Have you ever been so hurt by someone that you felt like you had been punched so hard in the stomach that you couldn’t catch your breath? Or been so disappointed in someone that it made you feel absolutely horrible - -even nauseated? Well I have! I know this may seem silly to some of you, but I wanted to share this story.
I was thinking the other day about a time a few years back when one of our boys was having a hard time in middle school behaving. His behavior wasn’t terrible, but it just always seemed to be right there on that line. I think it made it worse because as an educator I could literally recall times when certain students behaved that way and now it was my son acting like that. Anyways, I remember one day having to go in for a parent conference and I was so sick the whole day just thinking about how he was behaving in class. After all, I raised him better than that, and all we did for that boy – how dare he act like this! Well thankfully, after some pretty stiff consequences, he straightened up and grew out of that stage – thank God!!!!
What brought this to my mind were the words in Rev 3: 15 – 16 “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Basically, God is telling us here that when we are lukewarm, complacent, riding the fence, right on the line --- He wants to vomit (spue out of His mouth.) We make Him sick. I felt that feeling in the pit of my stomach again when I realized that I often times make my Lord and Savior feel like He has been punched in the gut and my actions make Him want to vomit just like I felt that day of the parent conference!
How many times do I stay right there on the line in my dedication to Him? Yes, I go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays, I read a quick devotion on most mornings, and sometimes I even do a little Bible study a few times a week. But does that classify as being on fire, sold out and completely surrendered to the one who gave His life for me? How does that compare to the suffering and ridicule He faced for my sins? It doesn’t!
What about all the times I know I should witness and I don’t? Or what about all the wasted hours I spend on the computer or watching TV? How about the times when I know the Lord is convicting me to serve Him in a certain way or worship Him by lifting my hands in praise and I don’t? What about the bitterness I hold onto over cross words or wrongdoings (Eph 4:31 tells us to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger)? What about the times I simply don’t read my Bible everyday? And what about all the times I just feel satisfied with my life – never striving to grow closer to Him or to do more for Him? I know that some of these things may seem minor but in God’s eyes a sin is a sin! He doesn’t classify them on a scale of how big or small the sin is --- regardless of what it is, when we are not in line with what His word tells us, we are sinning! I know that we are human and we are going to sin but if I’m His child, then I need to be more obedient, more dedicated and less complacent. I need to be on fire for my Savior --- I don’t want to make my God feel nauseous when He looks at me. I don’t ever want Him to have to spue me out of His mouth!
Dear Lord, I pray that I will be more aware of my actions and behaviors. Lord, please forgive me for the times I have made You sick! I don’t want You to ever feel like I have punched you in the gut. *O Lord, I pray that I will pay careful attention to how I walk—not as an unwise person but as wise— making the most of my time, I don’t want to be foolish, but I pray for the discernment to understand what Your will is. Lord, I pray for the strength to be completely sold out and surrendered to You in all that I do and to be an example of one walking side by side on fire for You – my Lord, my Rock, my Redeemer, my Savior, my God! In Jesus Name I Pray - Amen
*Ephesians 5: 15-16