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Out of Love
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Out of Love

“You’re breaking up with me?” Dana shouted in the hallway at school. People around her begin to stare at her and Will. “Shh, not so loud,” Will said as he tried to quiet her. “It’s just that I don’t love you anymore. I did, but something happened and I just don’t anymore.” “What happened?” Dana asked, with tears in her eyes.

[LINK] There are a number of things that can kill your passion and make great moments of being excited about God a distant memory. If the “fire” or passion isn’t tended to, it simply dies down. Zephaniah 1:6 talks about “those who’ve dumped God altogether, no longer giving him a thought or offering a prayer” (MSG). Sometimes passion dies down because something tragic happened. In crisis times, we can either draw closer to God, or we can walk away angry. Job’s wife chose to get angry and give up. She told her husband: “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9).

For others, passion for God fades because it was never genuine in the first place. It wasn’t about loving God for who He is, but solely about loving Him for what He can do for us. Job responded to his wife’s question from Job 2:9 with the following: “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (2:10). And then there are those who find that following God is just too hard. They don’t want to do it anymore, so they just give up. “Many of his disciples turned away and deserted him” (John 6:66 NLT).

[THINK] What about you? What is holding back your passion for God? Instead of thinking God has deserted you, in what ways have you deserted Him? Consider this quote from Carlo Caretto, a twentieth century monk who served the poor in the desert: “If you are not searching for a personal relationship with God, if you don’t stay with Him for long periods in order to know Him, study Him, and understand Him, little by little you will start forgetting Him, your memory will weaken, you will no longer recognize Him. You will not be able to, because you will no longer know how to love.”

[GOD+YOU] Another way passion for God fades is when we fall in love with someone (or something) else. Instead of God being our first love, we let something else take His place. Jeremiah 2:13 says: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

If your passion for God is reduced to embers, what are you letting douse that flame? A boyfriend or girlfriend? Sports? Movies? Music? If you’re not sure, mentally go through every area of your life and ask yourself: “If God asked me to, would I be willing to give this up for Him?” You may find that there are some things in your life that are vying for your affection—affection that belongs to God.

[NXT LVL] Memorize this verse: Keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts (1 John 5:21 NLT).

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Reprinted with permission from YouthWalk magazine, © 2005 Walk Thru the Bible, Inc. To learn more about YouthWalk, visit www.youthwalk.org

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