Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.
- 1 Timothy 4:16
In Revelation 2, Jesus warned the Ephesian church they had left their first love. We may wonder, Is it that big of a deal to leave your first love? It is not as though the Ephesians did something really bad, such as murdering or stealing or committing adultery.
But it is a big deal, because it is a breakdown here that leads to other things there. If we have a breakdown in one area of our lives, we might find ourselves going in the wrong direction.
For example, you can be in the best shape outwardly, but if you have heart disease, you have a problem. The same can be true of our spiritual lives. We can do all of the right things outwardly and yet have a heart issue. And if there is a breakdown in our hearts, it will affect every area of our lives.
A perfect example is David, the great king of Israel. When we are first introduced to him, he is a young man out in the fields with his sheep, composing beautiful worship songs to God. Many of these are recorded in the book of Psalms. It was David who wrote Psalm 23: "The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. . . . ." We read these beautiful songs and see that he had a heart toward God. That is why the Bible describes him as the sweet psalmist of Israel and the man after God's own heart.
So how do you go from worshipping God in the wilderness to eventually murdering a man and taking his wife? David left his first love, that is how.
When you leave your first love, when there is that spiritual breakdown, it is only a matter of time until other problems follow.