Are You Becoming Lukewarm?
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
We’ve heard about the lukewarm Christian many times in the past. We’ve read this scripture countless times and the words seem to ring in our head “nope, that’s not me. I go to church, I give my tithe, I give some time, I help others when I need to, I don’t swear, I don’t drink or take drugs.” and so on. In retrospect, we say the ever popular “L.I.G….Life is good”. Although that is good, there is something missing.
We are in an important time in life where the world around us is changing on a faster pace than ever and the prophecies in the Bible are becoming more prevalent. We are in a time where the Lord is sending many red flags and warnings but the question is, are we listening to them? Are we seeing them? God is putting up signs everywhere but are we seeing them or driving right by them, distracted by our thoughts of family situations, work, what other people have said or have done to us, financial issues, materialism, etc. It’s time to take a closer look at the word “lukewarm” and how it can apply to our spiritual life.
The dictionary states that lukewarm means:
“having or showing little ardor, zeal, or enthusiasm; indifferent”.
So, for a Christian, where we once showed great enthusiasm in being with the Lord, doing His work and fellowshipping with others, we now make excuses to stay home in our own comfort zone or to do our own thing. The things we once loved to do now have become a chore. We make excuses not to help others, not to go to church, not to attend Bible study, and even become disinterested in working within our ministry. When we read the paper or watch the news and see travesties happening all over the world, we turn the page or flip the channel thinking “man, how sad” and maybe even shoot up a quick prayer “God, help those people” and continue on in our own comfort of reading or watching tv, showing or feeling no real emotion towards what we are seeing or hearing. We become numb to the things around us that used to set us on fire in prayer such as abortion, sexual immorality, salvation for those in our community. Where we once had patience, love and forgiveness we now find we are pointing a critical finger at others who do wrong or are struggling and watch their every move. Where we once made time for God through prayer, Bible reading and to receive His counsel, we now find ourselves fitting Him in, a few minutes a day, just to say “hey, I’m still here. I love ya. Could you please help me out with this problem? Thanks!” Where our spirit once rejoiced at being with the Lord, it barely lets out a peep. We do what we can to just get by thinking it’s enough. We refrain from spreading the Word of God to others just so we don’t have to deal with the flack anymore. We begin to make excuses for others who we know are doing wrong but can’t bring ourselves to talk to them or even pray for them. Where we once had joy and positive words for others, we now can’t even raise a smile and can only speak words with little to no emotion in them. Numb…numb…numb.
Am I hitting a nerve yet? Are you seeing any red flags in your own life?
There are many more symptoms of a lukewarm Christian but it would take up pages to write. Easier would be to look it up online as there are plenty of examples out there. A lukewarm Christian is a numb Christian. What is a numb Christian? Numb, according to the dictionary, states the following:
“Lacking or deficient in emotion or feeling; indifferent”
There is a common word defining lukewarm and numb…do you see it? The word is “indifferent”. Indifferent means to be without interest or concern; not caring; apathetic; impartial; disinterested; neither good nor bad in character or quality; average; routine. What stands out to me in the meaning is “neither good nor bad in character or quality; average” and in the main scripture above Christ says a lukewarm Christian is “neither cold nor hot” but He wishes we were one or the other but because we aren’t, He will vomit us out of His mouth. A lukewarm Christian can also be considered a fence sitter. He stays right in the middle, he’s not on one side or the other sometimes not wanting to get anyone upset. He may do all the right things (or think he’s doing the right things) but he has no emotion…and a person with no emotion is numb….indifferent. Another word that stands out is apathetic which means absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement. The Bible speaks of being apathetic in Ephesians 4:17-19:
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
The phrase we are looking for is “having lost all sensitivity“. That is apathy…a suppression of emotion and a lack of caring for what is good or right.
There are two types of fires…the fire of God and the fire of the enemy (remember, the enemy mimics God). The fire of God will put zeal for His godly purposes within you. It gives you the great desire to do what is right and what God has called you to do. No matter what is happening in your life, you have immense love for God and those around you and only seek to do the will of God and spend time with Him. But the fire of the enemy will numb you and make it to where you have no emotion and no desire to do anything for the Lord. Many times it is due to the hardships and battle you have experienced in your life that can wear you down and numb you. You may have a burning bitterness within you and when you speak, it comes out. You will become indifferent to what is happening around you and just focus on yourself. There will be little to no compassion within you and the only thing you want to do is…nothing. Or you want to do worldly things which seems to set a fire within you, drawing you to it. We have no problem spending hours on facebook, at a sporting event, reading a book, surfing the net or watching a movie, but to read the Bible we can barely get through 15 minutes before we want to put it down. Or you will read the Bible but not fully know what you are reading because other thoughts will come to your mind and distract you. We must learn to recognize apathy in our lives. Romans 12:11 states “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” Being slothful means to be lazy. Zeal means to be enthusiastic. So we must not be lazy in our enthusiasm for the Lord!
Remember, for someone who is in recovery, it is vital to remain close to the Lord at all times. It is only through His strength that you will get through the healing process and a permanent healing will occur. It is vital to remain with Him even after recovery because He will continue healing in other areas and keep you strong against temptation.
Where are you today? Have you found yourself lukewarm or becoming numb? If so, praise God that He has allowed you to identify it. Don’t lose hope for we serve a great God of hope! The Word of God calls us to confess and repent and God will forgive and heal. Take the time today to confess and repent for being a lukewarm Christian and ask God to put back the fire you once had for Him. Christ is our first love and must remain our first love. Ask Him to deliver you from being a lukewarm Christian and be determined to put Him first in your life again and watch the change that will occur. The enemy wants you blind to your apathy but God wants your eyes opened to it because He doesn’t want to lose any of His children to the enemy’s tactics. God is waiting for you…don’t let one more day go by without confessing, repenting and continuing on in the race. The enemy may have pushed you off your lane for a while but now you must push your way back into your lane and win this race because it’s for eternity!
“Lord, I confess to you that I am a lukewarm Christian. I see it and do not wish to be this way any longer. I repent of my apathetic ways and ask, Lord, that you break me loose from this numbness and bring me back into the race. Lord, drive out the fire of the enemy with your godly fire. I want to be zealous for You. Help me, Jesus, to do what You’ve called me to do with joy and a fervent spirit. I ask this in the name above all names…Jesus Christ…Amen.”