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Seeds of the Kingdom

My Heart’s Obsession

by Christel Baxter

Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
Revelation 2:4, NIV

The word, ‘obsession’ is mostly understood to be something negative – an unhealthy fixation on something or someone. But I have been pondering the lyrics of a worship song that I love. The bridge of the song says the following: “Be my heart`s obsession, first and only in my life. In Your love alone my soul is satisfied.”

What would it be like if my heart`s obsession was the Lord? Another definition of the word `obsession` is the following: `an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person`s mind.` When I read this definition, I was reminded how often the Word of God speaks about the mind, and how it needs renewing and to be actively set upon the Lord. Romans 8:5-6 says, ‘Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.’ In the context of this scripture, it would greatly benefit us if the thoughts that continually preoccupied and intruded on our minds were rooted in God’s Word and prompted by His Spirit!

Jesus said that we should love Him with all our heart and soul and mind (Matthew 22:37). Every part of us should be affectionally drawn to and committed to our love for Him. God is not satisfied for us to know Him only on a consultation basis – only consulting Him when we need Him or need something from Him. He longs for a relationship where He really is our first and only. In fact, we read this profound statement in James 1:5 (AMPC) ‘The Spirit Whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit [to be welcome] with a jealous love?’ The Holy Spirit longs to be welcome with a jealous love, the kind of love that leaves no room for someone else to be more important than Him.

There is a very sobering portion of scripture in Revelation 2:1-6 where the Lord addressed the church in Ephesus. He commended them for their intolerance of evil and love for truth, for their perseverance, patience and hard work for His name’s sake. However, the Lord says the following to this church: “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Revelation 2:4). The Ephesian church was devoted to the truth and to doing the works, but their affection for God had grown cold. It’s like a wife who performs all the duties a wife should in order to keep her husband happy, but without a heartfelt love for him. God does not want our labour without our love.

I think it is important to regularly ask the Holy Spirit about the things that capture our affections and to ask Him to show us whether God still is our first love – our ‘heart’s obsession’ above all other things. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth, and He is faithful to do so if we come with open hearts to Him. I have been challenged to do so more often.

Prayer: Lord, Your Word says that You desire truth in the inner being (Psalm 51:6). Holy Spirit, please search my heart and bring Your light and truth concerning that which I have allowed to become more important than You. I lay it all down, Lord, and ask that You take pre-eminence in my life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Christel Baxter joined the Associate prayer ministry team at Shere House, S.Africa in 2008 after attending the 20 day school. Besides serving together on the associate team at Shere House, Christel & her husband, Gary, pastor New Life Ministries, a congregation in Boksburg, Gauteng. Their children, Liezl and Wesley, are both married, and they adore their son-in-law and daughter-in-law and their little granddaughter, Hannah! Christel is passionate about seeing broken lives restored and especially loves ministering God`s love and healing to women of all ages.


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