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ometimes the enemy of God is not evil; it is something far less opposing on the outside and therefore makes itself out to be something that one can novelly pursue, with the full intent on even pleasing God, yet missing out on God entirely. Yes, you may have guessed it. Often, the enemy of God is not evil. It is the extra “o” to God - “Good.” 

Am I in Love with Good or God?

The pursuit of being a good person often leaves us on the outside when it comes to the heartbeat of God. At the quest for good, we will busy our lives with items that by themselves pose no threat, but together create a life-line of busyness that serves no other purpose than to mask hidden symptoms of a grave sin within our hearts. Symptoms that come from a lifetime of pursuing good to feel like we are becoming a better person. Most often, this “feeling” our way through sort of way of thinking opposes the root of our faith. In other words, we spend most of the lives feeling out our way through the world, facing major decisions on this with the idea of “going with the gut.” This sounds nice but isn’t biblical. For Hebrews 11:1 teaches us, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” 

If you are trying to navigate your life by filling it up with good things, you will miss out on the substance of things hoped for. Faith cannot and will not be activated in your life if you have everything calculated. If you are not careful, you will have your whole life measured out with good things and miss out on the shorter, more prominent three-letter word that is filled with the well all true-life draws from God. 

David Goetz says this, 

“Too much of the good life ends up being toxic, deforming us spiritually.”

The danger of being consumed with only good things is that it calculates God out of your life. It hijacks the risk of your faith and leaving the no “substance” in the things “hoped for.” God lives in the substance of faith; it is His breading ground for making us less like ourselves and more like Him. For Jesus says in Matthew 9:17, “Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out, and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” When we plan out our lives completely full of good things, easy things, we miss out on the “new wine” that God wants to pour into our spirit, thus preserving the very thing we were trying ourselves to keep in the first place. By “loosing” ourselves to the comforts of this life, we “find” ourselves in the arms comforter of life. For Jesus says in Matthew 16:25, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”

In being solely focused on doing good, we will miss out on the gift of faith in the Holy Spirit. For Jesus classifies His Spirit speaking to his disciples, saying, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.” How can the Holy Spirit ever comfort us if there is only us in our wineskins? 

Why do we keep such a firm grip on our lives when we are called to lose it? This dilemma is the breeding ground for “The Lukewarm Christian.” 

“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.” Luke 9:49,50

Notice this, John called Jesus his “Master” but did not understand the way of his master, for Jesus told him not to do the very thing that he was doing. This brings us to our first point today: 

The lukewarm Christian doesn’t know he is, in fact, a lukewarm Christian. He confesses the name of Jesus, even calling him master, but does not know His ways and denies the actual power of the title he confesses. 

The lukewarm Christian doesn’t know he is, in fact, a lukewarm Christian.

Sometimes when we are on our Christian journey, we get caught up in this period in which we aren’t doing anything for God, in the sense of knowing we could be better, and at the same time aren’t doing anything wrong. We are caught up in the sort of in-between the game, and when sometimes takes a look at our life, they can tell we are Christian sometimes, and other times, they sort of scratch their heads at us. The tragedy is that we think this is okay.  But, this kind of Christianity is nowhere in the bible? 

Jesus says in Matthew 5:13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” So if Jesus says this kind of Christianity is good for nothing, why do we get into this rut sometimes in our faith? 

Am I Known By My Words or Actions?

This brings us to our second point. The lukewarm Christian constantly compares their Christianity to others, saying, “Hey, I am not the best Christian, but at least I am not like the other guys…” We forget the words of Jesus when he says in Luke 18:11,12, “The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 

Jesus never meant for His followers only to follow Him by their words, but through their lives lived. Confessing Jesus is not the bar of Christianity. When Jesus gave his life on this cross, it wasn’t just so that we would not his cute little name and call on it whenever we feel guilty about sin in our life. No, he wants us to know Him, so that we may “do the will of our Father who is in heaven..” That’s what we are on the hook for, and what John was on the hook for when he said.. “Master..” Let’s continue. 

“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.” Luke 9:49,50.

Do you think someone being demonically is something Jesus would want for someone? If the answer isn’t apparent, then you may need a lot more than just this blog today. Someone being demonically possessed is nothing anything the Lord wants for anyone. So, if the answer is so obvious for us, why do you think it wasn’t for John? After all, he was one of the closest disciples of Jesus. 

Well, if you are having a little trouble coming up with the answer, John answers it for us… “because he is not one of us.” This brings us to our third point today. 

Am I in love with Gods Agenda, or Mine? 

The Lukewarm Christian has his agenda, not God’s agenda. “According to the Hartford Institute of Religion Research, more than 40 percent of Americans, “says,” they go to church weekly. As it turns out, however, less than 20 percent are actually in church. In other words, more than 80 percent of Americans are finding more fulfilling things to do on weekends.

From the book Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore, authors Thom and Joani Schultz say, “Americans have been leaving the Christian church in droves for decades. We’ve watched church leaders try a variety of methods to bring them back, and nearly all of their efforts are missing the mark…We’ve heard thousands of people tell us their stories, and the common thread is that the average church service is not connecting with them. People want God, just not how the church packages him.”

There is a disconnect churchgoers have. The church at large has itself so much in the way that people can only experience God within the actual walls of the church. And yes, that is true to an emotional point. It is far easier for a person to let their guard down in these walls because there are more than two or three people in Jesus' name so that things can happen; miracles can happen. But Jesus didn’t give his life so that we can play church… he wants us to be the church, and that's where the disconnect landed for John and the other disciples.

In their hearts, because they had followed Jesus for almost three years of their life, the temptation became about what they were doing inside their little walls of “following Jesus.” In other words, they got into a place in their hearts where they were actually willing to sacrifice people not being cast out of demonic oppression because of there “because he is not one of us..” motive. 

And that’s the temptation for the lukewarm Christian and the lukewarm church to sacrifice the will of Jesus all the altar of “because he is not one of us..” For Jesus, kindly correct’s them... “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”

What Jesus is saying here is simple, “You guys are focusing on the wrong agenda here… whoever is for us is not against us... I don’t want anybody to be oppressed by the enemy..” 

So let me pause here and ask some basic questions here.  

What is your agenda in your relationship with God? To feel better about yourself? 

If you’ve asked, he’s already forgiven you. If it is not to feel guilty, ashamed, or condemned, well, you are neither of those with Jesus. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” 

Is it To build a great church? God will do that no problem, then what? 

What are we doing here? God’s agenda.  

This brings us to the finishing touches of our last point and today’s post. In our scripture, who was carrying out God’s agenda? 

“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.” Luke 9:49,50.

The man who had nothing else but the name of Jesus was carrying out the agenda of God. It turns out those the ones who were following Jesus the closest were the furthest from carrying out the will of Jesus.


Resources

https://thriveconference.org/now/can-you-be-a-lukewarm-christian-by-francis-chan

https://churchleaders.com/pastors/304224-francis-chan-theres-no-thing-lukewarm-christian.html

https://carm.org/what-is-a-lukewarm-christian

https://www.openbible.info/topics/lukewarm_christians

Posted 
Sep 2, 2019
 in 
Discipleship
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