“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.” Revelation 3:15-16 (NIV)
This summer I was helping out a summer program with a series of outdoor trips. On one of the trips, we went whitewater rafting in the morning and then whitewater kayaking in the afternoon. Oh, and the river was a scorching 52 degrees. One of the other leaders and I wanted to go down the major rapid at the end while holding a sign in hopes of getting our picture on the display board. The river guides always warned the group that you should go down the last falls either straight forward or straight backwards, but to never, ever go down sideways or you would be guaranteed to fall out. Our whole plan was to be towed into the falls by one of the river guides so we wouldn’t have to paddle and we could focus all of our energy on holding the sign towards the camera. Sure enough, as I was towed into the falls, I got turned sideways, fell out, and was washed down the rocks, getting knocked around a bit.
Afterwards, I felt like God was telling me that I can sometimes treat my faith in the same way. In Revelation, God tells us how we should be hot or cold, not lukewarm. This doesn’t mean it’s OK to be a cold, lackluster Christian – God wants us to be extreme, not in the middle. All too often we decide to take life with what is comfortable and what seems like it might be fun at the time. We lose focus on what’s ahead and find ourselves turned around, or headed into a situation sideways instead of in the direction we need to be headed. Maybe we’re still holding on to certain areas of our life that we just need to commit to God, or we’re spending so much time with work and very little time with Him. Are there certain areas where you think you ‘do not need a thing’ (v. 17) and you can make it on your own? Maybe we are picking and choosing only the areas of God’s Word that we want to hear. God is warning us that if we don’t live extreme, fully devoted lives for him, we won’t be as close to God as we should be. He tells us that any direction that's not extreme will cause us to fall out of line and get knocked around. God doesn’t want to have anything to do with those who give anything less than their best – he will spit us out of his mouth!
As the new season begins and vacation ends, how are we going to live extreme for Christ? How can we avoid the middle area and commit everything to Him? Are you hot or cold, or are you lukewarm?
Is there anything you are holding back from God that prevents you from living extreme for him?
What are the next steps for you to take in order to commit everything to Him?
What does an extreme life for Christ look like in your life?
Proverbs 16:3; Romans 12:11; Psalm 37:5-6; Proverbs 3:5-6