So, because you are lukewarm-- neither hot nor cold-- I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelations 3:16
Love for God and the things of God can burst into flame with time spent fanning the coals of your spirit. How you feel about anyone can be expressed in the heat of activity such as an ardent lover or frigid like the hermit who fights for his privacy. One can be aroused easily or it may take a ton of bricks to get the point across. Activity with Godís word kindles your spiritual life. The closer to the fire, the more involved you become in the things of God.
Water boils and expands when exposed to heat but plastic shrinks from heat. Iron glows from the heat and eventually melt, a loaf of bread rises to a golden brown when itís baked. When almost everything is exposed to the heat of fire some kind of change takes place. In these examples the source of heat is different some being direct, and some indirect. For example, plastic placed directly over the fire will shrink from the fire, but the iron rod placed directly into the fire will glow after a few minutes. However, water and cake batter is never placed directly into the fire as water would put the fire out and the batter would smother the flame and char the batter making it unfit to eat.
People eat three times a day adding fuel to the digestive system, which converts food into fuel for their body. The world believes that man lives by the food grown and harvested from the soil. Spiritual men understand that the food produced from the earth only sustains the body, but the words spoken by God sustain the life of man. Godís words are truth, they are spiritually discerned but they give life to the inner man. The reverence for God is the beginning of knowledge and through his word men can develop a personal relationship with God the father and Jesus Christ. This personal relationship is eternal life, (John 17:3).
Like gold refined in the fire Christians are refined in the fire of life to remove the dross of sin from his or her character. Gold is placed into the fire to refine and make the metal more valuable and in a similar manner the vine is pruned to produce more fruit. From Godís viewpoint, the character of man is the fruit that is liken to a precious stone, when polished, will sparkle in the brilliance of Godís light like Jasper in the crystal sea.
However, there are some that shrink back in the heat of Satanís intimidation. Whenever you want to do good deeds for God, a sudden dread comes over you and you have ten reasons why you should not complete what you started to do. This is spiritual warfare and Christians buckle under the pressure by giving up and do nothing.
ďHe who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.Ē But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Hebrews 10:37-39
Plastic melts and shrinks from the heat of the fire, and men and women are paralyzed with fear. Walking away from your salvation will leave a scar on the heart of man just as the plastic forms a ring around the hole the fire formed. Jesus is ready when you are willing to take up and carry your shield of faith. That shield of faith is able to quench the fiery darts of Satan. Letís remember that Jesus is the great physician and he is able to apply a healing touch to the scar of sin.
Paul writes do not put out the Spiritís fire. Godís Spirit lives within our heart guiding us into all truth and we can ignore or miss hearing his voice. We can quench the spirit by treating the word of God with contempt and dishonoring God. Paul instructed Timothy to test all things and hold onto the truth so he would avoid every kind of evil. The act of sin will stop all of Godís activity in your life until you have corrected your behavior. Continuing in sin will sear your heart as if with a hot iron making it nearly impossible for you to hear Godís voice.
Timothy may have been depressed and may have lost his passion as a minister to the Ephesian church. Paul reminded Timothy of his motherís faith and advises Timothy to fan the gift he received from the laying on of hands into flame. Paul goes on to say guard that gift with the help of the Holy Spirit. Endure the trials and troubles of Christian life like a soldier who wants to please his commanding officer, (Jesus Christ). Paul gave two other examples, one of the athlete who competed by the rules and another of the farmer who was able to eat the first of his crops.
Paul instructed Timothy not to argue over words that destroy the faith of some. Instead Timothy was asked to study the word of God to correctly interpret and proclaim the word of truth. However, fanning the gift of God into flame takes effort on your part. Studying the word of God takes time spent with God and is the best way to burn the dross of sin out of your heart. With Godís help you can become a strong vibrant Christian who knows and respects the sacredness of his God.
When God referred to those who are neither hot not cold he may have been thinking of those who warm the pews of the Church. Just as you can fan the fire of the spirit the spirit can cool down by doing nothing for God. Most Christians leave God at the church where they worship and neglect his salvation the remainder of the week. They have a form of Godliness, but deny Godís power and fail to live by faith and when put to the test suffer the consequences. God is going to judge man by his deeds, but will the man who is cold towards God be able to show the genuineness of their commitment?