As August quickly moves into the Mid-Atlantic, our household is experiencing the summer version of a hibernation. This past week we have hunkered down and become air-conditioning dependent home-dwellers. If it’s 105 degrees in July, what in the world is August, the hot month, going to feel like?!
What’s worse than going out into a 105-degree sauna? Going out dressed for work and wearing heels and spanks! As if it’s not bad enough publicly perspiring and having instant bad hair. “Oh, let me just squeeze into this size 0 torture girdle and go outside and test my survival skills.” A sure ticket to passing out in public.
Forget Vanity! I’ve decided that self-preservation is in order. My new uniform… very light sleeve-less t-shirts paired with shorts or skorts. Fit flops are a must because if you wear them, you stay fit. Socks and shoes are too seaty. Going out somewhere? Dress it up with earrings and lipstick.
Inside, after a while, it gets too cold so I put on my favorite sweat-shirt. Outside too hot… whip off my favorite sweatshirt. Ugh, why do the three little bears come to mind? Too cold, too hot? I just want to be lukewarm! Is that too much to ask? (I realize that we are indeed blessed to have air-conditioning so try not to judge me too harshly.)
My need to find this comfortable in-between temperature reminded me of a Bible passage that has often baffled me at best and at worst, made me feel unworthy of my relationship with Christ.
“I know your works; 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 going to spit you out.” Revelation 3:15-16
In the context of this passage, lukewarm means; “self-righteous” feeling arrogantly content with our own good deeds and good life. A person with no need for a savior.” In other words, “I got this God.”
The prodigal son (a good example of cold believer) hit bottom in a pigsty and realized how good his father was. He grasps his need for saving and comes back home. The “hot believer” is one who realizes their neediness and consequently depends on God to burn away their impurities and become a loving part of a whole with God. A relationship. See the similarities? Both cold and hot recognize the need for God. The lukewarm person is like “milk-toast” and their self-righteousness will most likely keep them from ever seeing their deepest need for a savior.
I always thought that because my life had more than its fill of repeated mistakes and battles that perhaps I was not good enough for Jesus. I was harmfully classifying myself as that lukewarm believer. There are so many people out there doing so many “good” things, and I’m just plain old fallible me. It turns out, God wants “just me”. The good me will only be revealed through that relationship. Phew, I can stop sweating it out now!
This week take a close look at the temperature of your relationship with God. Who is in charge?
Post Script: After writing this post, we had an enormous thunder storm and it felt like a fever had broken!
“If you live by the spirit, let us also walk by the spirit.” Galatians 5:25
“Having the appearance of godliness but denying its power. Avoid such people.” 2 Timothy 3:5
“Both hot and cold Christians see need, insufficiency and helplessness. The fatal condition is to be needy while depending on your own righteousness. The lukewarm Christian is one who says, “God must be pleased with my devoted church attendance.” Eric Pazdziora~ “The myth of the lukewarm Christian”
“We can never be worthy on our own. But many believers allow Satan to rob them of precious life by believing his lies about how God sees them. They believe they can never be worthy in his sight.” David Wilkerson ~ “Who Told You You Were Unworthy?”