For many of us, this week has been especially cold! Kids have stayed home from school, and parents have worked from home. For those of us who don’t usually experience temperatures in the single digits, we have had to learn how to truly winterize our homes and our cars. The cold can be such an utterly destructive force of nature!
This weather got me thinking about our relationship with God, and how Jesus tells us that, spiritually, we can be hot, cold or lukewarm…
I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16)
In the original Greek, to “spit out” actually means to vomit. What does it mean for us to be spiritually hot, cold or lukewarm?
Let’s start with cold. A person who is spiritually cold probably has no relationship with God. Maybe they have never known the God of Creation much less Jesus the Redeemer. They are lost and in need of hearing the Good News!
So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.
To be spiritually hot would then mean having a passion for the Lord! You are growing in your faith and relationship. Probably not perfect, but focusing on what Jesus has instructed us to do.
We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. (2 Thessalonians 3)
If a person is lukewarm in their faith, they are drifting away from the Truth of who Christ is. Maybe they have opened their hearts up to lies of the enemy and in doing so, have lost their footing…their focus.
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. (Hebrews 2:1)
When I was a little girl, I loved to float in the pool. If you’ve ever done this before, you know how relaxing it can be. But once you open up your eyes, it can be surprising how far you’ve drifted from your starting point! Spiritually, that can happen. It does happen. And it happens pretty easily and effortlessly!
God makes it clear that He doesn’t want us to drift away from Him. He desires a relationship with us, which grows stronger and deeper.
Is there a barrier that might be preventing you, or someone you dearly love from growing hot in their spirituality? Barriers can be things that we seldom think about, but which have huge influences in our lives. Spiritual barriers can be things like: materialism, pride, laziness, sexual immorality, envy, anger, revenge, or self-centeredness.
We usually don’t think of our children falling into the category of being “lukewarm” spiritually. Kids are generally all or nothing! But the danger is when our own lukewarm approach to a relationship with God becomes what they think is the same way they should also approach their personal relationship with God. Before you know it, that adorable preschooler is going to be at an age where they’re making very important choices for themselves! Have they learned to trust God in all things? Do they know that they are precious and abundantly loved by God? Have they asked Jesus to live in their hearts, seeking His forgiveness and becoming a new creation in Him?
Now is definitely not the time to be lukewarm. Don’t allow yourself to drift away from the Truth, which is Jesus. Yes, open up your Bible and reacquaint yourself with God’s Word, and know that whatever He says, He is faithful to!
Today, as many of us are enjoying a cup of hot tea or some hot soup to ward off the chill, use that lovely warmth to remind yourself of what it means to be spiritually hot. Growing in relationship, learning about and loving a God who absolutely adores you!!
Lisa Strnad is a weekly contributor to the What’s in the Bible and JellyTelly blogs. She is a homeschooling mom of two, who works independent contractor in Christian media as a writer, marketing consultant, and public relations specialist. She speaks to Christian women’s groups on the issues of motherhood, home schooling and raising a child with special needs. Lisa and her family make their home in Nashville. Her blog, Talking Like A Girl, is currently being restructured.