Let me tell you a little story. There was a man named George, who was happily married to Maria. George and Maria were very wealthy, and highly respected in the community because of their integrity and extreme generosity. Now one day, they had a son named Thomas, and there was great joy in their household. George and Maria made sure to train Thomas in the precepts of God not only by word, but also by the witness of their daily lives. They provided him with the best education available, and made sure that his every need was attended to. But they were not overprotective of Thomas, for they let him make mistakes so that he could gain wisdom. This Godly couple loved Thomas very much, and did not hold anything back from him. They wanted the very best for their beloved son.
As Thomas became a teenager, he began to rebel against his parents; at first it was just a passive resistance, but it soon developed into a full-blown and outright rebellion. In Thomas’ eyes, his parents just did not get it. They were woefully out of touch with the modern world and all that it promised. So he finally upped and left his parents, confident that he knew better how life should be lived. George and Maria were heart-broken over this. They had poured out their full love upon their son, and had great dreams of his future. Yet, in the midst of the pain, suffering and rejection, they continued to love him with their whole hearts and cover him with their prayers. However, when their neighbors visited, they could sense a deep, unshakeable sadness in them.
Many of us, as we go throughout our lives, act just like this fictional Thomas toward our heavenly Father. We think that we know what is best, and put God on the back burner in our daily goings-on. When we do come back to the Lord, usually out of desperation to fix some mess we get ourselves into, it is always predicated on our own terms. In essence we tell the Lord, “Ok Lord, I will come to You, but will only do such-and-such. I will pray to You, but only in my own way. I will to talk to you, but I will only give You a few minutes each day. I will follow You, but only as long as You give me what I want.” Are you seeing a pattern here, and does it not seem strangely familiar?
Do you remember how sad George and Maria were when their son left them? Well, our heavenly Father is infinitely more heartbroken whenever we put limits on our surrender and submission to Him. One of the reasons for this is that He has great plans for us, but our own rebelliousness thwarts those plans. He knows what potential we have if we would just trust Him fully. And it causes Him untold grief to see us fall short because of our own self-centered, short-sighted pride. Not only do we stunt our growth in this life, we also come far short of Hs plans for us in eternity. So no, it is not a good idea for any of us to be mediocre in our love for the Lord and the things of God. May we allow the following verses to pierce our hearts and re-ignite the flame of His love in our whole being.
I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’ and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
(Revelation 3:15–17 NAB)
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’
(Matthew 7:21–23 NAB)