Once again, I have nothing really to post. Today was the last day of school before exams, which I’m not too worried about. They kind of snuck up on me actually, but I’m pretty confident that most of the information is in my head and that the rest I can shove in there from my notes in the next couple days.
Anyways, since I have a lack of interesting things to talk about from today, let me continue on in my spiritual mode. It’s really been on my mind lately, and since there aren’t that many people that I could tell that would be interested in what I have to say about it, writing it in my blog will have to do. The fact is that I’m excited about what has been going on in my life whether anyone else is. And the more amazing thing is that I’m just coming up to a youth retreat starting this next coming Friday, which is usually a source of spiritual revival in my life. The fact that I’m already revived can only mean that it’s going to get better – an awesome thought.
On January 2nd, the guys in our youth group got together during our weekly youth service and started talking about goals. Since our church had just started this 90 day Soul Journey, Pastor Dave was asking us questions about some spiritual goals that we had for the next week. Knowing that my biggest problem was the problem of actually reading my Bible consistently, I made my goal to read it every day for the next two weeks. Well, it’s now been 3 weeks and 3 days, and I’ve kept that goal. It’s awesome to have the feeling of accomplishment, and as I explained yesterday, I’m definitely noticing a change in my life. I can only hope that this will continue, and I know it will as long as I keep pursuing the knowledge of God. I’ve got all of eternity ahead of me to learn about the Infinite God, but I might as well get started now.
Today in my daily reading, I read Revelation 3. It was a mixed sort of message – basically, to get the context, John is writing letters to seven churches, being dictated by Christ. But Chapter 3 is sort of a sandwich – there’s a letter at the beginning and a letter at the end written to churches who have fallen away from God, and right in between there’s a letter to the church at Philadelphia, which commends them for their perseverance. It’s an awesome message, but it’s cheerful tone is somewhat dimmed by the two reprimands before and after it.
The church in Sardis is called “dead.” The notes in my Life Application Bible used the word “superficial,” which really struck me. This was a church that was noted for being lively, and yet God calls them dead. There is no commendation to the church, except for mentioning that there were a few in the church that were still following Christ. What a sad message that is, that only a few still were not “soiled with evil deeds.”
The message that really struck me, though, was the letter to the church at Laodicea. It’s a letter written to an indifferent church, and note the language that God uses: “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of my mouth!” (Rev. 3:15-16) After I read that, I just prayed to God that He would never say that to me again. I never want to be lukewarm. I never want to be indifferent to Christ. Just thinking of it now makes me sick.
I used to be lukewarm for so long. I had settled down into my little image of myself and I just got comfortable there, not wanting to go any deeper. You see, the thing about water is that if it isn’t constantly heated or cooled (depending on which one you want), it starts returning to room temperature. If we aren’t being constantly heated by the fire of Christ’s word, we’re just going to settle and become lukewarm. The thing is that God would rather have you reject Him outright than pretend to be a Christian and be a hypocrite. He’d rather have you rebel against him completely than be an indifferent Christian.
The good thing is that God also would rather have us be a Christian on fire for Him than a rebel. He continues to tell the Laodicean church, “Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends. I will invite everyone who is victorious to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.” (Rev. 3:20-21) The fact is that God is giving us a choice. We can either let Him in or ignore His knocking and go about our lives indifferent to His call. I’m glad I’ve let Him in, but I don’t want to stop there. I want to give him His own room inside my house so He lives in there. In fact, I want to make my house His. I want Him to take over every room in that house – even the closet in which I hide all my junk.
Last year in homeroom at my school, we read a book called “When God Writes Your Love Story.” While the basis of the book was about allowing God to control your dating life, the fact is that you could take out the word dating and just make it about allowing God to control your life. I remember one chapter where the author spoke about God going through the rooms in his house and patiently knocking on each one. He talks about arguing with God saying, “Please, not that room! Just give me that one to myself!” Metaphorically he names his rooms with names like his “Ego room” and his “Broncos room” (being a Denver Broncos fan). But Jesus walked down his hallway and knocked on each door, one by one. And eventually, this author gave up each room, remembering that God only wants the best for him.
I want to be able to apply that to my own life as well. Sometimes it’s so easy to forget that God’s not intruding. He’ll let you live your own life if you choose, but then He’ll just quietly point out that He loves you and only wants the best for you. And sometimes when we put up our “Do not disturb” signs, it’s so subtle in our mind that we barely notice it. It’s just a thought or something we say that pushes God out of an area of our life. I’ve been working hard to stop doing that. While it’s difficult, it’s possible, and I’ve been learning more and more just how possible it is. It’s not something that I learn at church in Sunday School anymore. This is the time that I start applying it to my life. It’s a constant decision to make God the focus of my life, and the more I start doing that, the easier it’s going to get.
In Law class, each person had to research a person that influenced laws in their country. I chose Mahatma Gandhi. While it was obvious that he came from a Hindu background, he also was very knowledgeable about other religions. Basically, he chose the best aspects of each religion. His only major complaint about religion was that everyone wanted to claim theirs was the best. In that aspect, he failed. But the fact is, he was the chief founder of non-violent civil disobedience. He saw each person as unique and having great value, and never failed to love everyone he came in contact with. He didn’t use violence to solve his problems, and he didn’t struggle when his accusers came and took him away to prison. He merely loved them. And as I did my research, I thought to myself, “Wow. This guy wasn’t even a Christian, and yet he did a better job of being one than most who claim to be Christians. He even did a better job than those who desperately try to live a godly life.” It almost made me ashamed – the only thing I have that he didn’t have was the truth that Jesus Christ is supreme over all. But with that aside, he still did a better job at being a Christian than I do. It really puts a bad light on all those lukewarm Christians. And that made me never want to go back to being lukewarm again.
This turned out to be another long entry. So be it. It’s worth it – there’s some great stuff in here, and I’m not just saying that because I wrote it. My only hope is that I will continue growing at the rate at which I am now, because it’s incredible. I’m fascinated at myself because I know it’s not me that’s growing, it’s Christ in me. “He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30)