There are all kinds of leaders in the world.
Almost anyone can lead. All it really takes is for someone to step up and take charge.
There are those who lead with evil intent and those who lead for good. There are some who lead with fiery passion and some who stay calm and composed in the midst of the flame.
There are still others who are so unsure of themselves, that they are neither passionate nor self-controlled. Having no real image of who they are, they are blown to and fro with every wind of change, not knowing when to stand or when to walk away.
These leaders are the most difficult to follow, and the most dangerous.
Jesus warned us about these kinds of people.
In the book of Revelation, Jesus sent messages to the various churches. To the church at Laodicea, He sent a warning. He was dissatisfied with them because they did not have an accurate view of who they were. They believed they were doing very well for themselves. They had become wealthy and believed they didn’t need anything. Because they were so self satisfied, and likely self absorbed, they could not see that they were, as Jesus called them, “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:17, NIV)
The Laodicean church did not see themselves the same way Jesus saw them, and that was going to be their downfall if they did not change their ways. He compared them to water. Since they were neither hot nor cold, He was going to spit them out His mouth.
Water is a very common theme in the Bible. In this example, Jesus is making a great point. Hot water cleanses and heals. Cold water refreshes and rejuvenates. They did neither. The church at Laodicea was only lukewarm. Lukewarm water is good for nothing. It neither heals nor refreshes.
If the Laodiceans had a more accurate picture of who they really were, surely they would have behaved differently. Certainly, if they knew how poor they were, they would have turned back to Jesus and accepted the refined gold He offered. If they had seen their nakedness, surely they would have taken the robes that He had washed white as snow with His blood sacrifice on their behalf. Wouldn’t that have made them WANT to be hot or cold, healing or refreshing?
If we, here and now, lose sight of who we are in Christ, we have done the same thing. If we do not have an accurate picture of our own state, we cannot lead as He expects us to lead.
As Christ followers, we must see ourselves with God’s eyes. When Jesus died on the cross, He descended into Hell in our place. At His resurrection, He defeated Death and Hell, forever. Now, when God looks at us, He sees Jesus. When it is time to give account for all of our words and deeds, Jesus will be there with us. Our debt has already been marked “Paid In Full,” not because of anything we have done, but because of Jesus. We are victors. We are more than conquerors. We have been redeemed. Our robes have been washed white as snow.
We are no longer orphans, we are children of the King. We are heirs to the Kingdom. The time for lukewarm is over. It is time to be hot or cold. It is time to bring the hot water of healing or the cold water of refreshing to the people God has put before us.
The people are in pain. They are thirsty. They are looking for what we already have. In our communities, businesses, and schools, they are looking for someone to show them Jesus.
Whether hot or cold, it’s time to lead the way.
To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth….Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
Revelation 3:14-16, 19-20, NIV