Monday Reflection from Charlotte Leung
“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked."
Francis Chan preached on this passage in a sermon called "Lukewarm and Loving It!" several years ago. It is one of the more terrifying sermons I've ever heard. But time, as it does to most things, has dulled the impact. Fortunately God is timeless and faithful and brings it to mind every once in a while still. Most recently, during this season of transition.
Lawrence and I always seem to transition our entire lives in one go, for better or for worse. My most immediate potential transition is my job, which has been unusually stable for a biologist up until a year ago when my PI abandoned us. Life has been largely routine for the past few years - not necessarily a bad thing. We transitioned in various ways, though this potential change somehow feels bigger than others. Maybe it's because it will change every working day and a significant chunk of my waking hours. Or maybe because this job has simply been the constant item for the past five years while we transitioned in other aspects, such as getting married or choosing a new church.
Somewhere along the line in the routine, I feel like I have become lukewarm. When I first moved back to San Diego, I prayed that God would make Himself known in the every day. He did, in His providence and faithfulness and the growth that I saw in myself and others over the years. But again, time has dulled that feeling of gratitude and excitement. Things became normal, mundane. I go about my days and weeks and often wonder if I am any different than any other "good" person. I am wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked because I am neither hot nor cold, but merely lukewarm.
Now that I am beginning to transition again, I can see how I doubt God's providence and care for the details of my life. God has revealed to me how I am lukewarm because the unknown still scares me, and I can't plan for every possibility or time every event perfectly. The anxiety and nervousness associated with job searching and not knowing what the future holds is back, and I struggle to remember God's sovereignty.
Perhaps God pushes me into transition because otherwise I would stay lukewarm, seeing no real need to rely on Him since I have prospered, and I need nothing. Thank God for His grace in my life, even if it means being uncomfortable because that's what it takes to reveal my lukewarm, complacent heart. Thank God for His faithfulness as he reminds me that I am nothing and have nothing apart from Christ.
God, would you take my lukewarm life and stir up my very soul. Don't allow me to simply be comfortable or content, but show me how to desire you more and more. Use this time of change and unknown to draw me close and make me excited to do great things for your kingdom. Help me to seek you and your will for my life. Don't let me be a lukewarm Christian.