Just a little bit of exposure to the weakened substance causes a resistance. Even to Jesus.
Measles, mumps, rubella, rotavirus, smallpox, chickenpox and yellow fever are a few of the diseases that we have immunity to if we have been vaccinated against the disease.
The vaccines that we are given as prevention are very similar to the disease that they prevent. They are given in very small amounts or in a weakened state so that the body's own immune response kicks in and provides a lifetime of protection.
One of the vaccines given is a Live-attenuated (or weakened) vaccine. You are given just a little - a watered down version in a weakened state in order to make the body think that you have the disease. Your body then builds up a resistance to the disease by fighting it off saying that 'you are not welcome'. At the exposure of the disease your body fights and keeps it out because you have had the disease already. You have the antibodies in line to keep it out.
Just a little bit is enough. A little bit - in a weakened state. A little bit in several sessions over time is what causes your body to build a resistance. A toe in the pool. A lukewarm exposure.
God hates lukewarm.
Look at Revelation 3:16
So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16
Lukewarm is an ugly word.
I was lucky. I have a Godly mama. I've been in church all my life, accepted Jesus as my Savior and was baptized when I was in elementary school. Fifth grade. I was 10. I remember.
I remember talking to the pastor in his office before I walked the aisle that Sunday. I remember my heart beating so fast because I knew that I was supposed to give my heart over to Jesus and draw a line in the sand at that moment. I was young but I knew. I remember the water of the baptismal pool. I remember because there was a set day, set time, and a point that I can call my spiritual beginning.
It doesn't mean it's always been easy but I'm all in. Instead of just having my toes in the water, I jumped in the pool that day. All the way.
A little bit of a watered down exposure to Jesus can end up building an immunity to the drawing of His spirit. You may have been exposed just a tad. You may have had just your toes in the pool. You may think you know Him. You may think you have it covered. You can talk the talk and have all the Christian verbage down pat. But....it's a lukewarm kind of experience with no real starting point. You think that you are a Christian just because you have been part of the crowd.
I live in a Christian nation so I'm good. I'm Baptist. I'm Catholic. I'm Methodist. I'm Jewish. I'm Pentacostal. My father was a preacher. I was raised in church. I went to Sunday school as a child. I attended VBS. I was christened as an infant. I sang in the choir. I have a Bible on the table in my living room. I say a blessing before every meal. I'm a good person.....and I'm sure alot better than so-and-so.
A little bit of experience and knowledge in a weakened state. A little bit of knowledge that breeds a false sense of security. You are not cold to a relationship with Jesus, absolutely not, because you know who He is, you remember some Bible stories, even recognize a bit of scripture and forward a Christian meme or two on social media. But you are also not in the pool with both feet. You have a toe in the water only when it's convenient.
You are moving along in your life and have accepted the belief that you are a Christian just because you've been around other Christian believers. It's like following a crowd into a concert but when you get to the gate? You need to have personally bought a ticket. You need to have taken it upon yourself to make a decision - outside of everyone else - to go and get your own ticket. But this ticket that I'm talking about....there is no charge. This one is free. It's free and already paid for by Jesus.
But you have to ask for it and not just assume that someone put it in your back pocket.
I recently heard someone say "I know ________(a famous person who I will call "Bill")." I was really impressed thinking that my friend has a close relationship with this famous person - how cool! But my friend's relationship with Bill meant that she knew a person who was a relative of Bill. My friend has never even met Bill. She is a stranger to him yet she boasts of having a friendship relationship with him....never having even met him. She doesn't really know him.
And he doesn't know her.
Look at the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:
Matthew 7:21:23 21 Not everyone who says to Me,"Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?" 23 And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"
I never knew you. The saddest words in the Bible.
What about your children? You may take them to church sporadically, say a prayer before bedtime, and even buy them a Bible with their name on it. But. Don't assume. Don't feel okay that they are getting exposed. Don't vaccinate your children with just a little bit. Don't innoculate them against the drawing of the Holy Spirit. Make sure that they understand that having a relationship with Jesus is making a conscious choice to be all in. And the older they get? The more difficult it can be. You don't become a Christian by being in a family who attends church on holidays, says grace at dinner and just knows who Jesus is. They, too, need to make a decision for Christ. They need a line in the sand that they themselves drew....they need a defined spiritual marker that they can call their own.
Do you remember when you made a decision for Jesus? Do your children understand that going to heaven means that they will need to make a personal decision for Jesus? Do members of your family realize that it's more than a family affair? Your parents, siblings, friends? Just because you are a preacher's kid....doesn't mean you have made a decision to follow Jesus. And it doesn't mean that you have a ticket in your pocket.
Don't get too comfortable.
Don't allow a little bit of exposure to a weakened experience inoculate and fool you into thinking that you are ready to meet Jesus. Don't become immune to the drawing by God's spirit. You need to know when you drew a line in the sand. You need to know when the time occured that you personally asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins.
You need to know that you know.
My prayer today:
Father God, I ask forgiveness today, again, for my own sin. I know that you will forgive me and that you love me unconditionally. I pray for those who know you already - give them strength to keep going. I pray for those who do not know you yet - that they would come to a personal knowledge of Your love for them, the evilness of their sin and their need for the salvation that only Jesus can offer. And I pray for those who think they know you - open their eyes and draw them into to a one-on-one relationship with Jesus. Show them you love them and draw them close to you. We thank you for the free gift of salvation.
And if you want to know how to be saved: Look at this post