Sadly, this is often the case with the things the Lord has given us to do. We start out so excited to do His bidding. The reason for the excitement is the appreciation we have for what He has done for us (cf. 1 Jn. 4:19). If we ever detach our worship and service to God from a deep, abiding sense of gratitude, our efforts are destined to fail. A couple of biblical examples will help bring this into clear view.
In Ezra 1:1-11, the people of Judah were allowed to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the house of God. In this context, they were eager to return and worship God as before. Others who did not return were happy to give of their goods to help in the effort. The worship of the people of God was quickly restored, and the temple restoration began shortly thereafter (Ezra 3:1-13). This was a time of great emotional upheaval as joy and sorrow were intermingled. By and large, though, they were ecstatic.
Sadly, the project which began with such promise soon stalled. In Ezra 4, some enemies of the Lord opposed the project, and the people of Judah quickly gave up on it. At this point, the prophets Haggai and Zechariah were dispatched to reinvigorate the effort. Haggai 1:1-3 explains that they were easily deterred from serving God by their own comforts. They got comfortable in their “paneled houses” and decided it was not the time to rebuild God’s house. It became “ho hum” for them. Fortunately, Haggai rekindled the fire in them and the project was finally completed after a years-long delay.
A couple generations later, Malachi had to reinvigorate God’s people once again. In this situation, they continued worshipping God, but they failed to do so properly. They were offering blemished sacrifices on the altar which was a blatant disregard for the covenant they received through Moses (Mal. 1:6-8; Lev. 22:17-24). God would have preferred no worship at all (Mal. 1:9-11). Why were they so reckless in their sacrifices to God? In Malachi 1:12-13, they had come to regard the sacrifices of God as “contemptible” saying “Oh, what a weariness!” They sneered at the service they were given to do. Their worship had become “ho hum.”
In Revelation 2:1-7, Jesus confronted the church at Ephesus for having left their first love. They were still doing much of what the Lord demanded. The issue was their hearts were not in it as they once were. It had become “ho hum.” The danger this presented was that Jesus would eventually remove their lampstand which represented the severing of their connection to Him. They had to repent and return to their first love. We must be diligent that our worship and service to God not become “ho hum.” Our lampstand may be removed from His presence too. Let us give our whole selves to Him, so we may rest assured that our sacrifices are pleasing to Him (1 Pt. 2:4-5).