By Allen White
I know your deeds, 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 about to spit you out of my mouth.
Jesus spoke these words to the church of Laodicea. They had become distracted by the things of this world (Revelation 3:17). Like many American Christians, they thought they were fertile soil for God’s Word to grow in, but the reality is they were more like thorny ground (Matthew 13:1-23). They were distracted by the things of this world. They were more concerned with comfort than character. They lived a faith that suited them.
Their faith was like a cup of warm milk at bedtime. Their tummies were full. Their appetites were satisfied enough to lull them to sleep. Good was the enemy of great.
Wilbur Rees wrote a poem years ago that reflects the spiritual condition of Laodicea:
“I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep,
but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk
or a snooze in the sunshine.
I don’t want enough of God to make me love a [people who are different from me]
or pick beets with a migrant.
I want ecstasy, not transformation.
I want warmth of the womb, not a new birth.
I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack.
I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.”
God wants each of us to live an abundant life (John 10:10), but all of that abundance is not merely for ourselves. It’s interesting that some of the most joyful people in the world have very few material possessions. Yet, people with many material things are not satisfied.
Why? Because things are meant to be used, but not loved. Only God satisfies. Only God causes us to be happy. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
What is keeping you unhappy these days? What in your life was over-promised, yet has under-delivered? Could it be that you are relying on something or someone in a way that you should be relying on God? God can actually meet all of your needs. God wants to meet all of your needs. What is coming between you and God these days? What can you do to eliminate that from your life?
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