Water in the Valley of Life


 

I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!  You say, “I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!”  And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.  Revelation 3:15-17

Cold Mountain Creek Water

Water.  Water in the Valley of Daily Living.
Cold water.
Mountain creek water clear as glass.
Rushing, refreshing water.
Water that makes you want to plunge in, to drink in with every pore; filling, cleansing, quenching, poring through your entire being, filling you with purity and light.
Living water of Jesus.

Water.  Water in the Valley of Daily Living.
Hot water.
Mineral hot spring water.
Bubbling clearer-than-crystal, steaming water.
Soothing, healing, restorative, cleansing pure water.
Put-me-in-a-bucket and pore me into bed because now all my pain and tension has dissipated water.
Living water of Jesus.

Mineral Hot Spring Water

Water.  Water in the Valley of Daily Living.
Luke warm, Laodicean water.
Nasty, mineral-bitter water.
The abhorrent result from the syncretism of mountain creek and mineral hot spring water.
Can’t drink it, can’t bathe in it, can’t clean with it, can’t irrigate with it water.
Laodicean Church water.
North American Christian water.

Epilogue
Jesus didn’t want the Laodicean Christians to make a choice for him (hot), or against him (cold).  He wanted them to stop being a waste.  He wanted their lives be life giving: refreshing, healing, and restorative to those around them; pure, clear, and cleansing – like cold mountain creek water, like hot mineral spring water.

Syncretism \Syn”cre*tism\,
1. Attempted union of principles or parties irreconcilably at
variance with each other.

Syncretism doesn’t end well because it robs the principles of their distinguishing characteristics.  The Laodiceans were like lukewarm water because they had lost what was essential.  They marked the “Christian” box under religious affiliation, but based their daily living on the benefits gained as citizens of a great city state.  They didn’t see their terrible need for Jesus, even if they aligned themselves with him. In the syncretism of Laodicean citizenship and Kingdom of God citizenship, they had lost the distinguishing characteristic of absolute dependence on God, resulting in absolute service to God.

Western Christianity is closer to the time of the Laodiceans now than any time since Emperor Constantine made it the official religion of the Roman Empire.  Painful times are ahead, and the thirst for the living water of Jesus is multiplying.  Yet the North American church is like the lukewarm mineral water of Laodicea.  It’s the mainline denominational churches – and the charismatic, the Pentecostal, the independent, and the four-square fundamental churches.  We mark the “Christian” box under religious affiliation, but base our daily living on the benefits gained as citizens of great world powers.  We don’t see our terrible need for Jesus, even if we align ourselves with him.  In the syncretism of North American citizenship and Kingdom of God citizenship, we have lost the distinguishing characteristic of absolute dependence on God, resulting in absolute service to God.

If your church is lukewarm mineral water it’s because it’s full of lukewarm Christians.  If it’s full of mountain creek and mineral hot spring Christians, the church will no longer be lukewarm mineral water. A Hot and cold water Christian doesn’t “brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone”, but to the depth of their soul recognizes “that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.”   Then that kind of Christian dedicates everyday living to loving God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and to loving other people as well as they love themselves.  They invest their time and resources to help make disciples, bring others become citizens in God’s Kingdom, and teach them to follow Jesus.  When the churches in our communities are filled with these kinds of Christians, then they will no longer make Jesus want to vomit.

If your church is like lukewarm Laodicean water, don’t waste time pointing your finger.  The only lukewarm mineral water you are responsible for is your own. Owning that is the first step toward being the living water of Jesus in the Valley of Daily Living.

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One thought on “Water in the Valley of Life

  1. The water analogies really resonate coming off 12 days on the dry trails of New Mexico and returning to the rushing rivers and flowing cascades of the Northwest.

    I’ve always thought making Christianity the official religion of a country might be a kiss of death for what is at heart a radical anti-earthly establishment movement.

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