Monday, January 21, 2013

No Longer a Flame


No Longer a Flame
Prayer of the Lukewarm Christian
written by Sarah

In days gone by, I was a light;
On fire for God, His image and delight.
A burning flame without a care,
Sent to spread His love everywhere.
But as days went on, trial to trial,
My flame slowly faded, no longer a fire.

I wonder, what do people see?
When they look through the window at me?
Is it a true Follower, who would give their all?
Or the shell of a mask, like a beautiful doll?

Through the motions I went every day,
On the outside, the perfect Christian in every way.
Thoughts would come, which I dismiss.
Then a passage I heard, said this: 

      "Neither hot nor cold, are you,
But wretched, poor, and blind is true.
Buy from Me the purest gold,
Dress in the white garments I hold.
Open your eyes to the poison-deceit;
Fall on your knees, fall at My feet.

For I stand and knock at your door;
Pay attention! Listen! I shall settle the score.
If you will hear and answer My call,
A crown you shall wear, riches and all!
With the right to My throne, a victor you'll be,
Just as I Am also, having won the Great Victory."

As I pondered these words,
New hope sprang forth as a bird
And soared so high, I could feel the wind
Like a breath of love from Heaven's skin.

I see now, O King, the mask I've lived:
To myself, for myself - alone - I've give'd.
Accept my apology, I repent.
From now on, O Lord, I'm all in!

Light my candle, once again;
Mold me, use me more - amen!
Forgive me, Lord, I take the blame;
Ignite a fire, feed my flame!

-----------------------------------------------

I wrote this poem, spur of the moment, in the middle of a sermon our pastor preached, because all too often, I find myself in it.  It is so easy to give up and just let go.  Don't do it!

A couple Sundays ago, our pastor preached on the Lukewarm Christian, the passage taken from Revelation 3: 14-22.  It is a powerful passage, one that should bring you to your knees.  Below, you can read some of the notes I took during the message.

Pastor stated (respectively):  "This is not a message for the cold, for those who know nothing.  This is for the lukewarm, those sitting in their pew at church, twiddling their thumbs... I'm not talking about lukewarm lost people.  They're cold!  I'm talking about God's people."

apathy -- a + pathos = without passion

The lukewarm Christian, is a "follower" who has lost his/her passion for which he/she follows.  Their flame has burnt out, no longer shining a light for Christ.  On the outside, they may be the perfect Christian, but they are only going through the motions.  

Too many times, we find ourselves in the same situation.  Two years ago this February, I was doing it, and I still find myself struggling, every day.  But in His sweet mercy and grace, He allows us to run to His arms.  But we have to make that choice.

Revelation 3:16 says, "So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit [spit] you out of My mouth."

How could we [I] become so lukewarm, so passionless for Jesus, that He would want to spit us [me] out?  That [I] would make Him sick to His stomach? 

I carry the HCSB, and the notes on this passage (Rev. 3:17-19) sums it up quite well:

"Because many believers in the Laodicean church were rich and arrogant, they were completely blind to the fact that they were spiritually wretched and naked.  The only way Christ would give them spiritual sight and make them spiritually rich and properly dressed was for them to repent and be committed to Him, no longer going through the motions spiritually.  'As many as I love, I... discipline' (Rev. 3:19) echoes Proverbs 3:11-12, cited in Hebrews 12:6. 


Where is God now?  Is He in the Church?
No.  He's OUTSIDE knocking on the door. (Rev. 3:20)

Pastor concluded the message with a list of questions, each requiring a Yes or No answer.
Think about them carefully.

How do you know if you are lukewarm?

Are you living on the edge of personal holiness?
YES        NO

Are you serving without a burden for the lost?
YES        NO

Are you singing without the Spirit?
YES        NO

Are you spending very little time in the Scripture?
YES        NO

Are you spending very little time in prayer?
YES        NO

Are you giving, but not so much that your life is inconvenienced?
YES        NO

Are you rarely, if ever, sharing the Gospel?
YES        NO


   
Neutrality.
It is all too common in our world today.

Dare to be different!  Make a stand!

Don't let this get you down.  There's a living Hope out there just waiting for you to answer your door.

Blessings,
Sarah

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