to Our First Love”
By Anne Ballard
In this season God is stirring up a longing for His people
to return to Him. He is revealing the areas of our lives where we haven’t fully trusted Him and asking us to surrender them. He wants to breathe fresh life into us, reignite us with inspiration and passion, and invite us to dream with Him again. The
lives of others will be changed as they are drawn in by the fruit of God’s love and humility that invades our lives. It’s a new season – God is speaking in new ways and giving His people fresh, new vision as we gather together and seek what
He is doing this year.
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord Himself, is my strength
and my defense; He has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2)
Most Christians would say that they trust God, but what that means from person to person varies greatly. Perhaps you (or someone you know)
have been in seasons where you had to live by faith; maybe you were without a job and living on support or donations, or you were without a home and you were reliant on people offering you a place to stay. Maybe you would never do that because you view that
as irresponsible. We all have different thresholds, and the lessons that God is teaching us vary greatly from person to person.
In our world today different things can bring us security, comfort or peace
of mind. For some people it could be something as simple as a reliable vehicle, job stability, a certain sized savings account, extra food or guns. While none of those things are necessarily wrong, for some of us there’s a subtle transition between putting
our trust in those things rather than putting our trust solely in the Lord. How much is too much? I would say it’s the amount that causes us to not trust God anymore. When we no longer live a life where we have to lean on Him, we start to lean on our
We were created to dream with God, and to live supernatural lives. Is there wisdom in doing some of those things? Certainly, but God wants us to be relying on Him to direct us and relying
on Him to sustain us. When we’re only doing things out of what we feel is practical, we are not actively partnering with and relying on God to lead us. This often masquerades as being a good steward when it’s actually not coming from a place of
faith at all. When we truly trust God from a place of deep intimacy we are not as prone to worry, even in tumultuous times.
What is God doing right now? He’s revealing the areas of our lives where
we don’t fully trust Him and asking us to give those to Him. This word is for people that don’t have dreams that are bigger than themselves. It’s for people who don’t require God to show up because they can accomplish everything all
on their own.
When you feel afraid, what is your first go-to? God desires to have us come to Him when we are feeling afraid rather than going to our practical needs. For example, if you are afraid because
you don’t have money to pay your bills, God wants you to come to Him first, rather than getting a second job (to have more money). Maybe He will lead you to do that very thing, but He wants you to come to Him first.
If you feel this word is for you, ask yourself, “WHY do I need _____________(fill in the blank)?” Process this with the Lord. Ask God to give you a dream or a word that is an undeniable invitation to partner with Him. Set your mind and
heart’s focus on a Kingdom worldview and not just your physical worldview.
Here are some questions to ponder and process with God: Was Jesus practical? Can you be too supernatural? As you
look through Scripture, you’ll find Jesus addressed practical needs in a supernatural way. How did Jesus live His life? How did He meet problems or needs? Was He a good steward?
Returning to Our
Hosanna by Hillsong United (a portion of the lyrics), written by Brooke Fraser:
I see a generation
Rising up to
take their place
With selfless faith lighthouse,
With selfless faith
I see a near revival
Stirring as we pray and seek
We’re on our knees
We’re on our knees
…Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause
As I walk from Earth into Eternity
Imagine a lighthouse. What is a lighthouse? A lighthouse provides light in the midst of darkness, and even distress. It brings direction and safety. God is
calling the Church to be reestablished around the world. We are called to be a light in the darkness and a safe place for others. The lyrics of this song paint a beautiful picture of how the Church is a lighthouse to the world. What if God was raising up a
generation to take their place with selfless faith? What if there was a near revival, stirring when we pray and seek? What if we as the Body of Christ were contending for God to break our hearts for what breaks His?
God is stirring up a longing for His people to return to Him. He is releasing a deeper level of intimacy than we’ve known before. Many will be awakened to a fresh encounter with Him. This word is for people that are experiencing a lack of
passion in life, in their relationship with God and possibly in their relationship with others. They are just “going through the motions.” They’ve been feeling this way for a while. If this is you, try spending some time with the Lord.
The Church getting reestablished as a lighthouse to the world will happen when the Church returns to their first love. When we can come into God’s presence in humility, just to be with Him, He breathes life into
us. We become filled with inspiration and passion as we start dreaming with God again. It’s from this place that we draw others to the truth of who God is, and to the light of His love.
“Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)
The Church should be the healthiest group of people on the planet, but the enemy has sought to sabotage it, divide it and break it down. The religious spirit has crept in and created complacency, pride, judgment, a critical spirit and performance
amongst a body of people that were created to champion one another. This spirit has caused Believers to think they don’t need to grow (pride).
Why is there a lack of people sharing the Gospel? Why
aren’t more Believers passionate about seeing others saved? Is it because they haven’t been radically saved themselves? Or are they doing it out of a place of performance? There is a harvest of souls coming out of a movement of humility. This movement
is bypassing the pride and ugliness that the religious spirit has snuck into the Body, so that the truth of what Christ has done for you is on display more than what you have done and can do. When we are reconnected to the personal sacrifice that Jesus made
for each of us, we are able to share our faith out of that place which is undeniably appealing.
God is bringing conviction to places of pride and releasing forgiveness and love to those who have
repentant hearts. In keeping our hearts tender we allow God access to mold us and shape us to be more like Him. Some of you may have been convicted recently about the fruit of your life and you want to see that change. If that is you, then God wants to use
Perhaps you’ve seen judgment, a critical spirit, lack of compassion or grace within your own heart and you’d like to see that change. Not only are you miserable, but you’re having
trouble drawing others to you. It’s time to humble yourself. Realize that it is the Holy Spirit that wins souls, but your part is to be authentic in how God has moved in your life. Others’ lives will be changed because they see the fruit of God’s
love and forgiveness through you, and they are drawn in by that kind of humility and authenticity.
“For where two or three gather
in My name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)
2020 was a wild year and the enemy was on a mission to divide us. Now is the time to undo what he tried to do by uniting together. It’s a
new season and when that’s the case, we can’t expect God to speak to us as He always has. He’s speaking in new ways. Some of you may feel stuck. When you try and try over and over and it’s not working, then go back to the basics; physical
acts of worship or reading your Bible can shift things in the spirit.
God is giving us a new perspective – fresh vision – to help us see things differently. If you’ve been feeling stuck
and like things just aren’t working, this word is for you. You may keep trying, but no matter what you try you aren’t having success doing things the way you’ve always done them. It’s not hard to receive what God has for you. Worship
Him with your whole heart and be open minded in how to receive from Him in this fresh, new season.
As we trade in the old from this year and reunite with our first love, we can look ahead with anticipation
and hope that God has good things in store for His people. Open your hands, your minds and your hearts, as He has been preparing you for the blessings He wants to pour out!
1. I trust God radically and He meets me supernaturally.
2. I am returning to my first love.
3. The fruit of my life
is humility and authenticity.
4. God releases fresh vision when I feel stuck.
5. God is speaking to me in new ways that I can hear and
By Anne Ballard
The Crowning Jewels