Some like it hot, some like it cold…
“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). Jesus, the faithful and true witness, spoke these words to the church in the city of Laodicea. Apparently, the church had once been on fire for God, but they had cooled off. They had allowed the embers to chill, and the flames to die out.
Jesus condemned them harshly for forgetting his power. Someone who loses the fire of God is worse in God’s eyes than someone who never even experienced the fire of God. This is because they have had a taste of God’s fire, and they have lost it. Anyone who returns to the bland diet of the world after tasting the magnificence of God’s glory deserves to be spit from God’s mouth. This type of person has a form of godliness, but they deny the power of God. They talk about what God has done in the past, but they never see God move in the present.
Jesus goes on to tell them, “I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire…” (Revelation 3:18). Even though the Laodiceans had become lukewarm, there was a solution. Those who have lost the fire of God can find it again. If you have become lukewarm, it is easy to burst into flames again. Jesus will meet you where you are, and reignite a flame in your heart. Jesus promised, “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).
It is vital to keep God’s fire burning hot in your life. As long as a hot air balloon stays hot, it continues to rise. However, if the air inside the balloon begins to cool off, it will start to sink. The cooler the air, the faster it descends. If a balloon gets lukewarm, it will never fulfill its purpose. Keep the fire burning!
Fan God’s gift into flame
Paul urged Timothy, “…I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6). Notice, the fire originally came from God when Paul laid his hands on Timothy, but now Paul is instructing Timothy to make a conscious effort to keep the fire burning. If the fire of God is neglected, it will slowly wane and eventually be quenched.
After a fire is started it needs to be nurtured. Paul’s imagery suggests a tiny flame which must be blown until it is burning strong. Fanning a flame provides oxygen which causes the fire to burn hotter. This oxygen is the breath of the Holy Spirit, blowing away cobwebs and causing dying embers to glow once again. The more a fire is fanned, the hotter it will burn.
Do not quench the fire
“Do not put out the Spirit’s fire” (1 Thess. 5:19). It is possible to lose the fire of God. This can be a slow, deadly process which begins with apathy, proceeds to stagnation, and ultimately ends with the ashes of spiritual indifference. The King James Version says, “Quench not the Spirit within you.” Quenching the Spirit of God causes lukewarmness. Keeping the fire burning bright is the result of a decision we make to maintain our relationship with God. The Spirit is quenched when we take our eyes off Jesus, and begin to focus on the lies of Satan.