This post comes from Calvary Chapel Pastors
The Lord once told the ancient church of Laodicea that it had grown lukewarm—and He didn’t mean it as a compliment. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot,” He said to them. “I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).
The Lord cannot tolerate a lukewarm spiritual condition. He doesn’t want a divided heart. He doesn’t ask to be just a part of your life. He doesn’t want you to include Him among the other gods you worship. He desires that you give Him your whole heart, soul, mind, and body—everything.
You may try to split your devotion between God and something or someone else, but it cannot be done. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). You cannot maintain divided loyalties. You cannot live after the Spirit and walk after the flesh at the same time. It simply won’t work. These things are mutually exclusive. You have to choose one or the other.
When ancient Israel became spiritually lukewarm toward God, the Lord didn’t sit idly by. He said, “Their heart is divided; now they are held guilty.” And how did He respond? “He will break down their altars; He will ruin their sacred pillars” (Hosea 10:2).
Had George Gallup lived in that era and conducted a poll, he probably would have discovered that 95 percent of the people believed in the existence of God; 87 percent of them attended a worship service sometime during the year; 92 percent of them felt religion was important in a person’s life; and 90 percent believed they should have prayer in the public schools. Yet almost 100 percent of the people of Hosea’s era had a divided heart.
Despite a general belief in God, their hearts had become divided, disloyal, and lukewarm toward God. This had occurred even though God had greatly blessed Israel and it had become a very prosperous nation. Sadly, the people used their prosperity to make ornate altars to other gods. They used the goodness of the land, which God had given them, to create and worship dead idols. God kept giving, but nothing came back to Him. In fact, the more God gave, the more they turned to other gods.
The Israelites used their surplus funds to buy large screen TVs, season tickets for Red Sox games, and a condo in Aspen. No, the Bible doesn’t really say that; but had they lived today, the text might well have said exactly such a thing. They simply offered their sacrifices to the puny, worthless things that had captured their hearts.
So they made images to Molech, the god of pleasure—and thereby acknowledged that pleasure had mastered their lives. They made images of Ashtoreth, thereby acknowledging that their sexual desires had grown paramount. At least they were honest about it! By their actions they said, “Yes, these are our top priorities. They rule our lives.” And they continued to go to synagogue every Sabbath, where they read from the Torah and said a few prayers. Then for the rest of the week they pursued their own pleasures and desires. They had divided hearts. God forbid that the Super Bowl should come on a Sabbath, for then they would have to miss synagogue!
What did God do about the divided hearts and lukewarm attitudes of His people? He promised to break down their altars and spoil their images. It’s as though He said, “These things of the world that you have given your heart to—these trinkets that have taken your heart away from Me, these possessions that you have striven to acquire— I will strip them all from you. I am about to take away your altars and destroy your images. They have attracted you away from Me and created your divided hearts, so I will utterly destroy them.”
Look at the world around you. Observe all the material things you find so attractive—and realize that they’re all going to burn. God will destroy them all. Only one kind of treasure is eternal, the spiritual treasure you lay up in heaven. The rest is wood, hay, and stubble (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). It’s all going to burn.
God reserves the non-flammable stuff for those with undivided hearts.
– excerpted from Love The More Excellent Way by Chuck Smith
continue reading the views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Calvary Southampton