God is not very subtle at times…and that’s a great thing.
I’m preparing to teach a class at my church/start a ministry for singles. I’m going to be teaching from the book “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan, and I’m totally excited about it. So I’ve been praying about how God wants me to lead into it, etc.
Well, I decided tonight to finally watch a Francis Chan DVD that I have had for about a year, called “Lukewarm” (you can watch it online here)…WOW. What a message! His main passage was Revelation 3:14-22. Here’s how The Message puts it:
14Write to Laodicea, to the Angel of the church. God’s Yes, the Faithful and Accurate Witness, the First of God’s creation, says: 15-17“I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.
18“Here’s what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that’s been through the refiner’s fire. Then you’ll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You’ve gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.
19“The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!
20-21“Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That’s my gift to the conquerors!
22“Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.”
The NLT says that “those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne”. Francis pointed out that this is the same throne that the disciple John observed in the next chapter (Revelation 4)–the one with millions of angels surrounding it, bowing down to the King. The treasures in Heaven (and of the Kingdom of God) are SO much greater than anything we could possibly acquire here on earth! Those who “overcome” being lukewarm, and become “hot” will live a life so much more full and abundant than they have ever imagined (not materially, but spiritually)!
God says that the lukewarm nature of the church makes Him want to vomit, and Francis gave us his take on that. He talked about the “rich young ruler” in Luke 18, who “walked away sad” because he couldn’t give up his riches, and compared him to Zacchaeus in Luke 19, who gave up half of all he owned and paid back anyone he had wronged (four times what he had stolen!) . Francis said it’s like we’re saying “I don’t know if I can give up my stuff, God”–and God is repulsed by that (understandably). Who are we to compare God and His glory to our comparatively little houses and piles of gold?! Why would we choose the things of this world over those things of eternal value? It made so much more sense to me. I’m not explaining it well–you’ll just have to watch the message for yourself. 🙂
But I realized that THIS is how I have to start the class. We must address the issue of being “lukewarm” before we can talk about living a life passionately for the Lord. All or nothing.
On top of all this, a friend of mine introduced me to a song yesterday that talks about the very same thing (see post from yesterday with the lyrics to “The Motions”). I think God is being very clear about what He wants me to share with His children. 🙂 And I’m excited–not only to share it with them, but to continue this growth in my own walk. And I’m writing a song (with a friend of mine) about this very topic of “all or nothing”.
It’s time to be serious, it’s time to truly give Him my ALL.