Revelations 3:15

“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.” -Revelations 3:15

This is a verse that I don’t think about very often, but I should. Everyone who says that they follow Jesus should. This verse should be one of those “typical” Christian things that you see all over decor and phone cases like Jeremiah 29:11 (also a great verse). Except Revelations 3:15 doesn’t make you feel good. It’s not really inspirational as much as it is convicting. At least, for me.

This verse reminds me of something I talked about with a group of ladies in a life group awhile back before summer. We talked about neediness. When everything in life is going generally well, and you don’t feel like you’re struggling or lacking or things like that, it’s easy to get content with where we are in our relationships with God. Not that our relationships with Him shouldn’t feel good, and loving, and safe and comfortable, and so on, but it’s easy to lose that sense of needing Jesus. The truth is though that we all need Him, all the time. We need him just as much in the easy times as in the suffering. When a follower of Jesus says “I need God”, what they should be meaning is “I am intentional about needing more of Jesus”. When you lose your wallet, or lock your keys in your car, or are going through a time that is much more trying than those two things (although they suck) it’s easy to just call out right where you are and say “Jesus I need you right NOW”. When life is easy and you just got a promotion, or new job, or you have great friends and family who love and support you always, often we are not actively thinking about our NEED for God. But we should be, or we will run the risk of being spit out.

I’ve been lukewarm. At lots of different times, and also recently. And the thing about growing up in a home that follows Jesus is that usually I know that I’m being lukewarm, and I know what I should do about it. And right now I’m doing something about it.              I love makeup. I know that’s kind of a weird next sentence but hang tight. I really enjoy putting on makeup in the mornings. I do it because part of the application and routine is calming and comforting to me, and it makes me happy and feel good about myself. I can rock a no makeup day (or month) as good as the next lady but I enjoy using makeup on a regular basis. I also love sleep. Most 20 something’s do these days. And I have found that when I get up in the morning I know the exact longest I can stay in bed before I have to get up to be ready and out the door on time. Which sounds fine except, I haven’t found a way to get up and get everything ready, including myself, and also have time to spend with Jesus in the morning. So this week I decided to challenge myself. Rather than taking the 20 minutes to do my makeup routine in the morning, I have been giving those minutes to Jesus. It sounds silly to say it, but it has completely altered my daily routine and week. This week has been a long but good week at work, and I feel better in the mornings knowing I spent time with Jesus, even if nothing miraculous happens. I plan to continue with this and eventually get to a place where I can get up early enough with time to do both makeup and be with God. But for now, my skin is enjoying the break and my spirit is feeling so much more whole.

We have to need God. Even if needing him to you looks like forcing yourself to pray “Jesus I need you today” in the car on the way to wherever you go in the mornings. We have to be intentional about our neediness. Even the smallest or silliest sacrifices make a world of difference when we do it out of need for him. Maybe it’s switching to making coffee at home instead of waiting in a drivethru, or going to bed ten minutes early to get up ten minutes early. Whatever it is, intentional neediness is what will keep us from being lukewarm. Now I just have to embroider that verse on a pillow.

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You don’t give your heart in pieces

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

-Romans 8:26

You don’t give your heart in pieces.

If we read Roman’s 8, we see two things. We first see that we, imperfect humans, have choices to make. We see two sides of a coin that determine the life that we have based off of what we choose. If we choose one side, the flesh side, we die. If we choose the other side, the Christ side, we live. Oftentimes Christians say things like “pick up your cross” or “die to your flesh” every day, but do we really know what that means? Or, we just don’t say them at all, and we convince ourselves and potentially those around us that it is good enough to say that we believe in Jesus and we love him, and leave it at that. He becomes just another addition to our busy lives. He’s like that self-help book collecting dust on your bookshelf; or that therapist that you saw when you went through that rough time and you keep their number in your phone just in case you ever need them again. He becomes a thing that we keep around in case we go through a rough patch, but for the most part we can take care of ourselves. But even just in this one chapter of Romans, let alone in the whole Bible, we see that it doesn’t really work that way. Paul tells the Romans that a life in the flesh leads to death. Those who are in the flesh are moving away from Christ. Now we all know that God is perfect, and he cannot be around us if we are not (AKA the existence of Jesus). So if we are moving away from Him we cannot be near him. Paul tells the Romans that those who live in the flesh are hostile to God. Hostile. BUT. If we choose Christ, we are given life. Life comes from God and we only need to choose him and his Spirit will dwell in us. And if his Spirit is in us we are co-heirs with Christ. We receive the adoption Spirit and become God’s children, part of his family. So there are two choices. But that’s the thing, there are only two. Paul doesn’t tell the Romans “well, you can kind of just draw near to God when you need him, but most of the time you can just do you”. He doesn’t give them a neutral option. You have to choose, and it seems as though if you are not actively choosing to follow him, then you are choosing to walk away. There is no neutral.

You don’t give your heart in pieces.

So what are we supposed to do with this information? Well I guess we have to choose. A lot of this blog will have me talking about problems or barriers that I see in my generation that keep people from Christ. One of the things that I feel often is a lack of commitment to Jesus. Jesus is seen as fun and a friend and a good addition to your life. But too often I see people who just want to keep Jesus in their backseat, rather than letting him be the driver. If take Paul at his word (which we should) then doing this is not neutral like we think it is, but rather is driving us away from Christ. This is a hard concept to get. Especially in a world that so values being a good person and “being the change you want to see in the world”. Not that you shouldn’t be a good person, but you should be a good person by accident because you are trying to be more like Jesus. We should be so entrenched in seeking him that all of the other “good” people things happen by accident. God doesn’t give himself to us in pieces. If he can see us exactly as we are, if he can accept us and fill us with his Spirit immediately after our hearts were considered hostile, if he can adopt us and call us co-heirs with Jesus without asking anything of us other than us to choose him, then how can we put him on a shelf to have if we need him, and continue living exactly how we are? Not blaming anyone here but something somewhere went wrong and we have begun to simplify a relationship with Jesus so much that we lost the commitment part that makes it a relationship.

You don’t give your heart in pieces.

God has made us co-heirs with Jesus, his perfect son, for no more payment than our love and devotion to him. The Spirit of God himself prays for us with groanings to deep for words. He knows that he don’t know what to pray for. He knows that we are imperfect and always will be. As just as he is, he is that much more loving. He does not give his heart in pieces. He goes all in, taking us in, and giving us all. But we have to choose. That’s the catch. Or really the obligation. We can’t just keep Jesus in our corner and only let him in when it suits us. We need to recognize our own neediness. We need to see that if we are not moving towards him we are moving away from him. And we have to choose. We can’t be moving away from him and expect him to still be there. Because he can’t be. He is perfect, and he can’t be in an unhealthy relationship. And a one sided relationship is unhealthy. He doesn’t give his heart in pieces. So neither can we.