room temperature drinks

Who of you like lukewarm coffee on an icy winter’s day?  Or what about some warm water after exercising?  Don’t you agree, we like our coffee boiling hot and our water refreshingly cold.  And when it comes to the issues of the heart, we tend to follow the same principle.  There is nothing more frustrating for an employer, than to be stuck with an unenthusiastic employee.  Coaches do not tolerate mediocrity on the sports field.  Wives won’t settle for 70% or even 99% of her husband’s heart, no, she wants 100% or nothing.

Now, I have a question for you?  Do you think God is any different in this regard?   Do you think God is satisfied with our half-hearted commitment towards Him?  The logical answer is ‘no’, and the Biblical evidence supports that conclusion.  God proclaimed to His children through Moses:  “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians.  You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.” (Exodus 19:4)

This picture of how God carried His people on eagles’ wings towards himself evokes the romantic warrior in me.  It looks like the script of an epic modern-day film.  The hero (God) destroys the antagonist (Egyptians) and rescues the girl (Israel).  God is not about to share His bride.  He rescued her.  He rescued us.  He rescued you.  God cannot be substituted.  He is the source of life and love.  When we substitute God with earthly sources of life and fulfillment, we fool ourselves and we provoke God to anger.

Listen how God responds to people who substitute Him for another: “They have roused my jealousy by worshipping things that are not God; they have provoked my anger with their useless idols.” (Deuteronomy 32:21) Moses warns the Israelites against idol worship because the ‘Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.’ (Deuteronomy 4:24) God is not jealous like we are jealous.

Steven Fry explains:  “The word ‘jealousy’ often carries a negative connotation.  Yet, when the Scripture speaks of God as a jealous God it means that He desires us in the purest, most relentless way.  His is a jealousy that humankind can never know; for God is the only one who has a right to be jealous, because He is the only one who is perfect in love.  His jealousy is not controlling – it is releasing.  Holy jealousy speaks of God’s passionate commitment to us.  It underscores the truth that God does not just love us because He has to, but because He wants to.   He is not moved to love us merely to maintain His own moral excellence, but because He desires us.  His jealousy is an absolute intolerance of anything that would divide our affection and thereby forfeit His best for us.”

Did you see that?  God desires us in the purest, most relentless way; not because He must, but because He wants to.  He gave the best He could in order to pursue this relationship with us.  He gave Himself, His life, His blood, His control, His power, His throne, His all, so that you and I can be reconciled to the divine relationship.

Let us respond likewise!

Father, thank You that You love us with a pure, relentless jealousy

Thank You that You are not a passive spectator in our lives

No, You are passionately pursuing our hearts every day

Forgive us for our lukewarm response

Set us alight with Your Heavenly fire!!!



‘Inference’ Christianity

“To most people God is an inference, not a reality, He is a deduction from evidence which they consider adequate, but He remains personally unknown to the individual.” (AW Tozer)

Tozer hits a critical nerve with this statement, because it’s so true for many of us.  An inference is a deduction or conclusion concerning certain evidence.  It is not something you experience first-hand, but a conclusion you make based on second-hand information.  I do not personally know any extinct dinosaurs.  Yet, I do believe they were real creatures who lived on the earth once upon a time.  They left an archaeological record by which we can reconstruct models of how we assume they looked like. Artists draw pictures of them in our academic textbooks in an effort to make dinosaurs more real, more tangible, and more life-like.  But will I ever experientially know a Tyrannosaurs Rex?  I doubt it, maybe in heaven one day?  I can only know about dinosaurs through inference.

Jesus lived on the earth more than 2 000 years ago.  There is a historical record left to us with which we can make our own conclusions.  Add to that the numerous cases where people have testified of how Christ has personally affected their lives in the past two millennia.  Information on the life and accomplishments of Jesus is today more accessible than any previous time in history.  Commentaries, Bible translations, historical records and original texts are not hard to come by.

The question that begs to be answered is:  “Why are there so many unchanged lives inside and outside the church?” Why are we struggling to live the ‘Jesus-life’ today in our post-modern world?  Why are there so many pew warmers content with empty religious activity?  Where are the red-hot Christ-followers daring to throw themselves at the mercy of God?

I think a part of our answer to these questions is linked with this word ‘inference’.  When you study geography in a textbook, you wrestle with the concepts until you can master it, until you grasp it.

Here’s the catch!  Jesus is not a subject matter to be mastered, but a person to get acquainted with.  Many Christians approach their Bibles like academic textbooks.  They may have intellectually grasped a certain chapter of the Bible, but they will never grasp the entire mystery of who God is.  You see, Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh, and He came to live among us. (John 1:14) He is the living Word which is constantly active and infused with divine energy to bring about eternal change. (Hebrews 4:12) We will never be able to master the Master – He is God through and through; He will not be boxed in by our petty conclusions.

Conclusions do not change lives.  The more I’ve tried to convince people into changing, the more they’ve dug their heels in. For you to change, for me to change – we need an experience with the person of Jesus Christ. The highly fanatical, religious expert, named Saul, was changed into Paul, not by another persuasive debate, but by an encounter with the living Christ. The people of God need a fresh encounter with Christ.

Let us stir our hearts to KNOW God! Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)