Jesus said to the church in Laodicea, “‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor 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 (Revelation 3:15-16).’”
Laodicea was located near Hierapolis, which contained hot mineral springs, and Colossae, which was known for being a source of pure, cold water. Laodicea had an aqueduct that carried water into the city from the hot springs five miles away. This water became lukewarm by the time it reached Laodicea. William Barclay once wrote, “The imagery of the Laodicean aqueduct suggests not that ‘hot’ is good and ‘cold’ is bad, but that both hot and cold water are useful, whereas lukewarm water is useless.”
Next, Jesus tells the people, “‘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 (Revelation 3:17).’”
The Laodicean church was overconfident with regard to its wealth—both physically and spiritually. The people didn’t realize that they were completely bankrupt. So what was the solution?
The Lord said, “‘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 (Revelation 3:18).’”
The city of Laodicea contained a medical school where a well-known ophthalmologist practiced. The people were proud of their ability to heal the eyes, but Jesus said the people were blind.
“‘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 that person, and they with me.’” -Revelation 3:19-20
Sounds a lot like us, doesn’t it? We doggedly pursue worldly wealth and worldly wisdom, thinking that someday it will satisfy us, but it won’t. God says, “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare (Isaiah 55:2).”
Do you believe you are a stranger and an alien in your citizenship on Earth? Do you believe that God’s love is better than life? If you really believe that, then wouldn’t you live differently? Wouldn’t you use that as your basis of overwhelming worship and praise? Being satisfied with the status quo in our walk with Christ will always limit what God desires to do in each of our lives.
We all have these rooms in our hearts. No matter if you are one month old in the Lord or 50 years old in the Lord, almost daily Jesus is going to come knocking on the door to rooms in your life. I’ve got all these rooms in my heart, and our Savior walks with me in everything that He desires to process and work through in His timing. As I open the door and receive Christ into the painful situation I am in, Jesus will answer with His presence. I believe God has given us the grace to experience His presence in every situation by faith today.
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.