There’s a virus that appears to be running rampant in the church body. No, it’s not the swine flu or any physical virus, but it is one that can lead to spiritual death. It is quite simply the spirit of mediocrity.
On its face, it seems harmless enough. Maybe you’re a Christian but you haven’t been to church in a while. Maybe you attend service every Sunday but you’re a happy or not-so-happy bench warmer. Maybe you even find yourself serving the Lord in your actions, but somewhere along the way you have lost your passion and zeal for Christ. Sometimes we find ourselves going through the motions, so careful to do what’s right but void of the “right” spirit. I have certainly experienced this last one more than once in my Christian walk. However, God expects more from us. At times, we have to move push, press, and revive ourselves so that we can walk victoriously in what God has called us to do. Only then can we mature in Him and produce the fruit we are instructed to bear.
First, let me say that we all get tired from time to time. We’re human. The only danger is if we stay in this state because it seems that it has potential to move us to mediocrity. The Bible instructs us not to be weary in well-doing and not to faint, indicating that this is a very possible state for believers. We can’t let our tiredness, frustration, or discouragement lead us into mediocrity.
In the third chapter of Revelations, we learn about the church of the Laodiceans. Apparently, Laodicea was a very wealthy city with successful banking, wool manufacturing, and a medical school. The city had a problem with the water supply. At one point, they built an aqueduct to get water to the city from hot springs. However, by the time the water made it to the city, it was lukewarm and unfavorable to drink because of it. Not many people like lukewarm water.
Anyway, the church in the city had become lukewarm, just like the water supply. In other words, they didn’t really stand for Christ. They were possibly indifferent and idle. They were Christian in name but operating in selfishness and obviously had grown apathetic in their love for God.
Christ says to the Laodiceans, “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” (Rev. 3:15, 16). Maybe their riches had led them to lives of complacency in Christ. Maybe they felt like they had things under control. The bottom line is that wealth, health, and ease can be deadly deceptions, but Christ will not tolerate indifference towards Him.
The Lord addresses each point of their wealth and “flips the script” as we like to say. He says, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” The Lord tells them to get their spiritual treasures from him. The Laodiceans also were proud of their wool manufacturing and eye salve that came from the medical school, but the Lord tells them to purchase white garments from Him (His righteousness) and to get healing from their eyes from him so that they could see His truth.
The good news is that even if we discover that we have settled into a place of complacency, the Lord’s grace can cover us. We have an opportunity today to turn our indifference toward him around. Jesus tells the church, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent” (Rev. 3:19). We must be swift to ask for forgiveness, refuse to go back that way again, and in earnest passion, we should pursue the things of God and the will that He has for our lives.