by Sharon Dee
Imagine you are diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and you’re told you have a few months to live, what would you do differently?
Would you run around to seek a cure?
Would you hasten to make amends to areas of your life that are wanting? What would you do?
Recently, I was diagnosed with “Lukewarmness”. It took the Holy Spirit to reveal to me the precariousness of a situation where a Christian is lukewarm. Because it’s not very symptomatic, it becomes very difficult to know how severe it is. Similar to how a person with HIV could live many years without being aware of the seriousness of his/her infection if they don’t get tested, so is a lukewarm Christian. A lukewarm Christian can appear healthy on the outside- He/she can go to church regularly, speak in tongues whenever the opportunity for it arises, quote scriptures fluidly, have some revelation/discernment of spirits occasionally. Yet, at the very best, they are Lukewarm, and never HOT.
In case you’re wondering if you’re hot/lukewarm/ cold, I’ll list a few symptoms of a lukewarm Christian (as experienced by me):
1. You read your bible and devotional daily- but as soon as you’re done, you cannot recollect what you read, what the main point of the scriptures you read was, and what the Holy Spirit is saying to you.
2. Your prayer life is routinely the same: Thanksgiving, prayer for family/friends, for work, and that good comes to you.
3. You spend more time thinking and doing things that pertain to your daily labor, versus, the things that pertain to the kingdom of God.
4. Sin in your life isn’t to be judged too badly, you keep repenting of the same things over and over, yet, there are no permanent changes in those areas – you believe you’re a good person striving for perfection.
5. You believe that God sees your heart and he understands how busy things are for you and at a later point in the future, your life will suddenly become HOT, but not today.
6. You look to Google to answer questions about faith first, before checking and searching the scriptures.
Jesus said in Revelation 3:15-17;
15. “I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! 16. So because you are lukewarm- neither hot nor cold- I am about to vomit you out of my mouth. 17. You say, ‘I am rich; I have grown wealthy and need nothing.’ But do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.
A couple of things to note about this passage:
1. In verse 15, there’s an exclamation that almost seems like he was screaming or loudly talking about this. His deep wish for a different state is strongly emphasized here.
2. Normally, you spit out disgusting and irritating things from your mouth. Contrary to the popular opinion of a lukewarm Christian that – “God understands”, “it’s okay”, the struggling and imperfect rising and falling in your life, it is, in fact, an irritating state, one that brings about deep repulsion to Jesus. It is not a pleasing state to him at all- It is not acceptable.
3. There’s also the warped perception where a lukewarm Christian thinks he/she is rich, wealthy, and needs nothing- but in reality, that Christian is wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. Lukewarmness leaves you in an alternative reality world, so you almost never suspect that anything is wrong with you. This is the state the enemy wants you in this “ Neverland”.
My realization of the state of things made me wonder, what then is the solution? As I pondered, my mind was taken to verse 16 of the earlier passage, where it says “I am about to vomit you out of my mouth”. I had to check it across a number of versions, to be sure it was “about to” and not “ I have”. So there’s a warning. A yellow card. An opportunity. All hope isn’t lost at least- *sighs*.
Going further into the passage in vs 18-19, 18. “I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”
So back to my initial questions, what would you do, O lukewarm Christian, if you realize the precariousness of your ailment?
Jesus is offering an invitation to make your “warped reality” the “true reality” of your life. He wants to make you truly rich (in him). He wants you to be white and live sinless (this too is possible). He wants to open your eyes (that you may see him as he truly his, you may realize your purpose which you’ve been wondering what it is for so long). Most importantly he LOVES you.
Simply repent…tell him the situation of things and ask him to renew your fellowship with him.
Dear Lord, for everyone who is living in “Neverland”, let your Holy Spirit convict and convince them of the true realities of their lives. Lord, you’ve been changing lives since the beginning of time, let all who seek you and turn from their lukewarmness with renewed fire. Let them feel the love and joy that comes from knowing and living truly in Christ daily. Strengthen them and keep them from the evil one.