I am so nervous about posting this. I have never been so scared or worried about posting anything in my life. But I’m going to, because I think I need to.
These thoughts have been running around my head for weeks and weeks. They haven’t relented. And I need to say them. I have written and re written this so many times.
This is by no means an attack, a judgement of anyone. And I am mainly writing this for myself, because I know this is something I struggle with. And maybe you do too.. Please read to the very very end before commenting. Thank you.
I like tea. A lot. Give me black tea, ice tea, hot tea, green tea, strong tea, herbal tea. I’ll take it.
Just don’t ever give me lukewarm.
I hate lukewarm.
Jesus feels the same way.
Maybe not about tea, I don’t actually know about that.
He feels that way about His friends, His followers, His body.
There is a passage in scripture that makes me sit up. It makes me feel a little uncomfortable.
It’s in Revelation.
I know, Revelation is full of demons and vials and plagues and beasts. There is a lot of stuff to be kinda worried about in there, but it’s not one of those.
It’s chapters 2 & 3. Maybe another day I’ll talk about the whole of those chapters and what goes on in them, but today we are just talking about one bit.
Chapter 3 from v 15.
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
This passage scares me. More than anything else in this book.
Jesus is speaking to the church at Laodecia and he has something to say.
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Let’s just stop there.
Stop and read that. Just actually think about what is being said here.
Now think about this.
Is this, right here, talking about you?
Are you a lukewarm christian?
Would you want Jesus to say that verse to you?
If I am honest, truly deep down honest..
I am so very often lukewarm.
I’ll get hot sometimes, when I’m feeling close to God, when I feel like I’m walking well with Jesus, after a conference or a study weekend.
But I spend a lot of time in the lukewarm zone. Somewhere in the middle.
That is the very very worst place to be.
And that’s not something I said.
That’s what Jesus tells us.
He hates us being in that place. So much so he spits us out.
So much so that he says it’s better to be cold.
It’s better to be stone cold than be lukewarm.
Better that we didn’t claim to be christians.
That we didn’t give a half hearted attempt.
You see, he wants all of us. Every bit.
Not just our minds, our Sundays, $100 or a spare hour on Wednesday. He isn’t after half hearted, half baked followers.
He wants all in. He wants crazy about him, willing to leave all, staying til the last breathe people.
Here’s the thing though, we are talking about lukewarm people.
Not cold ones, not hot ones, lukewarm.
And this is where it gets tricky because we have gone beyond simply knowing.
Beyond the basics.
Its not “ have we heard about or read the bible” anymore.
It’s how often do you read it? And do you read because you LOVE to… or to check it off?
We aren’t at the stage where we are being introduced to the idea of praying. We are christians. We KNOW how to pray.
But do we?
Something I am always thinking about is this:
Am I truly giving him my all or just my leftovers?
There are so many areas of my life that I claim to be hot in that Jesus begs to differ on.
If you continue to read down that chapter, Jesus goes on.
Do you see what is happening that Jesus is trying to tell them, and us, about?
We think we are good, I mean look at us!
We are rich, we have friends, we have security, we have everything we need. We ‘know’ Jesus, we have all we need.
Not knowing that we are actually horrible, poor, naked and lukewarm.
We think we have all the good stuff. Life is going well. Blessing upon blessing. Possession upon possession.
And we have become more pitiable. More tepid. More blind to our temperature.
And Jesus has slipped further and further down our priority list.
And he tries, oh how he tries, to tell us.
He counsels us to change. To head his voice, to choose a side.
To buy clothes of white.
To make us clean and whole and on fire for Him.
How happy we are in our little lukewarm life.
To me, it’s not worth it. It’s simply not worth losing eternity for something as small as this.
When I picture myself there, face to face with him. I would be devastated.. actually no.. there is not a single word I could use to describe the feeling I would have if He said something like that to me.
“Oh Sharniie. How I tried. How I called you and begged you to change.
To become hot.
To see what I was trying to do.
I tried to clothe you, to heal you.
But you just didn’t listen. And you just sat in your lukewarm water with your lukewarm ways.
You just let me slip so so far down your list of things to do.”
Now, I pray I never have to ever hear those words, and that you would never have to hear them either.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am in no way suggesting we should be motivated by fear to do the right thing, or that we simply become robots and check every box.
Because fear is the worst motivator ever.
And that is NOT what he wants.
What makes us hot is our love.
Our absolute love and joy for our God, and our striving to be like His son.
It’s our pure and childlike faith and our wanting to obey.
And we show love to God & His Son by loving each other.
It’s simple really.
He tells us so. It comes down to this…
Love God. Love People.
Cultivate that love, grow that fire. Swim out of the lukewarm zone.
You know your life, your struggles and your lukewarm areas.
Take some time to asses them, to see them, to repair them.
Make sure that you’re not just talking, walking and preaching Jesus, but that you are hot, on fire for him.
Because he stands at the door, and he knocks.
He knocks hard.
This passage has a happy ending. Praise Him!
There is grace. There is love. There is mercy.
We need not be afraid or fear. He shows us what to do and gives us hope.
If we hear, and repent, and open up to him…
He WILL come to us and eat with us.
He WILL grant us to sit with HIM on HIS throne, just as he sat down at HIS FATHER’S throne.
What a beautiful picture. What a sure promise.
I have ears Lord, so I WILL listen.