A frog jumped into a large pot full of water sitting on the ground. It was nice, clean, and comfortable & gave him plenty of room to swim around. While he was kicking back enjoying his good fortune, he never noticed that the pot was moved over to the campfire. He continued to enjoy his environment for awhile never noticing that the water was slowly getting hotter. He ignored it and acclimated to the change little by little…but before he knew it the pot started to boil-and he was boiling with it. Alas, it was too late to jump out & that was the end of the frog!
In my last blog I shared my personal testimony of how I came to know Jesus as my Saviour. My heart had been closed off to Him, and I was frozen in my own self righteousness.
It was by His grace alone that I changed and was lit with a white hot passion for the Lord. I wanted to sing from the rooftops and tell everyone who had ears to hear what Jesus did for me. It was a real transformation and I knew undoubtedly that He saved me from life ever after apart from Him. Now 15 years down the road, I am dealing with a different issue. I have gone from from freezing cold to white hot to….lukewarm.
No, this does not mean I do not still love Jesus. It does not mean I do not desire to follow Him or that my faith in His truths have changed.
What it does mean – is that I have ashamedly let the “main thing” e.g. living for and by the gospel, slip away a bit from the moorings and no longer be the main thing.
In Revelations 2, Jesus led the Apostle John to write about this to the Church of Ephesus:
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. Revelation 2:2-5
Have I forsaken my first love? Do I let other “things” press into my life? Even good things can interfere… family, job, works, volunteering, writing this blog….The answer is yes… and Jesus warned this can happen. He told us that those who would follow Him must pick up their cross daily. He reminded us to stay close to the vine – Him. He did not say that there is no work or sacrifice, following Jesus will not always be easy…
I know that there was a time in my life that the wonder of the cross dominated all my thoughts. My heart was so tied to seeing God’s will done, that it was my highest aspiration. As the years have gone on, the FACT of my salvation has not changed but, but the constant pursuit and presence of God in my life has.
Lately He has found a myriad of ways to remind me that He is not happy with this change… I have heard Him through a scripture, in a sermon, in a song, in a book I have begun to read. It seems that I am being told about this everywhere I turn.
And so I am listening…and I am reminded by Him that my relationship with Christ is like a good marriage.
When we first meet and fall in love with our spouse, it seems that all we can think of is them, their well being and they are center to our hearts. As time goes on we start to have a sense of familiarity whereas we can easily take them for granted. This can lead us to divorce court if we are not careful. I have found after 20 years of marriage that I need to be corrected every now and then when it comes to my guy. I need to spend time with him; invest my heart and my head in him, listen and learn from him… and be quiet together, at least daily. It helps us to reconnect and understand one another.
The same goes for my relationship with God. I can (and have) become lukewarm with Him – taking His grace and goodness for granted. Like the frog, it is easy to get comfy. We never notice ourselves becoming lukewarm and we are clueless to how our changing surroundings are affecting our well being. We become passive. We are warned about this too, as in Revelations Chapter 3; Jesus addresses the Church of Laodicea.
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15-16.
It is so easy to be like that frog – swimming around secure in “saved status” and before we know it we are so far away from God that we find ourselves in real trouble! Have you ever looked up the meaning of the work lukewarm?
“Lukewarm is unenthusiastic, indifferent, cool, half-hearted, apathetic, perfunctory, non-committal or lackadaisical”.
For THIS God sent His one and only Son to be sacrificed on the Cross for our sins? For indifferent? For apathetic? For non-committal? I feel sick.
Oh God, will you please forgive me? Save me from myself, again and again. I constantly need to be reminded that when I start listening to my own voice I am deaf to God’s prodding. Maybe that is why You whisper to us, instead of shouting. We need to lean into You to hear…
Father God, do not spit me out of your mouth. Like your Psalm 51, I sing, Lord please forgive your servant and cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Amen and amen.