Because you say, â€˜Iâ€™m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,â€™ and you donâ€™t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be committed and repent. Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me. The victor: I will give him the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also won the victory and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.â€ Â Â Revelation 3:17-22 (HCSB)
As another winter storm comes to the Midwest and Northeast, I know a couple from Minnesota who have just touched down in Central Florida and gratefully sat out on their porch on arrival without shoveling snow out of the way. This time of year for me is when I lower the thermostat (saving money!) and enjoy sleeping under two quilts, all snug and warm. There is just something very comforting to being warm. I remember as a child and a teen being so caught up playing in the snow or sitting at a high school football game and not realizing how cold it was and how, despite my coat, gloves, scarf, sock cap, and boots, my core body temperature was dropping. When I finally came inside, my fingers and toes would tingle like fire as warmth spread into those distant places on my body.
My spiritual life can parallel this story. I get busy in my life; there are so many tasks and problems to pull my attention with a sense of urgency that I ignore the cold that is slowly lowering my spiritual temperature. I may regret missing that first worship time or Bible study but the next one slides by a little easier and before I know it â€“ a month or two has gone by without much notice. Maybe I was so exhausted and just didn’t make the time for prayer today, well â€“ yesterday too. And I don’t even realize how â€œcoldâ€ it is around my spirit until I notice the numbness. My friends, we should be afraid of the numbness that can creep into our spirits without our even noticing. We think that we have it all as we go after all the â€œstuffâ€ that this world tells us is â€œreal success.â€
It is the warmth that we find in the presence of God that keeps us warm when the blizzard winds blow in this world. It is the insulation blanket of the Holy Spirit that will keep us warm as we go about the tasks in this world. This warmth must be tended like you would tend a fire in a fireplace. It needs fuel and oxygen to keep the flames going. We must spend time in worship, in study, and in prayer. There are no shortcuts. In fact, the time spent in tending to this warmth in our lives will return to us a hundred, even thousandfold if we but make the effort.
Let us listen. Jesus is knocking at the door to lives. He will not force His way in. He wants to be invited in to spend time with us. How much is a healthy spirit worth?
Come to Jesus written and sung by Chris Rice