I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
I have been thinking about Jesus's stern warning to the church at Ephesus. Actually, the Lord has brought it up to me for several months now. Now that I have been a Christian for several years, I see why the Bible warns the Christian so frequently to watch, stand fast, guard our hearts, hold on, not grow weary, and the like: it is so easy to drift back to our old ways, to get in the "old man's" skin again, to be 'busy' and practically forget about God. Reminds me of the parable of the sower: some seeds were choked by the weeds, the cares of this life.
You know where I really see this in my own life? When I go without daily reading the Word and daily having time alone with God. I am absolutely convinced that this is the Christian's sustenance. And it's not the same to "talk about" God or to "read about" God. No other word is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword (Heb 4:12). I do plenty of reading and talking "about" Him, but if I have not spent time with God, I am empty, parched, a wilting flower.
I think that many American Christians have an erroneous concept of repentance: that it is something done once, and then is unnecessary to do again. Like it's a one-time event, and ever afterwards, "Oh, I've done that." On the contrary; repentance must be happening whenever we stumble, whenever we see that we have strayed from the narrow path Jesus told us about. Repentance, which means "to turn" and implies change, is a gift that renews us through the blood of Christ.
I need renewal. There is no substitute for God: not church, not programs, not books, not blogs. I need Him, and so do you.