Thursday, 5 December 2013

Lukewarm

A few days ago I was looking through some papers of mine and I came across an article I had written of an experience I had quite a few years back.  It was entitled 'Lukewarm'.  Many of my writings were written on an older computer with some packages that will not work on the Windows I have on my new computer, and I could not find this testimony in my files.  I noticed that there were lots of other writings and testimonies that were missing also so I investigated a little and found  many of them on a memory stick that could be used on my new computer.  I thought maybe I would share some of them on my blog. Today I thought I would put 'Lukewarm' on. 



Lukewarm

(Written in November 2004 - an edited version)
On Tuesday, when I was looking on some old floppy disks for photographs I came across a file entitled 'Judgement begins with the house of God', something I had written some time back, so I printed it out and read it.



Wednesday evening on my digital imaging course I was given some homework by my tutor.  It was to take photographs on the theme 'Shadow and substance'.
Just before I made the bed on Thursday morning I noticed the shadows falling across the crumpled sheets and pillow cases. 

The saying  'You make your bed and lie on it' came into my mind and I thought 'What a perfect title and photograph for a project, either as a fact or a suggestion, I could do something with this'.  The sheets were covered in roses and I thought 'We can either make life a bed of roses or something else'. So I took two photographs, one with the sheets crumpled and one with the bed made.(not very well I have to admit)


                                                                 
Then I remembered that within the piece 'Judgement begins with the house of God' there was a poem I had written, called 'Lukewarm' ,which contained a line or two referring to a bed. 






 I thought maybe this was not coincidence, that the Lord may be showing me something here.


Lukewarmness is spoken of in one of the seven churches in the book of Revelations, in the Laodicean church. All the churches except one were tolerating something that is ungodly within its bounds, the difference with the Philadelphian church being shown in Ch. 3 v.8 'For you have a little strength and have kept my Word and have not denied my name'. 'Philadelphia' means 'brotherly love'.  The Laodiceans were a group of people who claimed to be followers of Christ but who relied on their wealth and worldly goods rather than Jesus Christ's teachings, and people's principles rather than God's.  'Laodicea' means 'people's opinions'.  

Just as in Isaiah's day the Lord's judgement had come upon His people because of their unfaithfulness, 'for Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord, defying His glorious presence.' Isaiah ch. 3 v. 8 so too it acts as a warning to us today.  Isaiah ch. 4 v.1 says 'In that day seven women will take hold of one man and say 'We will eat our own bread, and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name, take away our reproach.'   As His word is the same yesterday, today and forever, is this a spiritual message to God's Spiritual Israel (His church) today not to bear the name of Jesus Christ and at the same time eat their own food (a doctrine other than that of the doctrine of Christ),and wear their own clothes, the clothes of a spiritual prostitute, Isaiah ch. 3 vs. 18-23  instead of their robes of righteousness.  

Verse 2 of 1 Peter ch. 1 says that it is for obedience to Jesus Christ that we are chosen and destined by God and sanctified by the Spirit.  We are not exempt from God's judgement because we wear the name of Christ.  Judgement begins at the house of God as spoken of in 1 Peter ch.4  v.17, and here 'the house of God' refers to Christians, verse 18 saying that the righteous man is scarcely saved.  

In 2 Peter ch.2 vs.1 and 2  Peter foretells that there will be false teachers in the church just as there were false prophets also among the people of Israel.  'But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.  They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them - bringing swift destruction on themselves.  Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.' 

We can see this happening today with strange doctrines popping up in different places that are not in line with God's word.  It has become fashionable to please man rather than to please God.  We have to be very careful who we regard as 'rulers' in the church and test what they teach as doctrine against the word of God, taking heed that they are not preaching another Jesus, for there are many 'knock on' effects.  Proverbs 29 v.12 says  'If a ruler listens to falsehood, all his officials will be wicked.'  

Lukewarm

Some people say 'Don't speak about your King 
don't speak about this Jesus to me
don't tell me I must follow Him down the road to Calvary'
They say 'We'll just be called by His holy name but leave us to eat our own bread
and we'll wear our own apparel' then they labour to make their own bed
but the covering on it is narrow and the bed itself is too short
both getting smaller and smaller as they're judged by each ungodly thought
They're building mighty castles Lord they don't have Your foundation
building castles for themselves strongholds big and wide
With hewn out stones and polished beams they've built their own creation
and now they put their images inside
Everyone right in their own eyes abiding in vanity
spinning ever faster Lord towards total insanity
Not hearing the voice of the Master but listening to a lie
outside they appear to be living yet inside they slowly die
They're seeking to worldly 'physicians' to bring about their release
looking to man for deliverance yet never finding peace
Not willing to take Your chastening 'Too grievous for me' they say
forgetting that at the end of each night is always the light of day
And all the time Lord You are trying to take away their shame
visiting each one in turn calling out each name
saying 'Return unto me child seek the face of your Lord above
For it is he who keeps my commandments that shall abide in my love.


Back to the present time.
                                                                  




Although my digital imaging course homework all those years ago prompted me to write the article 'Lukewarm', the photograph I took into my class on the subject 'shadow and substance' was one called 'Light revealing all that I do', which also spoke to me spiritually.






Two things happened this morning which made me feel that God wanted me to share this post.  

As I lay in bed I was thinking about the fact that I would put the section on false teachers and those who rule in the post, my husband said (and I noticed he was looking at the red sky through the window)  'Red sky in the morning - shepherds warning.'   I realized straight away that it went together with God warning those who are shepherds over His people who may not be building on His foundation, Jesus Christ.

Later on in the morning my husband pointed up into the sky from the lounge window at a Red Kite bird of prey, and said 'Look at how they ride on the wind.'  It made me think of how the Lord wants His church to be sustained by, and rely upon, the teachings of His Holy Spirit, as were those in the Philadelphia church doing two thousand years ago, not upon their worldly wealth and man's doctrines.




10 comments:

Never Forsaken said...

Brenda,
I am so glad you were obedient to share this rich lesson today.
I think as Christians we are trained (or in training) to see beyond the realm of the physical world in which we live. I think the way your photos of the shadow play on both your bed and of your image speak of what is there deeper. Light creates the shadows for us to see...yet it is not the shadow that has any substance...only the light...Jesus is that light and we are nothing without Him.
"To me to live is Christ" comes to mind.
Another way to look at the lukewarm churches in this, is to consider where their focus and devotion is...If it is on the shadows (because they can see them with their eyes) and not on the Light (The source)...then they will find it empty and cold there in the shadows...or at least lukewarm as the scripture shows.
Another scripture comes to mind...that says: "These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ."
(Colossians 2:17)

Blessings and love~ Lisa

Brenda said...

Hi Lisa,
yes, our focus must be on the Lord , He is the only light in the darkness of this world. We are told in 1 Corinthians ch.12 v.12-14 that' Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teachs; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.' The main factor for a Christian is to learn line upon line, precept upon precept through the teaching of the Holy Spirit. I think there are some beautiful teachings in the scriptures to help us along the way as we go from the milk to the strong meat.
God bless you Lisa

child of God said...

Hi Brenda,

While reading your post I kept having images pop into my mind. I will put them down and then try to explain what I saw.

Shadows = Satan = shifting = lurking = disguising = luring = drifting
Lukewarm = Wizard of Oz when they were in the poppy field falling asleep
Light = Jesus = Truth = purity = freedom

I saw the shadows as Satan lurking around manipulating the church into false doctrine by lulling them to sleep with excessive food and shifting their focus from the purity of God's Word to the gluttony of spiritual laziness and selfish ideals of what Scripture really means.

The light, and only a little is needed from those who are obediently sounding the horn of Truth, will dissolve the shadows and false teachers will be exposed and brought into either, alignment with Scripture or will be removed from the church.

Thanks for sharing Brenda, this has encouraged me to be obedient to the calling Father has placed on my life.

Blessings,
<><

Brenda said...

Hi child of God,
yes, Satan himself can appear as an angel (messenger) of light, and is a deceiver. It is a spiritual battle that we are in,the true light is Jesus Christ and if we remain in Him and do what we know we are called to do, then we shall not be deceived. God does not want that any should perish, the battle belongs to Him, but He reveals many things to us through the scriptures both to warn and to encourage.
God bless you.

Ceil said...

Hi Brenda! So good to see a post from you today!

This is such a packed post...so many good things. And your husband is so helpful for you! I love his observations too.
I really honed in on the people who asked to be a part of his holy name, but don't want to change. What a fascinating concept that is so true today. It's timeless really, don't you think? How many times I don't want to be happy or patient. But then I'm not really joining in with the Lord, am I?
The light and shadow concept is so beautiful! And you could see that in the everyday, like your sheets! You have a very sharp eye. I guess being a photographer brings that out in you. And you let it lead you to the Lord. Beautiful :)
Thank you for your thoughtful post today!
Ceil

Brenda said...

Hi Ceil,
the strange thing is that my husband did not even know what I was writing. I see the scriptures on the seven churches as the Lord encouraging us to allow the mind of Christ to guide us as we live out the word that He is trying to change us with. What we can't see sometimes is that it is our own carnal mind with it's reasoning and arguing with God's wisdom that is the tool that the enemy uses to try to rob us of the blessings that God has in store for us.
God bless you Ceil.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Brenda,
Wonderful theology here! May we be on fire for Him, with His light of truth burning through us.
Many blessings to you and your ministry,
Laurie

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
Thank you for your kind comment. When light and darkness come together there can only be one winner eh?
God bless you and your lovely ministry

Sateigdra L Knowles said...

Great Post Brenda. Everythign you said I agree with, every single thing.

What amazes me is that just about every scripture you posted I came across recently, especially judgement begins in the house of the Lord. And just yesterday before I wrote my blog post I remember how I was thinking about how frightening it is to realize that if the righteous are scarcely saved, what will be of those who are not righteous?

All of your post make me think deeply about so many things in my life. I noticed in the church to today, too many shepherds are allowing false teachers and preacher to be their mentors. And I like that proverb you shared because it is so true. "If a ruler listens to falsehood, all his officials will be wicked.' "

Many Shepherds have stop building on Christ and started putting other things on their foundation. A scripture came to mind while I was reading this post of your's

"For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." 1 Corinthians 3:9-15

Brenda said...

Lovely to hear from you Sateigdra, and the scripture you quoted in your comment is perfect to encourage all of us as God's people to build only on the foundation of Jesus Christ. God wants that none should perish and it is so important that our minds are renewed only in the word of Christ. Even false teachers themselves are teaching wrongly for many reasons, some because they have been taught from something other than scripture, and God wants those saved too. It is a spiritual battle and there is only one enemy who deceives. I believe that each scripture is there to speak something to us at the time that we need it in order that God can endeavour to bring us back to Him.
God bless