I used to think that the Scripture about being lukewarm didn’t apply to me. Jesus said, “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” (Revelations 3:16) I thought, “I’m on fire for God.” However, lately I’m seeing how while I may be “hot” in some ways, I’m “cold” in others. If you put hot and cold together, you get “lukewarm.” Yikes! Below is my spiritual direction session with my Aunt Betty.
Betty: I never did like it when Jesus said, “If you’re lukewarm, I’ll spit you out.” So, I thought, “Ooooh, Jesus has problems with half-hearted people. I don’t want to be half-hearted, especially since Jesus came out pretty strong against it. It’s not like Him to come out that strong. So that’s something He really cares about. So, I’m thinking, “Oh my gosh. I really need to look at that and I need his help not to be fooled, because Satan likes to fool us and he gives us good reasons why.” He makes it sounds so nice and then we fall for it like a bunch of nitwits. I get frustrated. It’s like, “Lord, don’t let me be so dumb,” but that’s the way Satan works. In Scripture, the Lord did say that the wolf is after the sheep. That’s why he’s given the sheep shepherds, but the shepherds don’t always do their duty. So, He’s complaining about the churches not being there for us when we need them.
AM: It’s really that phoniness like you and I were talking about. I have to look at the phoniness, because there’s places where I’m not acting Christian.
Betty: Yeah, and we like to give ourselves permission. I call it rationalization. We find excuses in order to justify ourselves and that doesn’t go over with Jesus. That is like lukewarmness. We have to cry out to the Lord to protect us, so were not fooled into being lukewarm and going into rationalization. I honestly believe that some people don’t see themselves the way other people see them. They think they’re such good Christians. This is, in part, because they’re not seeing they’re being fooled. It’s like, “Oh, well, I go to my Bible study,” and then they’ll go out and talk behind their neighbors’ back and destroy their reputation. But meanwhile, they’re very happy that they go to their Bible study. And it’s like, “Wait a minute. We got to get the whole thing together here. “Lord, help us not to unconsciously justify what we’re doing if it’s offensive to you. But wake us up. Help us to realize, ‘Hey, stop fooling yourself.’ Lord, we really need your help so that we get our life in order and stop being half-hearted. Protect us from the wiles and snares of the evil one who will continue to get us in these places where we fool ourselves. Don’t give up on us. Help us to really learn how to live in the Divine Will. Clean us up completely, so there isn’t that divided, lukewarm heart.”
Do you have a divided, lukewarm heart? “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10