So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
I love tea (In Kiswahili “chai” = water+ milk + tea leaves+ spices+ sugar) with the same passion that many Americans love coffee. Growing up in Kenya, I got used to drinking steaming hot tea every day. It was always hot, never cold. And so, as I was walking around a local store in Grand Rapids recently, I saw a sign inviting guests to try some “chai.” Curious to find out whether it tasted the same as the tea I was used to, I took a sample cup, brought it to my lips and then wished I hadn’t. The tea was lukewarm, and lacked the rich aroma and texture I had anticipated, and remembered from my past. In fact, the tea nauseated me. Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience with some food or beverage.
Speaking to the Church in Laodicea, God offers a stern rebuke of their spiritual condition. He calls them “lukewarm.” They were neither here nor there. At least cold would imply they were refreshing, and hot would signify some passion. This church was neither; they were lukewarm and because of their “sit on the fence” brand of faith, God found them nauseating and was about to spit them out of his mouth. This is a dire warning that they are about to lose their heavenly blessings. Repentance (a complete about turn) is the only way back to intimacy with God. Friend, how is your walk with God? Are you hot? Are you cold? Are you lukewarm? Do you please or nauseate God? Do you need to repent?
My experience with a lukewarm cup of tea did not interfere with my love for tea. I still love a hot cup of aromatic tea. Likewise, God’s temporary nausea does not change his love for you. His love for you is eternal. Finding intimacy with him is a different story. Intimacy is not achieved by routine religiosity but by a heart that is passionately seeking to be in relationship with him; a heart that desires to be in his will. A lukewarm state can be eliminated by a simple decision, …repentance. Repentance heats up humanity’s relationship with God. Repentance takes you from lukewarm to hot! Repentance assures intimacy with God and all the accompanying blessings of heaven.
Today, God stands at the door and knocks; do you hear him? Will you open the door or will you continue to straddle the fence? Are you living the life he sacrificed his life for? So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts….”
Loving and merciful Savior, forgive me for honoring you with my lips and yet living a life that is far from you. I know you sent the Holy Spirit to help me live a life that is bold; a life that brings you glory. Take control over me today, and help me walk in your will. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.