Beware! Be Aware: Lukewarm is not enough! I am concerned that not all of my worship pleases God. In our small group, we've been reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan (2008). I am realizing in a fresh and difficult way, that when we don't give God the first passion and attention of our hearts, we are giving Him leftovers. God addresses this in Revelation 3:16-20:
Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Wow! I certainly don’t want to gag God with my lukewarm worship and make him vomit me out of His mouth! That I would disgust God and He would dispose of me is the singular, most horrifying thought.
In Genesis 4, Abel's sacrifice to God is accepted and Cain's is not. Cain's offering is rejected because it is not his first fruits. He gave God his leftovers. There was obviously plenty for Cain; he just collected a nice bit that he was willing to part with. Cain knew that there was still plenty left where that came from, but not Abel, he gave the first-born calf. There was no promise that another would be born! There was no guarantee that Abel's needs would also be met. Instead, he wholeheartedly gave God the first that he had.
LIVING A CHRISTIAN LIFE IS ONLY GOING TO GET HARDER.
We have it pretty easy right now. Sure, crazy stuff happens, but we aren't losing our jobs or our families or our LIVES by choosing to follow Jesus. We can follow Him pretty peaceably... so far. This is when it is easiest. Living a Christian life is only going to get harder.
In Malachi 1:6-14, God says that He would rather shut the temple doors than have the people light “useless fires” on His altar. In Crazy Love, Chan states, “No worship is better than apathetic worship!” (p. 92). What a seriously scary thought! Can you imagine if God said that about our church? Can you imagine how it would feel if God would rather close the doors than let us come in and insult him with our pretend worship?
So what am I saying?
JESUS DESIRES AN AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIP.
It is the real relationship that Jesus desires, the true intimacy of discipleship! We should be coming prepared to worship God, not just on Sunday’s, but every morning when we wake up! We have our whole day that we can offer to Him! Not just with our thankful heart and good attitude, but with our first thoughts going to His Word and the first words across our lips going up in His praises! Anything less than our undying obsession is basically like giving God our passed over scraps. Jesus wants all or nothing from us. He deserves all! If we are going to follow Him, let us truly be willing to give everything and do it with our whole hearts!