The topic of extreme weather often goes viral on social media, especially during the summer months. While some people revel in the scorching heat of summer, others find solace in the refreshing cold of winter. But universally despised is the sticky, stagnant air of humidity, a weight on our lungs and a drain on our spirits.
Similarly, spiritual stagnation weighs heavily on us and can be just as unbearable. Even as we struggle to find enjoyment in physical activities due to the oppressive weather, there's a parallel to be drawn with our spiritual lives. When our faith becomes stagnant—neither hot nor cold, neither healing nor comforting—it becomes a murky swamp rather than a source of life.
In the Christian Standard Bible, Revelation 3:14-20 speaks directly to the church in Laodicea about this issue. This passage is not just an ancient letter but a timely call for churches and believers today:
"Thus says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God's creation: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth..." (Revelation 3:14-16)
Laodicea, a beautiful community renowned for its natural springs, had both hot and cold waters, each serving a distinct therapeutic and comforting purpose. Yet, it was the lukewarm water that found no favor, neither medically beneficial nor emotionally comforting. This was a metaphor for the spiritual state of the Laodicean church: lukewarm and ineffective, content but not vibrant, comfortable but not revolutionary.
Three Doctrinal Implementation:
- Avoiding Complacency: The Laodicean church was content, thinking they were "rich" and "in need of nothing" (Revelation 3:17). Complacency is the enemy of spiritual growth.
- Zealous Repentance: Christ calls us to be zealous and repent (Revelation 3:19). It’s not enough to rest on our laurels; we should strive for a faith that’s either healing hot or refreshingly cold.
- Open the Door: Christ is knocking at the door of our hearts (Revelation 3:20). Even in our stagnant state, transformation is just a decision away.
C H O F Ministry’s Spiritual Application:
1. Questioning Comfort: If you find yourself comfortable in your faith, question whether you've become stagnant. True faith is not about staying in your comfort zone but stepping out in trust.
2. A Vibrant Witness: A vibrant faith not only transforms you but also impacts those around you. Be either the healing warmth or the refreshing cold that wakes others from their spiritual slumber.
C H O F Ministry Encouragement:
Don't let your faith become like the oppressive humidity, dense and stagnant. Instead, strive to be either a healing warmth or a refreshing cold, breaking the spiritual monotony in your life and in the lives of those around you.
Bishop Houston’s Final Word:
If the number of "Christians" living in spiritual stagnation alarms you as it does me, remember that complacency is the enemy. Through the grace of Christ, let us strive to be different—to be vibrant and transformative in a world that so desperately needs it.
Let Us Go into The Throne Room of Grace and Mercy,
Dear Heavenly Father, empower us to shatter the boundaries of our comfort zones and to step out in zealous faith. May our lives be so full of Your love and power that the world can't help but notice we are different. Help us to wake those around us from their spiritual slumber. To God Be the Glory.