Do I have any coffee drinkers out there? Even as I type those words, my mind has begun racing with thoughts about my next cup of Joe. I haven’t had any yet today, so finishing this post in one sitting has all of a sudden seemed increasingly more difficult.
I love coffee. I love drinking it. I love making it. There’s nothing quite like a nice cup of hot coffee in my hands in the morning, especially now since it’s cold outside. Have you ever ordered a cup of coffee and drove away only to realize that it wasn’t made correctly? This happened to my husband several months ago, and as frustrating as it was for him in the moment, we simply couldn’t help ourselves but to laugh about it. In fact, we still do.
We were driving home from the mountains, and we stopped at a Starbucks to grab some caffeine to help us finish the trip home. My husband is simple when it comes to coffee: a black Americano, every time. No cream, no sugar, no silly modifications. Just the coffee. And he never drinks iced coffee. Never. So, we order our different drinks (believe me, mine had far more modifications than his), and we’re about a mile down the road when he realized that his coffee wasn’t right. Another thing about my husband that I sort of love is that he just isn’t one to go back to make sure it’s made right. Here’s what happened. His hot Americano had been filled with cold water. Yep, definitely NOT his thing.
If you know anything about the making of an Americano, whether hot or iced, you’d know that the espresso shots used in this drink are very hot, regardless of the temperature of the water that you choose to add to it. That being said, his drink was cold, lukewarm at best.
Now, I know that some of us are extremely partial to either hot or cold coffee. Maybe we even like both. However, I have yet to find someone that enjoys the temperature of lukewarm coffee in their mouth. It’s just no good. It needs to be one or the other, right?
Funny, because Jesus seemed to understand this very thing, and very well, as it relates to faith. Have any of you every read through the book of Revelation? You know, the last book of the Bible that’s filled with prophecy and visions and imagery and all sorts of other things that many of us probably find difficult to fully understand? Yep, that book. Well, as much as that book can be a challenge to accurately interpret, there are parts of it that are so clear. Black and white. This is one of them:
“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.” Revelation 3:15-16
Now, I don’t know if lukewarm coffee induces such a gag reflex in you, but God makes it pretty clear here in saying that lukewarm faith has that very effect on Him. He gags. He vomits the lukewarm out of His mouth. He is not interested in lip service. He’s not looking for adoring fans. He’s after committed followers. Hot or cold. There’s no lukewarm setting.
Passages like this should cause you to squirm a little, a lot, in your seat. And that’s OK. The problem is that we don’t like to be uncomfortable. We want it the way we want it, and when that changes, we move away to a different place where our comfort zone can be reestablished. Here’s the deal, though. The excuses of discomfort are not going to fly in the face of a Holy God when we stand before Him one day to give an account of our lives. We’ll either be hot or cold, and ultimately what this passage in Revelation is saying is that if you’re found to be lukewarm, then you’re really, actually cold.
So, which is it for you? Which is it for me? This is a question that we would do well in dealing with and answering TODAY, not tomorrow. Are we all in when it comes to Jesus Christ? Are we half in, you know, one foot in the world, and one foot in the church? And who determines the temperature of our faith? Is it other people around us who set the standard? Is it ourselves who set the standard? Or is it Jesus who sets the standard?
You and I could spend the rest of our lives comparing our faith to that of someone else’s, giving us false comfort. Or, we could choose to live by the standard which God has set in His Word, a standard that really isn’t up for discussion. Jesus defines what it means to truly be His disciple, not social norms, not other believers, not the world, not even the church.
So, are you in? What is the temperature of your faith? It’s not a bad question to ask.