The Journal of Biblical Accuracy

Be zealeous and not lukewarm (PDF) PDF version

Be zealeous and not lukewarm

Today was a very important day for me. For years I was suffering from shortsightedness. "It is only the right eye … 1.75. You can get lenses if you want to", the ophthalmologist told me some years ago. I could work, drive, do anything that I was doing but not everything was so clear as it used to be. But with the years you forget how it used to be anyway. You live in a dimmer than normal world, with less clearness in what you see and you get used to the idea that this normal. But I know it wasn’t. And I know, though shortsighted … I could still live like this. Nothing too urgent. "It will be done when I have time". Of course I never had time because I never made the time or because instead of time I was making excuses. So the shortsightedness was always there. But this Saturday I thought, "why not?"…. a friend of mine had told me that in Germany at optic shops they look at your eyes for free and they give you the necessary lenses or glasses. I had tried once in the past but no employee in the shop could speak English and since I didn’t speak any German nothing happened. But now, with my "ein bischen" (a little) German, I could make it. So I went there. They sent me to the first floor where an employee would measure my shortsightedness and would tell me what to do. I was waiting outside sitting on the sofa… she had another appointment. As I was waiting I thought "what am I doing here Saturday noon-time? Let’s dismiss this idea with the lenses and go out to the market. It is Saturday!" But I felt this time I needed to stay. So my turn arrived. The employee measured my shortsightedness, 2.25 now, and we booked an appointment for today, 16:40, to get the lenses. I was there on time and then we started… She would place the lens in my eye and then I would have to do it alone. Before she did it though, I asked her to give me a minute to have a look at the world outside without the lens so that to see then whether there was any difference. So I looked outside for some seconds and then she started. Initially my eye resisted to see her finger directed to it ("a finger in my eye!!!??") but at the end she succeeded. Then I turned and looked outside. My goodness! All that a little bit dim world was now very CLEAR. Everything seemed to be more alive. The labels I couldn’t read, now I could!! "Hey this is good! I like it!" I told her. "Ok. Now it is time to do it yourself", she told me. And after I tried for some minutes I did it, paid and left. First thing I saw was the Frankfurt’s skyscrapers in the city center. I had seen them hundreds of times but first time they were so CLEAR! The lights in them, the buildings around, the people everything was VERY CLEAR. How could I miss this for the last few years? I know how… Because instead of having what GOD had planned for my eyes, which was to see clearly, I preferred the compromise – for that is what is actually – of "survival". This goes like this: "Since I survive, since I live, since I see a little bit, I’m OK". The compromise of survival does not care whether you LIVE really, in the abundance and the life God has planned for you. Instead it says: "go.. just go.. survive… try to make it somehow… you make things perfect later".

And this is how we think many times with our spiritual sight too. The spiritual sight as the physical sight may also suffer from shortsightedness. It does not happen instantaneously. It is a long process. I didn’t get up one day and my sight was short. It took years. So also with the spiritual shortsightedness. It does not happen instantaneously. It develops. One compromise here, one compromise there and … you have it. "A little leaven leavens the whole lump" says the Word (I Corinthians 5:6). Suddenly one day you are before a challenge that some years ago you could very easily pass and now you are afraid. It seems your faith is not enough to get you over it! Or you compare yourself with what fellowship you used to have with the Lord and where you stand now and you find that something has been lost. You are not as alive as you used to be! You can see the short things, the blessings, your work, home, etc but the longer things those who pertain to the kingdom, you somehow see them only dim. They seem dim to YOU and this is because you suffer from spiritual shortsightedness. The first thing to do is to recognize it. I had shortsightedness long before I discover it. I discover it accidentally in the army when I once had to shoot in an exercise towards an aim 400 meters ahead and could hardly see it at all. But the shortsightedness didn’t start at that time. It was there since long time ago. I knew something was wrong with my eyes …. I couldn’t see as I used to when I was 20. So something was wrong. But at the time I had to shoot and could hardly see the target then I understood. So also with the spiritual shortsightedness. It may be there. You know that something is not right. You can’t determine it but something is really not as good as it used to be in your relationship with God. It is not the ALIVE fellowship you used to have. And one day or a period the Lord starts revealing to you that something is going wrong with the eyes of your heart. The heart can’t see as far as it could see. One day you go to where many young believers are, in a worship night for example and wonder how they jump and sing and are so zealous and at the same time you wonder why you are not like them now, though you were in the past. You are COOLER now. You can’t see as far as they see and as far as you used to see. You suffer from spiritual shortsightedness and you need to recognize it first! And then, as with the physical shortsightedness, you have two ways to go. One is the compromise of survival. According to this… "I don’t need to do anything. I don’t need to change. It is less than what it used to be but never mind. I will make it. I will survive. I’m still doing things for God. I go to the church and I pray, though it is very dry and much less than in the past". You compromise and you just go. You don’t care whether the life you live is less than what God had for you, less than what you yourself have experienced with God. You just go. You do … as all others… AS THE WORLD! You have compromised. You [I hope nobody falls in this "you" but I also hope that we all examine ourselves!] are a LAODICEAN! And to you the Lord speaks:

Revelation 3:14-19
"And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, These things says the Amen, the Faithful and the True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold not hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth. Because you say, "I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing-and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, BLIND, and naked – I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; AND ANOINT YOUR EYES WITH EYE SALVE, THAT YOU MAY SEE. As many as I love I rebuke and chasten. Therefore BE ZEALOUS AND REPENT"

See the Lord does not say "you are fine. You can stay like this. You are lukewarm but never mind. Just go on". He says "BE ZEALOUS AND REPENT!" To be lukewarm is a SIN for which we need to repent! It is not an acceptable state by the Lord! The only acceptable state is to be ZEALOUS! That’s how He wants you. He wants you to boil for Him! The compromise of survival is a sin! If you are in the Laodicean church, and I know many of us are, the right way is NOT to go on. It is to RETURN. And …. I have good news for you. Jesus has the eye salve, the lenses your eyes need. Jesus has the garments, your body needs. Jesus has the gold that is refined by fire to make you, your heart, rich. JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. He has all that you need to make you alive again. But you need to return. To kneel down and repent. "Survival" is a lie. It is actually death. Only by repenting and return you will see again and you will LIVE again with the abundant life, the life of the HEART, that Jesus came to bring to you (John 10:10).

Revelation 3:20-22
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Anastasios Kioulachoglou