I have been struggling so much lately with a few things but one of them is knowing the difference between waiting on God and becoming complacent. I have read several different passages to try and sort it out and this is one of the chapters I came across. It is one of the scariest passages in the bible that I have read, and it is found in Revelation 3:15-16. It is Jesus talking to one of the wealthiest churches called Laodicea. Here is what it says, “I Know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold- I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” In this entire chapter, an exclamation mark is used only three times. The other two sentences using exclamation marks say, “Wake up!” and “Here I am!”
I imagine the seriousness and urgency in Jesus’s voice and that is more than enough to get my attention. I forget sometimes that we worship the exact same God that the people of the bible do. When there are red letters in the bible and Jesus is speaking, the meaning of the words is no less important today than they were the day he spoke them.
The reason this chapter captures my attention is because lukewarm is the most comfortable place to live. It is the place that I have found myself living all too often. Lukewarm means I get to have my cake and eat it too. Who doesn’t love a big piece of chocolate cake with a tall glass of Ice-cold milk to wash it down? I don’t want lukewarm milk to wash it down because that wouldn’t even come close to having the same effect. One of my favorite scenes in the movie War Room is when Ms. Clara serves Elizabeth lukewarm coffee and tells her she must like her coffee the way she likes her spiritual life. HOT!!
Lukewarm means we get to go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays and live however we want to the rest of the week. It means we can have faith in God when we need something, but we don’t rely on him for everything. It means we know he is asking us to slow down on the drinking, the hooking up, the financial spending which is sending us into debt that we may never get out of. Yet we continue doing it because God forgives, and we will ask for forgiveness when we get done meeting our own needs. It means we stop seeking God when what he would ask of us to do and what we want to do are different. We want enough Jesus to get us through the tough times but never enough to actually change our daily actions. We stick him in his genie bottle and rub it when times are tough and then place back on the shelf as soon as the waves stop rocking our boat.
What alarms me is that he says he would rather us be cold than lukewarm. (Heart drop) He would rather us walk away completely than be one foot in. Have you ever had friendships that have been lukewarm? They call when they need you but as soon as they get what they need from you, you don’t hear from them again until the next emergency? I can’t tell you how many times I have said, “I wish they would either come or go away but at least be consistent.” I can’t imagine how much it hurts God when I live in the lukewarm comfort of my faith. When I have one foot in and one foot out. When I think things like, “if you were listening God, I already told you what I wanted.” When I know good and well that what I have wanted has turned out to be disastrous so many times in the past. Or when I know he is asking me to make a change and I refuse to do so because it takes me out of comfort zone. The worst must be when we depend on something else for comfort instead of fully relying him in the first place. For me, It used to be alcohol and sex but now it’s often other people. I turn to them for advice instead of asking him…. ESPECIALLY when I know what he is about to tell me isn’t going to be to my liking.
As a culture we are so lukewarm. We want to pray as a nation when we have natural disaster but as soon as the flooding, fire, terrorist attack, or war stops we go right back to asking God to leave our schools and government buildings. I feel like this chapter leapt off the page as a reminder to me to WAKE UP!! Jesus is yelling, “HERE I AM! Focus on me!” His urgency for us to turn to from the world’s definition of success and happiness to his never changes. We have a limited time to live here on this earth until our eternal destination is determined. Heaven and hell both exist, and we are going to one or another. I must work every single day to deny this world for what I know serves me the best eternally.
Am I becoming complacent or am I waiting in God? Honestly, I don’t know but what I do know, is that I never want God to mutter the words, “I will spit you out of my mouth” to become my reality. So, today I will do everything I can to act upon what I believe he has asked of me TODAY and I will work on tomorrow when it comes. God is so gracious but he is also just. I love how much he loves and cherishes me. That he would desire my whole heart so much that he is willing to be stern in his speech so that I remember how much my daily life must depend on HIM! I wonder what impact God has had on your life? Has it been enough to pick up that back foot that is dragging in the comfort zone of this world and place it with the front foot so that you can go from a lukewarm to a HOT relationship with God? My dear friend, You are so loved! Have the best week and remember to stay alert for the blessings all around you!