It’s difficult to change. Moving from a place of complacency to a place of radical change is one of the scariest things we can do. It requires lots of effort and determination. If you’re like me, sometimes it seems impossible to muster up enough courage and energy to even try.
But God doesn’t call us to stay in a comfortable place. If we’re comfortable, we’re lukewarm. And here’s what God says about being lukewarm:
"So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." Revelation 3:16
Eww. So are you lukewarm? If so, what are you going to do about it?
Looking at my own life, I would say I’m an “average” Christian, I guess. I read my Bible, sometimes with fervor, sometimes not so much. I attend church regularly. I’m part of a small group. I pray (ditto on the Bible reading). We tithe. We give more when asked.
But lately, I have been thinking about more. I really want more out of my “Christianity.” I’m okay with being average in that I’m behind the scenes; I don’t want recognition. But I don’t think I’m okay with having an average faith. I want to be sold out, torn up, and falling out for Christ, not lukewarm.
The older I get, the more frustrated I become with myself for bothering with the petty stuff. What really matters? When everything is stripped down and raw, what remains?
Wild abandon. That’s what I want. I want to be content with Christ and true to the core. I want to shed social conditioning. I want to grip God so tightly I leave fingerprints. I want people to look at me and see flames because I’m so on fire for Jesus.
Are you there too? Are you tired of settling for lukewarm Christianity?
How do we get from yesterday’s simmering soup of the day to volcano eruption? I really don’t know. But I do know we won’t get there standing still. Let’s budge and start tackling the hard things. What would happen if we make practical changes to move from lukewarm by piling the energy-draining distractions on the burn pile and adding some beneficial things back in our lives?
Here are some ideas we can at least try…
1. Throw it out!
Stuff, junk, clutter…whatever it’s called, it’s gone. The time has come to release material things that smother us. Lately God has been wearing me out about the extra stuff, waste, excess in my life. It’s a distraction from what matters most.
2. Limit Social Media
I am so tired most nights that I’m looking at Facebook and Instagram with my eyes half shut. Why? Who cares what people I knew in high school had for dinner last night? I don’t know about you, but this is a black hole of comparison for me. I already struggle with self worth. Why continue to rub other people’s so-called perfect lives in my own face? That’s a habit that keeps me distracted and lukewarm.
3. Add God’s Word
No more checking off the scripture reading to-do list. The focus is on quality not quantity. Dig deeper like never before. Also leave margin for God to speak through His Word.
4. Pray and Wait
No more praying then moving on. Allow God time to speak. Shut up and really listen. It’s a worthy skill I need to learn. (Ummm…I’m not just talking about prayer there.)
5. No, Not Doing It, Ain’t Gonna Happen
It’s hard to be on fire for God when you are burned out. Lukewarm people run on empty, so we need to consider each new activity, event, or opportunity and honestly assess our time. It’s a scientific fact we must have rest. Personally I wish I could scratch laundry, cleaning bathrooms, cooking, etc. permanently off of my list, but that’s reality. Make a plan, stick to the plan, and quit adding other stuff!
So there it is…some ideas to encourage us to budge and not settle. Maybe these ideas don't fit your situation exactly, but let's agree to stop hiding behind the excuses. No more lukewarm. So what if it’s not time to make a new year’s resolution? I’m done living with status quo faith. You too? We may not move mountains with our efforts, but at least we will move one step away from being lukewarm.