago. I left Him standing at the place where He so graciously revealed His plans to me, where He equipped me for the future.

It became clear that the selfishness leaking into my marriage and all other areas was a direct result of my leaving Him behind.

Fortunately, that’s not the end of the story.

Sitting in church this Sunday, in the middle of the music portion, God brought a passage to mind.

“I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place – unless you repent.
Revelation 2:2-5

If you follow Christ, ask yourself, “Am I in love with Jesus?”

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markcox@churchleaders.com'
Mark is the Student Pastor at Indian Springs Baptist Church just outside Little Rock, Arkansas. He has a passion to help students realize their potential in God’s Kingdom.