For too long we have gone back and forth about our commitment to Christ. One day we are fired up and nothing can deter us; the next we are self-absorbed, depressed and wondering if it’s all worth it. The inconsistency is killing our effectiveness and causing our lives to spoil. A mixture of hot and cold produces a lukewarm life, a life that Jesus said He will vomit out (Revelation 3:16). I believe I speak for all of us when I say that this is not the person I wish to be; I do not want to live a life so repulsive to Christ that He vomits it out. It’s time to decide, once and for all, where we will place our loyalties. Will we reach for all this life has to offer or will we place everything we have at the feet of the one who gave His life for us?
When we first committed our lives to Jesus we gave no thought to turning back. We understood we were new creations and therefore had been transformed to live differently. Over time we lose our enthusiasm; we allow our clean hearts to be polluted by the sin around us when we drink a little in. It’s not that we intend to turn away; we simply get lazy and let down our guard. We lose sight of the fact that there is a very real, very powerful battle waging for our soul. As physical beings we cannot see the battle, but our spiritual core can feel it. When we tune into the fray, we become aware of the ferocity and we determine anew to stand fast. Too often we live our lives tuned out, concerned only with the tactile realities of the here and now. We get caught up pursuing the American dream, and we succumb to the bombardment of messages from the media. We allow ourselves to drink in the dirty water.
The only way to remain vigilant is to consistently flush our souls with the pure living water of Christ. If we are not spending consistent time in prayer and studying His Word, we will become tainted and our effectiveness will be severely muted. I want my life to shout the love of Christ; I want to shake the world with His love and His message. The only way to accomplish these goals is to remain on purpose and on mission, all the time. An intentional, consistent walk is the only way that leads to victory. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? It wasn’t the brilliant bursts of the rabbit that won the race; he got lazy and caught up in his own selfish desires. No, it was the consistency and single-minded purpose of the tortoise that won the race. It is the same in our pursuit of Jesus. If we stay the course and keep our eyes focused on Him, we will accomplish what He has given us to do. Keeping our entire aim on His service while refusing to be distracted by the pleasures of this life will allow us to continue His mission and finish the race for His glory.
As long as we are given to a series of starts and stops, we will not be able to fulfill the purpose for which we were created. A lukewarm life will not get it done, and indeed may end with disastrous consequences. I don’t know how you read it, but being vomited out does not exactly sound like a grand welcoming into Heaven. Jesus calls us to total commitment, and that is exactly what we promised Him when we first surrendered our lives. We promised total devotion; we said that He would be our Lord and we would be His servant. This is not a casual vow; nothing could be more serious. Are we sincere or not? Do we love Him or are we just trying things out? It’s time to put away our indecision and once and for all give the rest of our lives to Christ and Christ alone. As Michael Tait sings in a recent Newsboys song, “I’m giving Him the best of/ Everything that’s left of/ The life inside this man/ I’ve been born again!” Let’s join in that pledge. Let’s give Jesus all we have for the rest of our lives. From this point forward our decision is clear and our path is focused. Let’s pledge to follow Jesus wherever that may lead. No more wavering, no more turning back.