Moderation is a word that sounds good to the ears of many Christians today. It suggests a balance, a harmony, a middle way between extremes. It appeals to our sense of reason and prudence. It seems to be a safe and sensible approach to life and faith.
But moderation is a curse, not a blessing, for the followers of Christ. It is a deadly poison that dulls our spiritual senses and quenches our holy fire. It is a compromise that displeases God and dishonors His Son. It is a sin that leads to lukewarmness and apathy.
The Bible warns us against the danger of moderation in our relationship with God. In Revelation 3:15-16, the Lord Jesus says to the church in Laodicea:
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
What a dreadful rebuke from the Lord of glory! He would rather have us cold or hot, but not lukewarm. He would rather have us openly reject Him or passionately love Him, but not half-heartedly serve Him. He would rather have us be His enemies or His friends, but not His acquaintances.
Why does God hate moderation so much? Because moderation is a sign of indifference, of unbelief, of ingratitude. It shows that we do not care enough about God, that we do not trust Him enough, that we do not thank Him enough. It shows that we love the world more than Him, that we value the things of time more than the things of eternity, that we seek the approval of men more than the approval of God.
Moderation is a lie that the devil has sown in the hearts of many Christians. He has deceived them into thinking that they can have the best of both worlds, that they can enjoy the pleasures of sin and the pleasures of God, that they can serve two masters, that they can be friends with the world and friends with God.
But the truth is that we cannot have the best of both worlds, we can only have the worst of both worlds. We cannot enjoy the pleasures of sin and the pleasures of God, we can only forfeit the pleasures of God. We cannot serve two masters, we can only betray one master. We cannot be friends with the world and friends with God, we can only be enemies of God.
James 4:4 says:
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Moderation is a form of spiritual adultery. It is a betrayal of our covenant with God, our marriage with Christ. It is a breaking of the first and greatest commandment, which is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind, and with all our strength (Mark 12:30).
Moderation is a hindrance to revival. It is a barrier to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the manifestation of the power of God, the advancement of the kingdom of God. It is a stumbling block to the salvation of souls, the edification of saints, the glorification of God.
Moderation is a curse that must be broken, a poison that must be purged, a sin that must be repented of. We must renounce moderation and embrace radicalism. We must forsake the middle ground and take the high ground. We must abandon the lukewarm and become the hot.
We must be radical in our love for God, in our devotion to His Word, in our obedience to His will, in our worship of His glory, in our service of His cause, in our witness of His grace, in our fellowship of His Spirit, in our anticipation of His coming.
We must be radical, not moderate, for God is not a moderate God. He is a radical God, a consuming fire, a jealous God, a holy God, a sovereign God, a faithful God, a gracious God, a glorious God.
He deserves nothing less than our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, our whole strength. He demands nothing less than our total surrender, our total commitment, our total loyalty, our total sacrifice. He expects nothing less than our utmost for His highest.
Let us therefore be radical for God, and let us pray that He would make us so. Let us pray that He would revive us, that He would fill us, that He would use us, that He would bless us, that He would glorify Himself in us and through us.
Let us pray that He would make us hot, not lukewarm, not moderate, for moderation is a curse, but radicalism is a blessing. Amen.