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The Danger of Getting Too Comfortable - The Crosswalk Devotional - June 8

The Crosswalk Devotional

The Danger of Getting Too Comfortable
By Laura Bailey

"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 NIV

During college, I waited tables to earn extra money. Most people think that waitresses have the most challenging position in a restaurant, but I know differently---it’s the kitchen staff. The kitchen staff manages multiple orders, ensuring they are sent out timely and accurately. The food they plate should taste and look good. One of the first lessons they taught me was to always divide the order into hot and cold items. Making sure that everything arrives at a customer's table at the right temperature is a delicate balance because no one wants his hot food cold or cold food hot. Few things are worse than watching someone eagerly bite into a seemingly warm dish or sandwich only to spew it out because it was unexpectedly cold.

Although I've read Revelation 3:15-16 many times, it wasn't until I related it to my restaurant workdays that the imagery John used became meaningful. In context, these verses are a part of a series of letters John wrote to the newly formed churches in Asia Minor after his revelation or encounter with Jesus. The last letter mentioned was to the Church at Laodicea. In it we read that Jesus wasn't pleased with their current condition, for nothing escapes His attention. Their deeds were lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, and because of this, John described Jesus spitting them out of his mouth.

What, exactly, had happened in the church of Laodicea to warrant such a disgusting image? Well, the crux of the matter was that like the Church at Ephesus, they'd abandoned their "first love" (Revelation 2:4); they'd become comfortable and complacent, their hearts cooled and indifferent to the power of the gospel to transform lives. How easy it is to criticize the Church of Laodicea and feel that we're surely different from them. But truth be told, many professing Christians sit in similar churches today, having lost their passion and devotion for the things of God. 

Pasting on a smile, we trudge through the motions of Sunday morning while hoping the service will soon end so we beat the restaurant crowds for lunch. We participate in the Lord's Supper robotically, rush absentmindedly through our quiet time and at the table quip " Lord, bless this meal" as if we're on autopilot. We possess intellectual knowledge of the Lord but little intimate knowledge because of our straying hearts.

Although we often fail to heed Paul's advice Romans 12:11, "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord," the Lord never forsakes us or leaves us without hope. In verses 18-22, the imagery John penned clearly demonstrated the Lord's desire to restore the communion and fellowship broken by sin: white garments to cover their shameful, spiritual nakedness, healing salve to open their eyes to their passive and lethargic condition, and His knocking at the door to once again reunite and commune with them intimately. Ever faithful Jesus stood ready to forgive and forget to renew fellowship with His children if they confessed and repented of their unfaithfulness. Although the church had wandered away from the Lord, He still loved them and wanted them to return to Him with open hearts and souls on fire fully devoted to following Christ.

In the restaurant, we often discovered that when complaints about the temperature of the food arose, the worker responsible for checking the meals before they left the kitchen had become too nonchalant in that role. It started by leaving one plate unchecked until the pre-check process was abandoned altogether. The same holds true for our spiritual lives. It is easy to become complacent when things continually go well and lethargic when they fall apart. Both break fellowship with Christ. Neutrality has no place in the Lord's army, for we are either "with Him or against Him" (Matthew 12:30); "hot or cold." As the Bride of Christ, let us keep the fires of our hearts ablaze, open and longing for sweet, intimate communion with our glorious bridegroom, until we united with Him at the marriage feast of the Lamb.

Intersecting Faith and Life:
Thinking about your spiritual walk, are you a soul on fire for the Lord, or are you currently in a season of lukewarm faith? Ask the Holy Spirit to expose areas where you are simply "going through the motions," helping you rediscover and reinstate your genuine love for the Lord.

Further Reading:

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/fizkes

Laura Bailey headshotLaura Bailey is a Bible teacher who challenges and encourages women to dive deep in the Scriptures, shift from an earthly to an eternal mindset, and filter life through the lens of God’s Word. She is a wife and momma to three young girls. She blogs at, connect with her on Facebook and Instagram @LauraBaileyWrites 

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