Where Am I?
If you are a real coffee or tea connoisseur, you anticipate the taste before you take a sip. It is a fact that the flavor of either one is more intense when it is either hot or cold, and not lukewarm. In Revelations 3:15-16, we read how Jesus felt about the church at Laodicea. “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth!” He wishes that the church was either hot or cold? Of course He does, because then Jesus knows where that church stands. Hot it is on fire with His message, and cold it is no threat to His Kingdom. But a lukewarm church? Therein lies the danger of deception, because such a church has deceived itself into believing that all is well when in reality it has no power or purpose.
The church is the outward expression of my heart-attitude. Before I look at the church, I must first look at myself. Do I realize that I must continually seek His heart, or do I believe that I am “fine”? Is He the heartbeat of my life, or is He on the outside looking into my heart? Do I even realize that He is waiting and longing to be invited into every area of my being? Do I believe that all is well when in truth I am withering on the vine? When I believe that I am just where I need to be in my relationship with Him, then I am dying. Not dying to self, but to Him. There is none of His life-blood flowing and rendering power in my life. I have no power or no purpose.
Is this what I bring to the church? No power or purpose? If I bring a heart which will not surrender then the church reaps its own self-sufficiency. A heart that is not surrendered to Christ needs nothing more. Believing that it lives for Christ, it does not know that it really has its own agenda. When I bring such a heart to the body of Christ, then I have made the church impotent and purposeless. This is the greatest danger-a stagnant heart-attitude. Instead of bringing life to the body, it brings death.
“Those whom I love,” Jesus implores, “I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 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” (Revelations 3:19-20). When I bring a surrendered heart to the church, I bring one that is easily rebuked and disciplined. It is not hardened or self-sufficient. When I am willing to listen to His voice instead of my own, I have invited Him to come in and change me. If each one of us brings a surrendered heart to the church, then each one of us brings a tender heart that knows His power. When we come together in unity, vision, wisdom, and with an humble heart-attitude then anything is possible because we are no longer lukewarm, but “hot” with His message.
So where am I in all of this? Am I lukewarm in my commitment? Do I bring a bad taste to the body of Christ? Or do I have a heart that wants to be more broken for Him? Do I bring my own agenda to the church instead of bringing a willingness to work with others? He knocks, and it is up to me to open the door. He will not force His way through the door of my heart. I must yield and make the effort. He is knocking today, and longing to be invited into all the crevices of my life. He yearns to not only bring life-changing power to my heart, but through my yielded life, to the church.
Change me, O God. Change me.