So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. – Rev. 3:16 NIV
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The Apostle John was in prison in the island of Patmos when he received revelation from the Lord concerning the future. The first of those revelations was the prophetic messages to the seven churches in Asia – Rev. 1:4. The scripture for today’s devotion is part of his message to the seventh church which is in Laodicea. He started out by identifying “Amen” as the faithful, true witness and the first creation of God. The message went further to acknowledge God’s awareness of the activities of the church in Laodicea which he described as neither hot nor cold. According to the message, God would have preferred them to be either of the two rather than attempting to be both. It is in the light of this their ambivalence that he announces God’s reaction to such a lifestyle in the scripture that forms the foundation of today’s devotion.
In that reaction, the Almighty God says that He was about to spit them out of his mouth because of their tepid nature with regards to things concerning Him. To spit someone out of one’s mouth is a proverbial way of saying that he was about to expel them out of His life. When such happens, there is what seems like a violent separation with each expected to survive on its own. In the case of the spit, the person who spits survives but the spit dries up completely. When placed in the context of today’s scripture and God promising to spit them out of His mouth, it simply leaves them in a position to dry up. Health dries up, finances dry up and all good things that were being enjoyed before the separation all disappear. This is because they, and not just them but all people who live such tepid lifestyle with regard to the things of God, will dry up once there is such a separation from their creator – Jn. 15:4-7.
Today’s Christian going through stress and pain with all sources of joy drying up need to re-confirm his/her position in the Lord to ensure that he/she has not been violently separated from his/her maker.
Why will this scenario happen in the first place? Today’s scripture says that it will be because the Christian is not stable in terms of his/her Christian life style. To be hot and cold in terms of our relationship with God is to agree to stick with him and His rules when it is good by us but immediately refuse to remain with Him when it seems it is not good with us. It may be with regards to how it materially benefits us or with regards to our public image. Some Christians are willing to remain as followers of God and His Christ, but are not ready to be publicly associated with Him. Such are the group of people that Jesus Christ says he will deny before his father as they are denying him before men – Matt. 10:32-35. The result is the same as being spit out as Jesus will not be there for them in times of trouble – Ps. 46:1.
As Christians, we cannot decide to worship or be associated with the Almighty God only when it seems to suit us. We are to worship Him whether it is comfortable for us or not – 2Tim. 4:2. Our decision to worship Him should be total and not a fraction less, as any devotion that is not 100% is not acceptable to Him. You are better, not declaring for Him, than to do so and deny Him at your earliest convenience. It is called back-sliding, a step that the Bible says those who find themselves doing, will not be able to get restoration – Heb. 6:4-6.
Do not give the impression that accepting to worship God was a mistake or that you can outsmart God by being deceitful or hypocritical about your professed love for Him. Remain hot when it comes to issues of God as there is no room for sitting on the fence – Matt. 12:30. His standards are non-negotiable and there is no middle way with them.
The scripture today was a warning of an impending danger to the church in Laodicea but it could also be a warning to someone who is coming in contact with this devotion today. How hot are you for Him? He will not be hot for you if you are cold for Him but it could even be worse if you have a lukewarm approach to issues concerning Him. Be an extremist for Him and He too will never disappoint you. Have a burning desire for Him and His standards and He will remain your God in all seasons.
May He grant us all the Spirit to remain hot for Him throughout our life time in Jesus name. Amen.