“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen – the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation:
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me – gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches.”
(Revelation 3:14-22, New Living Translation)
I sure wish I could tell you that this was going to be a warm and fuzzy message.
But it’s not. Sorry.
I, too, prefer feel-good, faith and victory, foot-stomping happy words.
But this one is not.
The Lord led me to these verses this morning. I have mulled over them all day, trying my best not to address the issues they refer to. But God wouldn’t let me drop it. So…as much as I encourage you to walk in obedience, I must do the same.
I believe the Lord’s motive is to cause us to THINK, to ponder, to examine our hearts, not for the purpose of condemnation. No! For the purpose of a Father’s love. Much of the world is in turmoil. Natural disasters seem to be happening weekly. America as we know it is fading away. We, as Christians, are on the verge of understanding the cost of discipleship like never before.
And that is why our Heavenly Father wants to shine His Light on our heart condition.
If there ever was a time to make a stand for Christ, it is now. We must know the One in Whom we have believed. We must make Him Lord of our lives – not just Savior. Walking down the aisle to the altar is not enough. It is the beginning, but it is not enough. Jesus wants to be LORD – ruler, the authority – of our heart.
I’ve been thinking all day about God choosing the word “lukewarm” and what exactly that means. Someone the Lord considers to be “hot” or “cold” is, I think, self-explanatory. “Hot” is a person who is on fire for God – sold out, devoted through thick and thin. Someone that is “cold” has no relationship with the Lord, so therefore can still be wooed by the Holy Spirit.
I wonder if “lukewarm” might be someone who is self-righteous? I can’t say that for sure, but it definitely makes sense. I believe a self-righteous person holds one of the most dangerous positions before God. A self-righteous person goes through all the motions of Christianity, but without really knowing God. God is kept at arm’s length. The relationship with the Lord is carnal – head knowledge, not heart knowledge.
A self-righteous person has not been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
A self-righteous person has hardened their heart against the Word of God.
Verse 19 reads, “I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.”
This is why the Lord has such a strong word for us today. It is because He loves us and wants us to spend eternity with Him. The Body of Christ must begin to understand the need for holiness, for serious pursuit of righteousness. Jesus is preparing His Bride for that great and glorious Day of His coming.
Please, do not reject the Word of the Lord. Possibly you are very committed to Him, devoted to His service, acknowledge Him as Lord and yet there are areas in your life that are not surrendered to Him.
I KNOW, because I’m right there with you. I know that there are STILL things in my life that are not surrendered to His Lordship. Maybe these areas could be considered “lukewarm”. MAYBE God would label these areas as self-righteous because I am trying to conquer things on my own rather than place them under the Blood of Jesus.
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches” (Verse 22).
OUCH! That one hurt, Lord. But I know it is for our own good and it comes from a place of love. You are calling us to a higher standard. You are calling us to holiness. Open our eyes that we might see and understand how important it is to make You Lord. Only with YOU will we be able to withstand the coming days. We want to honor You, Lord and glorify Your Holy Name. Create in us a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within us. Shine Your Light on any areas in our heart that is not submitted to You. Forgive us for any self-righteousness that we try to hide from You. Have mercy on us, Father. Have mercy.