by Kathi Pelton
For the past month I have been having the Lord take me back to the memories, the songs, the stories and the beauty of when I first knew came to know Jesus as my Savior. It truly was a “first love” encounter; I was experiencing such excitement, hope, joy and I was being overwhelmed with awe as I experienced new life.
I remember often saying to myself and those around me in those early days of knowing Jesus that I was sure that God was “cheating for me!” I would say that because He was continually rescuing me from my own lack of understanding, lack of knowledge and lack of wisdom. It was like having a jealous lover nearby all the time who would not let me go astray but pursued me day and night with such a lavishing of His love. His love overwhelmed me and caused me want to pursue Him with the same intensity that He was pursuing me with.
The gospel was such good news to me and I couldn’t get enough of it. The simplicity of His grace and the depths of His love that saved me was my breath and my song. The week that I fully gave my life to the Lord was the same week that I met my husband. During that first year of walking with Jesus I was in the midst of a double portion of “first love.” Everything was new and every day was marked by the excitement of newly discovered love.
It’s been 36 years since that time and there have been seasons where that love became too familiar to me; with both the Lord and my amazing husband. In those times I have chosen love and chosen covenant but felt far from the place of “first love.” Dreaming became more difficult and my “yes” to God became more of a default answer than a passion to pursue Him more.
If we are not careful, time can produce a sort of lethargy that numbs passion and weakens love. We can become familiar with the sound of His voice and lose the way that it once took our breath away. We can become familiar with His presence to the point that the awe of “God with us” is lost. But there are depths and mysteries yet to be discovered in His love.
During this past month I have sensed an awakening happening. It is as if the prince has arrived to kiss Sleeping Beauty and awaken her to first love once again. I sense the kiss of God coming upon His Bride that will break the spell of slumber and the dullness of familiarity off of her so that she becomes alive and in love once again.
I have had many moments over the past few weeks that I feel the excitement of first love the way I did when I was an 18 year old new believer. The simplicity of His grace and wonder of His love feels so near; almost like I’ve come full circle back to the place that I once began. I have a sense that I will be saying to myself (and many of you will be saying to yourselves), “God is cheating for me!” For He will once again surprise you with what He does and how He moves on your behalf.
We will stand in awe of His pursuit and we will not be able to hold back from telling others about the One that we love and how well He loves us. He will overwhelm you with how He moves and how He causes your “Yes” to be from a place of deep desire rather than daunting duty.
One of my friends and I keep saying to each other (since mid-February) that we feel like Alice in Wonderland…we’ve gone down the rabbit hole and find ourselves living in a continuous journey of “awe and wonder” once again. Of course there are still trials that we face and days of difficulties but they are continually being overcome by “signs and wonders” that we aren’t even looking for.
There are themes that we will see emerging in these days such as first love, awe, awakening, full circle, signs and wonders and convergences. This awakening will be a renewal; a renewal of love, of youthfulness, of passion and of strength.
Isaiah 40 has stood out to me and the end of it is part of this awakening,
“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31
It is time to run again! It is time to receive first love’s kiss that will awaken you to an “all things new” season. What joy we will feel once again!
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