Vince Antonucci writes in his excellent book, “Renegade”, that “God isn’t looking for the halfhearted or lukewarm… Anywhere we look in the Bible, we see that we are meant to be all-in when it comes to following Jesus. We know that, and we want to make that commitment. So we say yes, but it’s a yes with lots of buts.” As A.W. Tozer put it, “we want the crown but not the cross.” We want to follow Jesus on our terms; but that’s not a choice we get to make.
Antonucci puts it this way: “We get to choose whether we want to follow Jesus, but we don’t get to choose what it looks like to follow Jesus.” And that’s where many turn away. They want the nice Jesus, the safe Jesus, the Jesus who will fix all their problems and take them to Heaven. You can’t just have some of Jesus. You commit to all of Him or you leave Him to the side.
This is where so many would-be Christians get it wrong. Our churches are filled with people who claim to love and follow Jesus but aren’t willing to surrender or risk their lives on His behalf. They are not fully committed and that should scare them beyond anything else because Jesus makes it very clear those who are halfhearted or lukewarm have no place with Him. In Matthew 7:21-23, He states many will come to Him calling Him Lord and He will turn them away because He doesn’t know them. Again in Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus says He will vomit out those who are halfhearted or lukewarm.
Yet we continue to live lives that don’t measure up to His standard. Can we really deny we are halfhearted or lukewarm? We ask Him to be Lord of our lives but we spend our time and money selfishly in ways benefiting ourselves more than others. Our true allegiances are revealed by the thoughts we think, the words we say, and the things we do. Looking back over your day, how much of it was spent thinking and acting for Him? If you’re like most of us, the percentage of our lives we actually give to God is disgustingly and frighteningly small.
We’ve got to wake up. How many have already gone to the grave thinking they had eternity solved when what they really had was only a cheap and false imitation peddled by preachers and so-called prophets who never understood the truth themselves. True Christianity is in crisis because we’ve spent the last couple of centuries watering it down to make it acceptable to the masses but unrecognizable to our Savior.
If we are living lives that are halfhearted or lukewarm, we are running out of time to make things right. The next breath could be our last so it would be in our best interest to be very intentional with what we do with it. We’ve played it safe for too long. Jesus said if we wanted to follow Him, we must take up our cross. As a whole, we’ve done a far better job dreaming of crowns than picking up crosses. No more. It’s time to sell out; it’s time to really live the life He created us to live. It’s time to stop being halfhearted or lukewarm and surrender all we are to our Creator. It’s Jesus or it’s nothing. It’s about time we lived that truth.