The Law defined separation, and Jesus fulfilled that Law, setting a new standard: love. His Jewish disciples made a shift as well. Instead of dutifully following dots and tittles, they looked for ways to honor the new Law, The Lawgiver embodied in Christ. Paul, for example, was the perfect Law keeper, abiding by dot crossing and jot dotting. He was killing Christians for Heaven’s sake. (pun intended.) When he encountered Jesus, he didn’t throw grace back at the Lord. He raised the bar, teaching “…ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” “… all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” “I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more” to meet the requirements of love. People heading in a less fervent direction see “I have liberty. I’m free. I’ll return to what I used to be to win souls.” But that’s not the spirit in which these words to the Church were written. Otherwise, Paul would have never landed in jail. Nor would the other apostles. Instead, they were set apart as Christ followers. Like coffee on a warmer, they got hotter in spite of the cold around them. In fact, “set ablaze” and “on fire” are often associated with zealous Christians. Perhaps because their God is a consuming fire.
So, what causes departure from the heat? We could take a lesson from princess movies. Some princesses are happy in their royal role. Others run from it. Let’s look at the runners. Why would a princess choose kingdom ambiguity and identity of a commoner?
1. She doesn’t know who she is. Some princesses scrubbed floors and wore rags because they didn’t know their identity. We can lose spiritual warmth found close to our Father if we are distanced by ignorance. Even if it’s faulty upbringing. In this instance, we are already cold, a product of our environment. Or we’ve moved away from the heat source, where icy lies dilute the flaming truth of who we are.
2. She doesn’t want to be a princess. Royal life looks difficult. She sees responsibilities instead of privilege and doesn’t recognize the value of her position. Distracted, she focuses on the have nots instead of the haves, and she trades the palace for a hut.
3. She wants acknowledgement of her own merit. She doesn’t want to ride the golden trim of her father’s robe. She wants the kingdom to see her. Who she is. What she can do. Scripture declares God is the vine; we are the branches. We aren’t meant to stand in our worth. Our significance is in Jesus. Lukewarmness sets in when we want to do things our way instead of submitting to our Father.
4. She wants no association with the king. She runs from him because he’s harsh or unfair, but in our case with God as King, our Father isn’t the issue. The issue is internal. We are ashamed of Him or of our identity that connects us to Him.
We “are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that (we) should shew forth the praises of him who hath called (us)out of darkness into his marvellous light.” We are meant to stand up and stand out in a way that brings the King of Heaven glory because we are destined to rule and reign with Him. As His distinctive children, we aren’t missing out. Intimacy with the Father reminds us of our Kingdom privileges. It abolishes Lukewarmness and rekindles love that warms our hearts.
Tip/Tidbit: Today, reevaluate how you handle the covenant of grace.