God deserves our highest standards

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth.

Revelation 3:15-16 HCSB

God was addressing the church in Laodicea. The church was in a wealthy city, and it was known for its banking, commerce, industry, wool and even a medical school which produced an eye ointment. Very progressive and a very busy place.

They had become stagnant because believers did not stand for anything, they were indifferent. The church had become satisfied with its wealth and followed God halfheartedly. No locusts and honey at their fellowship dinners! Church leaders probably surveyed key members for menus and sermons on the Sabbath, careful not to offend. Because God loves us, He will discipline and adjust our alignment.

Evangelist Mario Murillo at a recent conference said, “When did the church become lukewarm? Maybe when we replaced the Holy Spirit with big screens, skinny jeans, and fog machines.”

“For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” Hebrews 12:6

“I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.” Revelation 3:19

Have we slacked off in our devotion to God? Are we coasting along unconcerned with drawing closer to God, or listening for a fresh Word from Him? My husband’s right front tire has been leaking for the last week and slowly sinks in the drive overnight. What would happen if he failed to refill? Yet, some head out into the daily jungle without a thought about reading the Word. In fact, many Bibles are gathering dust on our nightstands and bookshelves. It’s not intentional neglect, we are just too busy.

Maybe we say, “I have read the Bible and know what’s in the Word, so I can make it on my own.” Does that mean you are operating outside the Power of God? I mean even frozen food goes bad after so long in the freezer! Perhaps you are a pinball Christian. Instead of praying, reading the Word, and waiting on God for the answer, you contact one person after another until you get the answer you want, or justify the actions you have taken. Please don’t misunderstand, we should seek wise counsel, but we should also communicate with God first.

When we try to go without God, we become like stale hardened bread or lukewarm coffee. While never an iced coffee lover, I am sure if an iced coffee becomes lukewarm it loses its likeability. I love coffee, but it needs to be hot for me to enjoy. Not so hot it burns the roof of my mouth, but not lukewarm. Yuk! Baristas know there is an art, a skill, to making an awesome cup of coffee. It requires much more than just the temperature.

While interviewing Timothy Poiles, the owner of The Coffee Shop, he explained what it takes to make a great cup of java. Paraphrasing our passionate barista, “The barista makes decisions balancing how much coffee and water to use, and how fine to grind the coffee. Monitoring the machine’s water pressure, temperature and brew volume are also crucial when it comes to taste. When these things are measured appropriately, the delicate balance occurs, and the reaction produces the ideal results of 2,000 different chemicals, and a supreme cup of coffee.”

Does it sound like a barista would ever get too busy, lower his standards, and be satisfied to make an OK cup of coffee? His business depends on near perfection!

Do you remember the days you were passionate about spending time with God in prayer and in the Word? He alone knows the Way and He alone can give you direction. Have you become so sophisticated, educated, arrogant, and proud, that you have figured everything out, or perhaps you are consulting horoscopes or mediums instead of God? Have you allowed the American culture creatures to set your boundaries of good and evil instead of the God of your youth?

Did you know 41% of Americans believe in psychics and consult horoscopes, fortune-telling, psychic hotlines, and tarot cards!

Isaiah 44:24-25 says, “I am the Lord, the Creator of all things. I alone stretched out the heavens…I make fool of fortunetellers and frustrate the predictions of astrologers.”

When we engage with the occult, we are committing spiritual suicide. It is like bringing a poisonous snake into your home! We are allowing the enemy of the Lord full access to ourselves and our families. We are playing with the wrong fire, dousing ourselves with gasoline and then asking our enemy for a match! And just for the sake of sanity, “there is no such thing as a good witch!”

“Let no one be found among you who practices sorcery, engages in witchcraft or casts spells. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.” Deuteronomy 18:10-12. And before you dismiss this as Old Testament, Jesus used scripture from the Book of Deuteronomy to combat satan during His 4o day temptation in the wilderness. God’s Word has power we need for every day. Oh church, return to God before it’s too late!

We must stop giving satan the best seat in our mind. We must stop inviting him to provide the entertainment in our homes. Violence, nudity, and bad language leaves a mark on our hearts. We must stop accepting lies as truth. God sets the sex of children. We must stop nodding our heads up and down when we know what is being done is wrong!

“I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.” Revelation 2:4-5 NLT

This is never about living perfectly, tapping all the round pegs into the round holes, but rather it is smoothing out the rough edges in our relationship till we fit squarely into the purpose God created us to do.

Remember, confess, repent, and return to the Lord. Arise, align, and activate the faith you once had in Christ. Rekindle the embers, a fresh fire of His love is coming!

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