The lukewarm Christian
I wish I was one of those people whose face just lights up all the time as they speak about Jesus. Maybe you've had the pleasure of being in the presence of such a God-obsessed person - glory practically oozes from their pores, their eyes sparkle and humility graces every word they say. They leave you inspired and a bit in awe.
My grandmother is one of those people - born and raised in Siberia, she came to Jesus despite the threat of oppression, jail and even death, in a village with only a handful of underground believers. She then moved to Ukraine to become a pastor's wife for 40 years, under a Communist regime, raised ten children, and still continues to pray for every single one of her 70+ grandchildren by name, everyday. In fact, she remembers every one of our birthdays and sends us hand-written birthday cards with personalized wishes and Bible verses that apply to each of our lives at the time. She is one of the most godly women I know.
A Biblical example is Moses - when he spoke with God, he had to cover his face with a veil because the people feared him. Why? He literally glowed! Moses sought God's counsel on everything and found favor in God's eyes - his whole life was God, even in the midst of hundreds of thousands rebellious followers, forty years of wandering the dessert and dozens of other inconveniences.
"Now when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand - when he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him...When the Israelites would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone, Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with the Lord." -Exodus 34
Some people may scoff and say that things were different then and it surely couldn't happen now, but I disagree. After all, the Bible does say that times will change, people will come and go, but the Lord's words will forever remain true and powerful.
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." - Matthew 24:35
We can still experience the closeness that Abraham, Moses and all the great men of the Old Testament had. In fact, it may be even easier for us in a way, because we have Jesus as our advocate, because He gave up His own life to pay for our sins, we no longer have to prove anything - we just have to love God so much that nothing else on this Earth matters.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind..." - Matthew 22:37
In Revelations, John writes to the church in Laodicea,
"This is the solemn pronouncement of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God's creation: 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot! So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth!'" -Revelations 3:15-16
God says that it's better to be either cold or hot - you either follow God completely or not at all. This lukewarm area? It's the worst, because you know God exists, you believe in Him and maybe know most of his commandments, but at the same time you love a couple Earthly things just as much. The Bible says that you can't serve two masters, eventually you have to choose, even if it's by default. You either give God everything or nothing at all.
I can fool myself all I want, saying I'm a Christian and love God with my whole being. And some days, I do, but it's not all day, everyday. Most days, I get so caught up in my responsibilities and to-do lists that God gets my attention for a few hours during church or daily bible studies before bed.
Writing this post fills me with shame and breaks my heart. Some of you may judge me, and that's okay - you're entitled to your opinion. But, will you at least pray for me? There's a lot in my life that I need to let go - stuff that clutters my heart and steals my attention - invaluable minutes and thoughts that I can spend in prayer, worship or just thinking about God.
PS. Happy Valentine's Day - regardless of your romantic status, make today a day of random acts of kindness to the people in your life. You never know who in your life could use a box of chocolates or a flower delivery. :)