(Photo credit: Alisa Anton)
I know the Bible talks about milk and honey being pretty great, but have you ever finished a hot coffee before your kids woke up for the day?
(Yeah- me neither! But a girl can dream!)
Coffee is one of the first things on my mind in the morning, and I like it a certain way: spoon full of sugar, enough creamer to make it just the right color, and piping hot. More often than not however, the day pulls me in different directions before making it too far into my favorite mug, and it ends up reaching room temperature before I can satisfy my caffeine craving. I end up popping it in the microwave once or twice (or five times) before I finally finish my cup and go about my day. But I always heat it up. There is just something about sipping lukewarm coffee that furrows my brow and turns me away.
My morning ritual seems to have something in common with scripture:
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”
Revelation 3:15-16 NLT
Lukewarm just isn’t enough. It isn’t enough for me in the mornings, and it isn’t enough for God.
Have you ever felt lukewarm?
A need arises within your small group from church, and you fill it. But you catch your older child disobeying and you snap at him. You volunteer in the children’s ministries on Sunday morning. But you indulge in trashy TV on Monday night.
It’s easy to do- to see our good deeds and believe it’s enough, or that it justifies the decisions we make that don’t quite line up with scripture. God created us and knows our humanness. He doesn’t expect perfection, but I do believe He intends for our motives to matter as we strive to live a God-filled life.
See, being a lukewarm Christian doesn’t just turn away opportunities for us to grow closer to God. Being lukewarm can turn others away from us, or worse yet, away from the Lord. Keeping alive that fire in your heart for Christ matters! Your temperature affects everything you touch.
There’s no room in our lives to hear and believe everything God says but then live how we lived before we knew His truth. If God’s way is hot and our old ways are cold, then guess what that would make us? Lukewarm.
Sometimes intentional sin can cause us to become that way- like dropping ice cubes in your hot coffee. But sometimes it’s not always willful acts that put the chill on our souls. Sometimes it’s just leaving our mug on the counter and getting distracted.
Whether you’re putting ice cubes in your “spiritual” coffee, getting distracted from that coffee, or just plain getting your real life coffee dumped on you by your wild little toddler, I have no doubt that God is working in you. As you gauge whether your motives and your soul are cold, or hot, or somewhere in between, know what God desires of you: He wants to be your priority, and for your soul to be on fire for Him and Him alone!
“Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord.” -Romans 12:11-13 NIRV
I know our days are busy, friends! But instead of opening the next app or tab on your browser, try instead to take a moment and ask yourself:
1. What in my life is putting the chill on my soul and my desire for God?
- Is it a social media addiction?
- A difficult child or relationship that is stealing your peace or focus?
- A friend that encourages ungodly talk or behavior?
- Your choice in indulgences (TV, movies, books)?
- Excessive worry?
- Comparison and jealousy?
2. What sets my soul on fire and nurtures my relationship with God?
- Regular Bible time, or regular time in prayer?
- Reprogramming every car preset to Christian radio?
- Building a relationship with a Christian friend?
- Joining a small Bible study group?
- Praying about what worries you rather than just talking about it?
- Deleting an app that distracts you from spending time in prayer or has ungodly content?
The lists are personal and go on for each of us. Wherever you’re at in your walk with God, I hope you will be encouraged and hold on to this truth today:
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”
Philippians 2:13 NLT
P.S. Is there anything you can add to the lists above? Share your thoughts!