I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! (Rev. 3:15)
In order to live, we need to thrive.
In recovery, it is of the utmost importance. It is not enough to just live, riding the fence. Longterm recovery success depends on you being sold out to your sobriety. Hot- not warm.
You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. (v. 17)
Those who are in recovery will understand that verse. As we get too comfortable, too confident, our passion can weaken. We can go from hot back to cold very quickly.
There is another group who needs to hear these words. I want to speak to those who feel they have been hurt by the church. The words written in this section of Revelations were originally meant for a body of believers living in persecution. They were wealthy, and comfortable. They had everything they needed. Then things changed. Instead of increasing their faith and rising to the challenge, some of them gave in to the pressure and compromised. They still believed, but lost their first love- their passion. They were living, but not thriving.
The church of today, in many ways, is faced with this same pressure. Some increase the heat, turning up their faith. Others, unfortunately, compromise. The actions of hurt people can hurt other people. Being lukewarm is a dangerous place to be.
Recently, I have been thinking about why the church does not seem to talk about this.
In my experiences, I have tried and tried to see the church actively talk about two things- addiction and church hurt. It is a constant fight. Two seemingly unrelated groups, but similar in some important ways.
1. Lukewarm is dangerous for both. In recovery, it can lead to relapse. If you have been hurt by the church- you are faced with the choice to turn up the heat and believe God, rather than man, or to allow your hurt to pull you down to lukewarm.
2. Success depends on your choice.
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (v.16)
Harsh. Those are the words God chose. In a sense- if you are not on one side or the other, you fail. Recovery depends on succeeding. Healing and moving forward in your faith depends on your choice to live for your God, not man.
I do not ever want to be called lukewarm, but to be honest- sometimes I think I am.
v. 20. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
v.22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Do you hear? God knew that not everyone would get it. I believe maybe that’s why its in there twice. I want to see the Church- God’s people- rise up and turn up the heat. Are you willing to talk about the tough subjects so that others can heal? I know of people who have been hurt and need you to be willing….