“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12
In the midst of being told that Israel was an idolatrous nation which had left the will of God to go her own way, Our merciful God had Hosea to tell them that it was time that they should return to Him and to soften themselves and seek His Face, and He would pour upon them righteousness. God was being more than merciful, He was being loving. He did not want to do this strange work which Israel was bringing upon themselves, and He gives them a chance to repent of what they were doing. What’s more, we know now what they refused to allow Him to show them then.
The rain that would be righteous upon them is the Blood of our Almighty Savior, Christ. To seek The Lord is to find Jesus, and all that He is. In His mercy and His Love, God, the Father, sent His Only Begotten Son to us that we might be set free of ourselves and the sin which so easily besets us. By accepting Him, through faith, we are adopted children of God. Yet, Israel was called God’s children. If He was telling them that they had left Him, and He was about to take everything away from them because of their bad choices, couldn’t He be saying the same to us now?
Christ addresses the seven churches in the book of Revelations, and the seventh church is Laodecia (Rev 3:14-22). He says that they are neither hot nor cold, and believe that they are rich and in need of nothing. The truth is that they are wicked, miserable, poor, blind and naked. His counsel is to buy gold tried in fire and white raiment that they are not naked before Him. We, ladies and gentlemen, are the church of Laodecia.
The fire in this verse is our trial. If we will allow Him to do it, He will bring us through it. By surrendering our own will, and accepting His, we have purchased the gold tried in fire, and He is the white raiment. It is His righteousness that we wear. But, if we don’t accept His Will and His Way, He says that He will spew us out, for being neither hot nor cold.
Being hot is to be on fire for God, having that zeal which He authored when we first accepted Him. Being cold is to have the refreshing waters flowing from us as we allow Him to work within us and through us. To be lukewarm is to have once known the fire, but to have left it and have only the heat which remains diminished. There is also no cool waters flowing in the moving and operating of the Holy Spirit to make us cold. We, thus, stand in our own strength, apart from God. He is still in us, but we have quenched the Spirit, and He calls out only to repent. And if we don’t, wretched men that we are, we must be vomited out.
Here is the most difficult part to swallow of what Jesus says while addressing us, His children:
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” Rev 3:20
Jesus Christ, Who is God, Who is the Truth, Who cannot lie, says that we, the latter day church, have pushed Him out. We are lukewarm because we stand without His Presence, His glory, among us. He now stands without the church, knocking at the door. The proof of this is in the proverbial pudding. Ask a church elder what they think of the church today versus how it once was and it’s all but a guarantee they will admit it just isn’t like it use to be. That less and less do they feel the Presence of God anointing conversations, teachings, even preaching (I admonish you to be thankful if the Holy Spirit is still flowing freely in your church). How this happened was through an introduction of works and world.
He says, “I know thy works, and that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.” Rev 3:15
We are performing the works of our own hands, expecting God to honor them; but, if our motivations have even the slightest hint of selfishness, then they do not bring glory to Him and He can never honor that. Remember, God knows the heart, and that’s where He looks in all things. If we rely upon ourselves, then the Holy Spirit doesn’t help us in our endeavors, either, for reliance upon self is not surrender to God. Neither hot with zeal solely for Him, nor cold with the flow of the Spirit. Lukewarm.
The world got in through the things of the world we accept as okay when God clearly says they’re not. If we act like the world, accept the world, then we are as the world. God cannot accept that either. The rhythm of worldly music does not belong in our worship. Worldly concepts of what sound doctrine is do not belong in the pulpit. Worldly leaders neither belong there. If the church does not preach Sin, atonement at the Cross, and Jesus as both God and Man, Savior, then it is compromised and conforming to the world, and that is sin. (1 Sam 15:1-11)
God cannot abide where sin remains. He will accept any man, woman, or child who accepts Him in totality, all or nothing, but any sin separates us from Him. God hates all sin, and He hates it even more when His own children participate in it. So, He has all but stepped out of the church and is knocking from without. He is asking that we plow our hardened hearts, till the soil, and allow Him back in, to grow the seed we hold, to flourish in us and to help us live the lives He has for us. Let the Holy Spirit thrive and let Jesus sup with us once more.
We needs cease trying to sanctify ourselves, attempting to go our own way and asking God to honor it, assuming He will. He doesn’t. (Isaiah 1:11-14) He has to do the work, through us, but that requires our obedience and our submission to His Will, and His Will alone. He must increase, we must decrease. Repent. Our sins are forgiven when we repent. Follow His lead and sin no more. Turn again to The Lord who justified you with His Blood on the Cross. The Selfsame God and His shed Blood also sanctifies us and cleanses us the moment we confess and repent. Be then clothed and rained down upon in His righteousness.