The Hole Under The Door
I know your deeds that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold I will spit you out of my mouth. – Revelation 3:15-16
I noticed it almost immediately–the hole under the door. My discovery came while lying prostrate on the floor in a time of intimate prayer. I had known that the insulation at the base of the doorways in our home had begun to wear with age, but I had never seen the proof this clearly.
I often have my quiet time in my bedroom. Sometimes I pray sitting on the bed or kneeling by my open window, but today, after asking the Lord to speak clearly during our time together, I felt prompted to lie flat. Turning my head to the side brought my vision directly in line with the base of the door in my bedroom that leads to the outdoor patio. In the center at the base of the door between its bottom edge and the carpeted bedroom floor was a hole. The insulation designed to keep out the cold air of winter and the heat of the summer had begun to disintegrate. Years of swinging the door open and closed to access the backyard had rubbed the insulation harshly causing it to no longer adequately supply the padding needed. Trying to ignore this seemingly trivial and unspiritual interruption to my quiet time, I closed my eyes and tried to refocus. But I couldn’t . . .
“There’s a hole under the door.” The Holy Spirit’s voice resonated deep within me. I remembered the hot Texas summer months when my bedroom had been the hottest room in the house. Even with our air condition turned on high, our room was still uncomfortably warm. And this January brought some of the coldest days that Dallas would probably see for the year; my bedroom was never quite warm enough as the cold air seeped into the room. I huddled cozily into the warm terrycloth robe my mother had purchased me for Christmas as the wintry air from outside crept in and swept across my face. All those months of trying to figure out why our bedroom wasn’t ever fully warm or fully cool made sense now. I had found the culprit-the hole under the door.
“The Spirit of the age seeps into the church,” the great Francis Schaeffer once said. This quote flashed into my mind as I recalled the encouraging words that an older woman recently said to me. She sat me down to remind me of the craftiness of this world. In her wisdom, she had challenged me to always remember that I was a part of the church, and I must beware of the often unnoticed impressions that the world and its influences have on even well-guarded Christians. This cunning influence is made not in overt or explicit ways but delicately as it seeps unseen and unnoticed through the holes we have left unguarded. The result: a spiritual thermostat that reads “lukewarm,” an atmosphere that is not leaning to either extreme.
Was this what the Holy Spirit was saying to the church of Laodicea as recorded in Revelation 3? These believers were the last of the seven churches to be addressed. Each one had received its own specific set of instruction and was admonished to hear and obey what they had been told. Refusal to do this would result in a removal of the very presence and power of God from their midst. When the time came to address the specific needs of this church body, the Spirit spoke of their inability to be used by Him because of their “lukewarm” temperature. In no uncertain terms, he makes clear that they would have to be set aside until they determined to re-ignite the fire of passion in their relationship to God. He stated that he would prefer that they choose an extreme, either red hot or icy cold, because being lukewarm wasn’t an acceptable option. The middle ground of mediocrity-halfhearted indifference-weakened their effectiveness and diluted their usefulness. The reality of this passage began to unravel in my mind’s eye. Our bedroom had become the least used room because, like Laodecia, it had holes that needed to be fixed.
What had caused the tepid apathy of this church? What had crept in through the hole under their spiritual door? The writer puts it this way in Revelation 3:17, “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” Like an alarm clock breaking the silence of the spiritual night and jarring these believers awake from their slumber, the Holy Spirit spoke with clarity to address them. The Spirit of the age had begun to seep into this church. Instead of trusting in the divine riches they had discovered in Christ, they had placed faith in the physical wealth they had acquired. They had become blind to their own depravity and need for more than what their money could buy. Thirty-five years prior to this letter, Laodecia had been destroyed by an earthquake and their resources had established their recovery. As a result, they had begun to trust in what they could do for themselves rather than what Christ had done for them and wanted to do through them. The cool breeze of self-sufficiency was seeping into the church and chilling the temperature of their relationship with God.
I couldn’t move from my prostrate position as the same Spirit that spoke to the believers at Laodecia 2000 years ago spoke clearly to me. “You belong to my church Priscilla, and you are the very temple of the living God. Watch for the holes through which the subtle spirits of this age have begun to seep in and corrupt the purity of our relationship“. As I stared at the glaring physical illustration of a deep spiritual principle, I began to feel soothing conviction as the holes in my “church” and the effect they had caused were revealed. I saw clearly the spirit of the age that had begun to seep in through that movie and magazine; television program and idle time; book and relationship. I could see how the world’s spirit had caused my judgment to become slightly impaired; my spiritual vision partially blocked; and my ambitions leaning toward fleshly. As clearly as my physical eyes could see the hole under the door in my bedroom, the Spirit allowed my spiritual eyes to see the fissures that were keeping my relationship with Christ mild tempered and worldly.
After my quiet time, I called a contractor to fix the problem with my bedroom door. By the time she came, another major renovation had already begun. The Contractor of my soul had arrived to help me begin to patch up the holes in my life so that my fiery passion for God could remain ignited, flaming and furiously heated, not just now but until I see Him face to face.
*This is an excerpt from “Can We Talk: Sour Stirring Conversations with God“*
Priscilla Shirer, Going Beyond Ministries