While in the flesh, Jesus said . . .
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. Matthew 24:12
Risen from the dead, in resurrected flesh, Jesus said . . .
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold not 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. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:15-20
Who likes lukewarm liquid? Not me.
A new year has dawned. And I want a new soul. I want a burning hot soul to melt the frozen landscapes still clinging to my heart like a glacier too slowly receding, pressing down, turning blue, suffocating on self.
It’s -15 outside as I sit in front of these flames and the contrast of hot and cold, of inner and outer, of flesh and spirit—they captivate me. How quickly my spirit plunges to places not meant for God-created souls to live. How cold I can become when moved ever so slightly from the burning presence of the Holy One who loves me more than anyone else ever can or will. How comforted and satiated I become once more when bound and restrained—when schools are closed and all outdoor layers are still insufficient to warm and cars won’t start. His words call me. And I want Him close.
He wants ME!
But even now, I am drawn to the dangerous cold. His word lies beside me while my phone beckons.
“Come to me! Do not delay! For I will give you instant pleasure!”
Like a siren singing, luring, I feel the pull of the ring. Not just of cell phone. I could list a thousand things.
Things that are things and nothing more.
Things that are people, created by God.
All can attract us away from the flame and slowly, surely freeze our hearts.
I wonder if we get too comfortable living too far from our Holy Flame? I wonder if we adapt, and keep adapting to colder and colder, to harsh and barren?
Yes, I do. I do adapt too quickly, I admit. I confess. And how can one like me, stranded in the cold, frozen hard to the earth, come back—come back into His holy presence—run back to Him?
I can’t run. I’m too cold.
But I can open.
Open the door!
Don’t tolerate the cold!
He beckons me! He woos you!
Come, Lord Jesus! Fan back to flame this chilled heart! Give me grace to know YOU, to WANT You, my greatest treasure, source of all I have which is good. No accomplishment can match. No possession can satisfy. No health can compare. No child can fill. No lover can love—not like You. All good things come from You—to provide and delight.
Remember this, now warming heart! I dare not delight in gifts so much that I turn cold to the Giver! For then, even gifts given cease to delight. Even gifts can freeze in my hands and ice my veins till there is no life flow left.
You ARE the GIFT, O God! You are our sustaining Flame! Forgive me for forgetting! Oh, my Lord, my God, lure me back! Turn the key of my frozen heart and help me open the door! Bring my cold and weary soul close to You and keep me quiet by your side, gazing upon your beauty, focusing on your glory, thanking you for all good gifts—but never, ever letting any thing or any one take Your place in my heart.