Friday, December 5, 2008

When You are Lukewarm

Revelation 3:16 (KJV) So then because thou art lukewarm……..

Do you ever have seasons when your passion for God (and things spiritual) cools off? Maybe even lukewarm? I think it happens to us all. We just get caught up in the business of living that it diverts our attention. The cares of this life choke out God’s Word. Then there is the constant tug of the flesh that is enmity to all things spiritual.

Happens to me too.

I am as susceptible to spiritual droughts as the next guy. In fact, probably more so because it’s easy for me to delude myself into thinking that the “work” is a substitute for a red-hot relationship with God. Because I know my weaknesses, I have to be deliberate about keeping my passion alive.

Here are some things that seem to work for me:

See God working somewhere else. God is so much bigger than what we see Him doing in our own neighborhood or in our own church. When I visit other churches or other places and witness God’s Hand there, it reminds me how big and awesome He really is. The Majesty returns.

Visit some extremely poor people. Some mothers, when preparing dinner, only have to decide what to feed her children. Others have to decide which child to feed tonight. Putting yourself in that position crushes your heart and keeps you sensitive.

Develop friendships with non-Christians. Caring about people who are far from God helps keep me closer to God. His Son died for these people.

Devote time to prayer and Bible reading. If my wife and I don’t spend quality time together – away from the demands and pressures we shoulder – then it’s hard for us to remain close. Therefore, we deliberately carve out time to be with each other with nothing or no one else competing for our attention or affection. My relationship with God is the same. By spending time with Him, through prayer and Bible reading, I know Him better.

Give extravagantly. There is something about giving extravagantly that seems to break the grip of materialism in my life – I know I’m making an investment in eternal things and changed lives. Plus I feel better about myself when I do.

. For years I have not cried. I’m not sure why, but it just wasn’t there. Really, it’s quite normal for me to not cry - it takes a lot for me to do so. But by God’s grace I’ve broken through and can cry easily now.

Visit a hospital. There is a lot of human suffering in this world. You don’t have to go overseas to find it either. Just visit West FL Hospital, Sacred Heart, or Baptist. I mean there is some real human suffering. It’s hard to live shallow and be frivolous when you witness incurable suffering.

Visit a cemetery. When looking at a headstone, I am reminded that the little dash between the two dates represents an entire lifetime for that person. That too will be my epitaph one day. I want my life to count for something. Seeing today in light of eternity changes me.

There you have it. Start fanning the flame.