Eye of the Tiger
May 19, 2020, 5:00 AM

If you answer the question, 'What is the best movie ever?' with anything other than a Sylvester Stallone movie, and most specifically 1982's "Rocky III", you would be wrong.  At least, that is what my childhood self would have argued.  I have since learned (I'm almost 41 now) that better movies have been made.  What probably no other movie has ever matched within me, though, is the enthusiasm and drive that I felt as a little boy watching 'The Italian Stallion' defeat superior opponents based primarily on one thing...he was hungrier than they were! (looking back on it now, I kinda think I thought I was Rocky Balboa because I was always smaller than the other guy, too)

A low point came when Balboa lost his manager and his World Heavyweight Title in the same night.  He was down, and seemingly out, until Apollo Creed took him back in time, to his old gym, and reminded Rocky that he had lost the hunger that he previously had.  He had lost the "Eye of the Tiger"!  After some soul-searching and some bold truth spoken to him by his wife, Adrian, Rocky regained his hunger and became a champion again.

Rocky's battle is fictional, but it is not unlike the actual spiritual battle that you and I face.  The reality is, we can, and do, lose our hunger for Jesus at times.  So, I have some timely questions for you...Has your appetite for the things of God gone away?  If so, Are you ok with that?  If that is not ok with you, then what can you do to become hungry again?

Thankfully, we have the Scripture to guide us!  Jesus informs the church at Ephesus that they have no love or hunger for Him any longer (Revelation 2:4-5).  Not only that, but He tells them that if something doesn't change, they are dangerously close to permanently losing something of great value that He has given to them...He is going to take away their ability and position to be His representatives as witnesses (their lampstand).  The remedy that Jesus prescribes is to:

  1. Consider how far you have fallen -
    • (realize your ineptitude and apathetic attitude by taking stock of your spiritual condition)
  2. Repent
    • (turn away from this sinful, wrong and ineffective way) 
  3. Do the things you did at first -
    • (begin to do the simple things you did back when you first fell in love with Jesus)

So there you have it!  It isn't complicated.  I encourage you not to doubt His process.  He is faithful and will uphold His end of the deal, but you will have to do it His way...no shortcuts allowed!  After realizing your lack of appetite for Him, you must REPENT (because you have sinned against Him) and then you must forsake everything else, if necessary, to make time to spend ALONE with Him.

Group Bible Studies and corporate Worship Services are not what you need.  Fellowship and interaction with like-minded believers isn't the solution, either.  Neither will an emotional spiritual high work because this is no quick fix.  What you need is intimacy with Jesus!  What you need is to KNOW and BE KNOWN by the God who made the universe!

I have lived long enough (as you probably have, too) now to know that you don't truly love someone until you have been through high times, low times, and seemingly boring times with them.  Loving Jesus is no different.  Look at Him in His Word (try reading Psalm 119 for inspiration).  Do it enough and you will become hungry for Him again!

Jesus, please help me love you!

Pastor Jeremy