The Manifestations of Lukewarmness (Zacharias T. Fomum)
1. False knowledge, false satisfaction, false ease.
The Laodicean believers were satisfied in a situation that ought to have caused them dissatisfaction.
They had false knowledge that led to false satisfaction and false ease.
They took their eyes off the Lord. Obviously those who were cold first did this and then the others compromised. They came in and things became lukewarm, but there was no deep and radical improvement.
They focused their eyes on their material property and their material prosperity. It might have been that they had increased income in the church. It might have been that their membership roll included many more men of high social standing. It might have been that they increased in favour with the political government of the day. Whatever was the actual situation, they looked at themselves, they looked around them and they gladly said:
We are rich.
We have prospered.
We need nothing.
They were rich but their riches were in that which was passing away and not in that which, because it was rooted in the Lord, could not pass away. They had prospered but it was a prosperity away from the Lord, a prosperity in a worldly direction. It was a Christless prosperity. They needed nothing, they had everything that did not matter. They did not see their need. Had they seen their need or viewed things from God’s point of view, they would have seen the blessedness of being in need, of being dissatisfied; for did the Lord Jesus not say:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied”? (Matthew 5:3-6).
The Laodicean believers did not see that they were poor in spirit, they did not see their need to mourn, and so on, and therefore, they did not have the special blessings of those who were in these spiritual conditions.
They were satisfied. They were at ease. It was dangerous satisfaction and dangerous ease.
How many believers are blinded by the comforts and security that money, property, worldly position bring that they immediately think that because they have won the world’s goods and the world’s praise they have also won eternal riches and God’s approval? How many mistakenly think that their money, position, influence, and all such, are necessarily evidence of God’s satisfaction with their lives? How many are deceived into thinking that because these “Blessings” have come to them all must be well with them spiritually? How many are so satisfied with the honour and promotions of man that they do not see their need of the honour and promotion of God?
How many are so satisfied with a little spiritual blessing that they do not press on for the deeper things of God? Do you say to yourself, “Salvation is so wonderful. I did not deserve it yet God has saved me. I will just relax and enjoy myself and get all that I can get out of this world. I do not need to keep striving after God. I will not pay the price of discipleship. I will be content just to be in heaven, for is that not great? Why labour for crowns and rewards”?
What a tragic situation to be in when God is anxious to pour out deep spiritual blessings and impart true spiritual wealth, to settle for the very elementary things of the kingdom and say:
“I am very rich spiritually”
“I have prospered spiritually”
“I need nothing spiritually”.
Oh! to be satisfied when the heart of the Lord is not satisfied! Oh! to be at ease when mighty spiritual battles are taking place!
I do not know whether there is a tragedy that is greater in the life of the spirit than that of settling for something less than the best. Could anything be worse than settling for something for which God has not settled for your life?
As for the Laodiceans, their false satisfaction was brought about by a false knowledge of what they were. They did not know themselves for what they were.