âWrite this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea.Â
This is the message from the one who is the Amenâthe faithful and true witness, the beginning of Godâs new creation:
âI know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!
You say, âI am rich. I have everything I want. I donât need a thing!â And you donât realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from meâgold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.
I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.”
-Revelation 3:14-19 NLT
I’ve had such a “kind of hard time” with my prayers last week/this week.
Like I said from last year, I was led to start praying in the Spirit by 3am each morning and thank God, after the initial struggle to start it, I have been at least tilting more towards praying as against not praying on some days.
But last week was something else!
Not that I wasn’t praying but the struggle to fight sleep was real!
Last night (this night) I had to literally sit up and shake my head as I prayed, anything to make sure I didn’t sleep off before my hour of prayer.
And somehow too, I have been feeling like I don’t have enough Word in me.
Maybe it’s just a feeling of being called higher… but I have just been feeling like, I need MORE.
So recently again, I felt led to give extra time to my Bible by 3pm each day.
So that’s 3am prayers and then sit in with the Word by 3pm.
But my stint with the struggle to pray and all just had me thinking… especially as one of our Pastor’s at Church said something on Monday..
He said “if you want to know if a Christian is back sliding, check their prayer life. They may still be reading their Bible, but once that place of power (prayer) is not hot, they are basically not in top gear”.
In the Revelations passage up there, you see Jesus speaking about this “top gear”.
âI know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”
And I noted as I studied, it’s like Jesus saying “she’s still in me, but she’s not a flaming fire”.
If you aren’t hot, hot, hot, you are just “there”, occupying space.
And so as I did my study, I asked…
What makes fire burn bright?
What makes a Christian burn bright?
What’s our petrol?
What’s our spiritual food?
The Word – Prayers – the power.
How does the Word set us on fire for God?
“There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and donât seem to listen.
You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about GODâS WORD.
You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesnât know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.”
-Hebrews 5:11-14 NLT
Notice that Paul said that they are “spiritually dull” – blunt – and don’t listen to the call to grow, to get higher, to be sharpened, to move away from drinking milk into cracking bones in the Word.
And what was this spiritual dullness predicted on?
Their limited knowledge of God’s Word.
So what really stops us from growing in the Word?
What’s our excuse?
Let’s list a few..
(3) Distractions (even from seemingly valid things)
(4) Contentment with the level we are at right now.
All the above reasons may seem valid, but still Apostle Paul says:
“You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others.
Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about GODâS WORD.
You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesnât know how to do what is right.”
So the excuses don’t even matter, what is the issue here is that you are still a baby as a result of your excuses and that is so wrong!
It’s time to #move, #press, and train yourself to be a FLAMING FIRE.
And so the Bible says:
“So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we donât need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You donât need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.”
-Hebrews 6:1-3 NLT
How do we move to further understanding?
“Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit Godâs promises because of their faith and endurance.”
-Hebrews 6:11-12 NLT
Notice three ways to grow up there…
Love, Faith and endurance…
Love as we know it is in 1 Corinthians 13…
We have written on it here and here before…
You can increase in gifts of the Spirit but if your love isn’t being exercised and grown, you are still spiritually dull and empty, basically just like a tingling cymbal, all noise and no substance.
Love is the uppermost way by which you can know that you are a flaming fire for God.
And faith studies are littered everywhere on this blog…
Here’s God’s word on faith…
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your FAITH is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
-James 1:2-4, 12 NLT
And when your faith grows, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing…
Here’s Christ’s aim with us – perfection, just like He is perfect.
And when you stick with #pushing through in faith and endurance, that’s what you get, a faith tested by fire, returning you back as pure gold.
Remember that after everything about putting on the FULL armour of God in Ephesians 6, the Bible then says “pray in the Spirit at all times!”
1Peter 4:7 says “the end of the world is coming soon, therefore be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.”
Every time I miss a day of praying in the Spirit, sometimes I just feel God shaking His head at me (lol, my imagination) and telling me “this is not the way to go”.
There’s no time to be lax in spiritual disciplines.
I shared on our single ladies group on Monday on how we set goals on career and business per week but sometimes forget to set goals about the part of our life that even is more important – our spiritual life which controls the physical.
Seriously my flesh doesn’t want to push most times and I am not there yet, but sometimes I shake my legs like a fish while praying so I can stay awake, carry my Bible and bury myself in it day in and day out (even when I am not getting revelation)… I stay put just because I know that life without this… this growth… this #push is basically death!
And I don’t want to die.
Remember our study on “remaining in Jesus?”
You may think that you are thriving, but once you are spiritually dull, that’s the start of a decline in your life.
This is a call to me and you… to #press.
I thank God for the feeling I have on not being filled up with His word… the more I feel that way, the more I press to fill up!
Let’s all do the same too.
You feel empty of the Word?
#press and fill up!
You fill like your relationship with God isn’t on fire?
Block out sometime and pray… pray in tongues too… set your Spirit man alive again!
Then fellowship with God not in the thous and all, but like a lover and build intimacy with Him.
In this day, time and season, we must #push, move and #grow!
Let Jesus not say of us “you are neither hot or cold, so off you go!”
So let’s pray dears… we need serious grace…
Father we thank you first of all for grace to be in you…
We know that salvation isn’t the end point of what you intend for us, you want us to grow.
Please Lord, help me to grow in you.
Give me an intense desire for you, your word, for fellowship with you.
Help me move higher and come up higher like you want me to.
Grace Lord… Grace.
In Jesus name I have prayed, amen!
I pray these words resound in our hearts and may we #press and push to get MORE each and everyday of our lives in the Lord, in Jesus name, amen!
Till our next #OnlineBibleStudy
“The winds are your messengers; flames of fire are your servants.”
“Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:”
-Psalm 104:4, KJV
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