The lukewarm mess

As I drove to church yesterday morning through the mess of our driveway and lane, I got an up close view of these verses in Revelations 3.

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.
– Revelations 3:15-16

The private road to my house

On one side of the lane, the side with an abundance of shade from the surrounding woods, snow remained from a storm that cancelled school most of last week. The other side of the lane, warmed by the sun, was finally clear with grass showing. In between was the mud and ice pit drive that we had to slosh and swerve through to get to the county road.

It’s the middle, lukewarm path that’s often the biggest mess.

God says that He wishes we were hot or cold, but not in-between. Looking at my road, that makes sense.

God wants us to make our choice, not fake our choice. He longs for us to decide to follow Him with our whole hearts, with all that we are. He wants our full commitment, no matter what. He doesn’t want us to pretend we are His, and then skip out on what’s important to Him because it’s not convenient. God doesn’t give us His Son’s name so we can act like it’s a secret or it doesn’t matter. It does. He does. Splashing in the lukewarm water may be fun for a time, until our souls are caked in mud and our shoes are stuck in the slushy, filthy potholes of life.

Thankfully God knew our propensity to be drawn into the mud puddles, and He sent us the Light of the World and the Living Water. When we look to His Son for rescue and healing, His light dries up the soggy ruts in our hearts, and then He power washes us clean.

Be gracious to me, God,
according to Your faithful love;
according to Your abundant compassion,
blot out my rebellion.
Wash away my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.

God, create a clean heart for me
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
– Psalm 51:1-2, 10

As for my driveway, I’m looking forward to the sun drying out the mess so I can get a car wash.

Car Wash

This is the "clean" version of my vehicle, after I wiped off the back window at the gas station last night.

This is the “clean” version of my vehicle, after I wiped off the back window at the gas station.

My vehicle is so dirty, people don’t want to even write “Wash me!” on the back window for fear a clump will land on their shoe.

It’s mud season in Missouri.

Combine melted snow and rain showers, and gunky mud/clay abounds out on our dirt road. It’s almost more dangerous to drive now than when there was a few inches of snow on the ground!

I’ve given up using my rear view mirror because no amount of washer fluid works on my back window, though the wipers have put forth a valiant effort. Every day I think, “I should really get a car wash,” but then I plow through the mud puddles into town and wonder what is the point of my vehicle only being clean until I drive back home.

I’ve settled into having a two-tone car, and it’s now become routine for me to lift my daughter in so she won’t have to climb on the dirt. Jackson is used to me reminding him to jump all the way in and don’t brush the side when we go anywhere!

I have quickly gotten used to the mess.

Satan loves to use the same trick when it comes to a person’s spiritual status quo. Sin slowly creeps into our lives until we are so covered with filth we have no idea how to start cleaning up the mess. We don’t recognize and attack the situation immediately, and before we know it we are coping. We are reworking life to accommodate the mess. We make excuses for the dirt. We justify the buildup. And then, it just seems easier to live with it than change.

In John chapter 7, Jesus proclaims to the crowds gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles that if they are thirsty, they should come to Him for living water.

On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.”

John 7:37-38

I believe that many, many Christians succumb to the spiritual clutter and dirt on their windows because of two things.

1. We forget that the Holy Spirit is living inside of us.

Most of us (it can’t be just me, right?!) do the most cleaning of our homes right before company arrives. When it’s just our family, cleanliness slides, toys remain scattered and dishes have a tendency to pile. No one is coming over to see the mess, so we just get by on the bare minimum housework and step over the pile.

If we really believed the Holy Spirit was with us, would we make the same decisions, cop an attitude with our spouse, yell at our kids or skip yet another morning devotion time?

Take this in deeply, believer: The Holy Spirit is with you, right now. The Holy Spirit is living inside of me, this very moment. The sheer magnitude of this fact must shape every aspect of our lives. God is WITH me and you.

2. It is our choice to remain thirsty and dirty.

Jesus proclaimed that when we believe in Jesus, we will have streams of living water flow from deep within us. When I am thirsty – when I have questions, am dehydrated by the pressures and difficulties of this life, and need direction – I can come and drink. When my life becomes dirty – I have made wrong choices, decided to do things my way, and dishonored God – I can come and be cleansed. I’m never without living water.

Then why do our lives lay stagnant and dry? Why are we living in the filth of sin?

Because we choose to.

We have streams of living water, God Himself, living inside of us.

What are we waiting for?

Dive into the clear refreshing waters of forgiveness. Drink deeply of His loving kindness. Let God wash away your sin.

It’s time for a car wash.