To The Church of Laodicia

We would do well to remember, friends, that there is an enemy bent on destroying each of us. He will do it in any way, shape or form that will work. He is cunning and devious. It is foolish to think we can avoid him in this life. Mediocrity is his best strategy against us. I have come to see that there really is no middle road with Jesus. He didn't give us that option in anything he said or did on this Earth. He didn't choose a middle road. He chose the passionate, dangerous road - and he calls us to do the same. Many are deceived into thinking that a Sunday morning ritual or knowledge of the truth keeps them in the "safe zone." Revelation, chapter three speaks to this exact scenario....

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, "I am rich, I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing." But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." (Rev. 3:15-17)

Not the fluffy stuff that mediocrity is made of, is it? This church John wrote too was the church of Laodicia. The city of Laodicia was centered at a crossroads between other large cities because it was a trade post. The city was full of wealth and beauty. Laodicia was the banking center of the region. It was a very prestigious community. One would consider themselves blessed to be a part of it. 

Lets modernize it a bit...

Laodicia was the great vacation spot, the place with the best shopping and best hotels. You might go to Laodicia for a five star dining experience. Gated communities lined the streets and everyone drove the most expensive vehicles. Indeed, Laodicia was a great place to live, but where was the passionate pursuit of Jesus? It is perfect that Jesus uses the illustration of water to describe these people because the only thing this city lacked in all its glory was its own water supply. An intricate system of pipes was built to feed water into the city from an outside source. Naturally, by the time it reached the city it was tepid water. It was also full of minerals that caused it to taste funny and smell bad. Water was indeed a problem for these people of this glorious city. So, Jesus is speaking in terms they can understand when he says they are lukewarm. They know what lukewarm water tastes like. No one wants to drink that kind of water. Jesus is pleading with them, but also sternly rebuking them for their lack of desperation. They have said they have everything they could need, everything they could want and because of that, they choose to make Jesus second in their lives. They are pursuing their wealth and attempting to structure their own foundations without his help. Here's what strikes me in studying this bit of scripture: this lavish, glorious city....

it no longer exists. 

This city, once self sustaining, it is now buried beneath centuries of dust and rubble. Do you see the importance of that? I certainly do. The material life we work so hard to build, Jesus knows that it will one day lie in rubble. He pleads with these people to wake up and seek what is eternal! Wake up and seek what can never be destroyed! Jesus is warning these people and any time Jesus gives a warning, I sit up and pay attention. He is warning these people that they are blinded to their own poor and wretched state. They seem to think that giving God lip service and a few good deeds will ease their soul into eternal life. They see themselves as put together and self sufficient...while the enemy tramples them underfoot. 

No, mediocrity is not an option. We all walk one road or the other. This has nothing to do with perfection, either. Choosing to walk with Jesus means the pursuit of grace and mercy. It means falling down and getting back up again and again. It means seeking out the poor and lonely and inviting them to come walk with us. 

This church was seeking physical perfection, but abandoning the perfection found in following Jesus. I can identify with this struggle, for sure. The enemy is using the same tricks today that he has used since day one. He convinces some that building themselves up is enough, knowing full well that he has them by the throat. 

I refuse to be lukewarm. I will inevitably mess up, fail, have to start over....but I will not be lukewarm. How can I? Jesus gave his life for me, he relentlessly pursues me. To choose mediocrity would be like a slap in his face. No. Never. I pray you feel this way too, friend. If you have seen the truth of Jesus, I pray you are running after it with the passion and zeal of someone running for their life. Don't quit, friend. Don't be deceived by the alluring pull of self satisfaction and physical pleasure. Throw your heart out there, let it beat wildly for the one thing in the world that matters...

let it beat for Jesus. 


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