It strikes when you least expect it! Unbeknown to its victim, it has a strangling effect and initially a subtle, almost sedative hold. Most live in denial about it, others become indifferent and divert to role playing. It has an ugly grip that few are able to shake themselves loose from. The once passionately driven God chaser has slowly become a casual spectator of the faith. Those afflicted become contagious carriers of the most damaging and ugly disease to strike the church. They teach newer, younger, believers bad habits by their mere conduct. What is it? It is the spiritual disease of complacency. It is the LUKEWARM EPIDEMIC!
Jesus warns us about it in Revelations 3:15; “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” What is there about a lukewarm believer that nauseates God? When a professing believer becomes complacent, indifferent, neutral, a spiritual drifter without spiritual passion and fire…those watching his life observe and subconsciously think; “he may be more religious than I am, but he is no different than than I am.” There is no conviction because there is no beating heart or raging passion for the Lord Jesus. Soon it becomes obvious to others what is the most important and significant activity in this person’s life. Other things soon become more important. It is evidenced by the conversations. One will always talk about the things most important in their life. It shows up in where we invest our time and resources. It is most evident by the lack of energy and heart for worship, scripture reading, and prayer. Soon these things become dead rituals and empty habits that lack life and anointing. It becomes a dead mans religion and one must revert to hypocrisy and role playing to survive the game. The tragic consequences not only impacts the lukewarm believer, it sucks the life out of the church and patterns an embarrassing model for those watching on the sidelines. The Bible gives a stern warning about such a one; “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” (2 Tim 3:5) Why are we to stay away from such people? Because they are dangerous and because they carry a very contagious spirit. You can be so easily seduced and influenced. Before you know it, that nasty killer has its vice grip hold on you.!
No doubt this is the hour of seduction. We are living in the period that Jesus warned us about. “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…” (Matthew 24:12) The Apostle Paul gives us a heads up when he sternly warns; “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first…” (2 Thess 2:3) Maybe even more so, Jesus forcefully cautions his followers to beware on several occasions. “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” (Matt 25:13) The Apostle Paul warns us to “Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…” (1 Peter 5:8)
There is a way to inoculate yourself from this deadly and fatal disease. Stay away from people who are not radical imitators of the faith! Stay away from activities that drain you of passionate spirituality. Stay away from those who are carriers of the Lukewarm epidemic! Stay away from sin and compromise! Stay away from a life of spiritual mediocrity. Be a passionate, Spirit-filled, heart raging, devil defying, life changing, holy living, man or woman of God. Be anything but normal or average!
At the same time “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God” (2 Tim 1:6) Live in the Word of God. Feast on the scriptures every opportunity you can. Fellowship with God in prayer constantly. Worship and sing to the Lord all through the day. Fast on a regular basis. Freely talk and share about Jesus! Walk in the power and the demonstration of the Holy Spirit! If you do this, your spiritual immune system will prevent the enemy from ever being able to penetrate your heart and chill it with the Lukewarm Epidemic!