Leaving the Comfort of Lukewarm

Published on 12 December 2023 at 21:29

      Over the past two years, I never would have used the word “lukewarm” to describe my faith, but the Lord has recently shown me how in such an antagonistic society, lukewarm can easily disguise itself as being on fire. And that’s where I found myself at the Lord’s feet.

      It feels like the bar has been set devastatingly low. Christianity has become such a muddled hodgepodge of self- help philosophy. I call it devastating because we are focused on maintaining comfort for ourselves and others during this lifetime, rather than making clear the difference that you will spend eternity in the presence of a loving Creator, or in a pit of eternal darkness, weeping, and torment. While the choice sounds like a clear one, you still have to be informed and aware to make the choice in the first place. This is where the discipleship process opened my eyes to just how lukewarm I was living. In a social media society where a majority of content is seemingly in denial of biblical truth, posting a piece of scripture or family picture at church felt like enough. I publicly went against the grain, so I did my part, right? 

Jesus said, "No Heather, that's not how I showed you to do it".

We are focused on maintaining comfort

for ourselves and others during this lifetime.

      Could you imagine Jesus sharing the gospel with this approach? I imagine the equivalent would be Jesus writing (or carving) out His word on a tablet, coming into a town and finding a public location, then simply leaving that written word there to be viewed by those who came across it. This sounds not only insufficient, but a little insulting compared to what He DID model for us. He modeled ferocious pursuance, intentional conversation, and bold behaviors that ruffled feathers wherever the Father led Him. It wasn't until I was taught about the discipleship process, intentionally walking alongside others to lead them to Jesus, that I realized I was living lukewarm. I would proclaim my faith enough that everybody was still "comfortable". In other words, I wasn't walking into the marketplace and flipping tables. I wasn't getting frustrated for my faith. I wasn't getting angry at the disregard for His word. I knew I was saved, and I was fine with other people knowing that as well, but everybody was still comfy cozy. Then, I stepped into this calling of putting written words onto a page. By no means do I consider myself a professional, and sometimes I don't even feel above average, but I say "calling" in the sense that writing is where I feel most connected to the Holy Spirit's voice. It forces me to slow down and clearly hear the distinctness between His words and my thoughts. It just happens to also be something that sincerely brings me joy. With that being said, I felt a calling to put my words out into the public because of this clarity, and because of the way it held me accountable to be in the Word and in regular conversation with the Lord. It was when I stepped out into this unknown water that the Lord turned up the heat on my ferocity for Him. 

      Whether it is my husband, close friends, or family members, I have always emphasized that building a following is not the goal or intention for this space. Any word that I put out comes from Him and for whoever He intends to hear it. This is and always will be His. Now, followers did start to trickle in, and while this may have been encouraging to see fruit blooming so soon, it was not what affirmed I was on the right track.

It was the loss of followers.

      The further I went down the narrow path, the bolder I got with my statements of scripture, the deeper I ventured into those waters, the more and more followers I lost. I noticed a social media number drop one day by a handful, and rather than disappointment, I felt a sense of accomplishment that would follow with one of the most indescribable moments of my Christian walk. I heard a still small voice in my mind that said,

"You're not lukewarm anymore."

      I realized that up until this point, I was tolerable and comfortable to the majority of people. I didn't ruffle feathers, and I didn't offend many people. But nowhere in the Bible was Jesus ever described as tolerable, comfortable, and non-offensive. In fact, He was only ever described as the opposite. I am not out to offend or upset with malicious intent, but the Gospel is offensive and upsetting. It simply comes down to whether or not we are willing to be mocked or attacked by unbelievers, or if we have pride on the throne of our hearts instead of honoring the one who currently sits at the right hand of THE throne. 

Nowhere in the Bible was Jesus ever described as

tolerable, comfortable, and non-offensive.

      Jesus loved others with such an intensity not simply because it was His nature as God, but also because He knew what eternity held for the lost. He is called Savior for a reason. We are doomed for an eternity in hell if we are left to ourselves; and it's not the party where you think you're going with your friends. It's eternal anguish with gnashing of teeth. And He spent His life on Earth doing everything He could to make sure everybody was saved from that fate. The mercy of not giving us what we truly deserve. And if we are sincerely asking the Lord to step in and transform our hearts, we should be aching at the thought of anybody enduring this kind of fate. That is the love that Jesus displayed, and that we are called to show. 

      We will always be at war with this broken world, but that does not mean we put up four walls and live in a Christian bubble apart from it. We are called to be uncomfortable, to be offensive (within loving reason), to raise questions in others simply through our actions that look so foreign to this world that they wonder what it is. You never know, you might lose a follower, but you may have planted a seed. 

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