Jesus urges the church at Laodicea to “buy gold tried in the fire.” The gold is saving faith (1 Peter). The cost is to fully submit to Christ’s refining fire that purifies, sanctifies, and ultimately saves the soul as it walks in the promises of God and doesn’t give in to despair (Malachi 3). The resurrected Jesus is saying, “You’ve been very religious, but you’ve ducked and dodged the refiner’s fire.” You cannot be saved unless you allow the Holy Spirit to finish this work of holiness in your heart. Will you let Jesus sign the executive orders to release the Holy Spirit in your heart and block everything that stands in the way of your sanctification?
Does God answer your prayers? Are you crying out to God knowing that if he does not answer, you will die? Or have you grown indifferent by his lack of response? If God is not answering our prayers, it is a spiritual warning that we are not getting our life’s sustenance from Christ. Instead, like the church of Laodicea, we are in the dangerous place of being blind to our own wretchedness, with no inner awareness that we are walking in hostility towards the people around us and towards God. Real, imparted–not just imputed–righteousness is needed to enter the kingdom of heaven. We must have the courage to trust Jesus as our only source of sustenance and life and to cut off everything that is not of Jesus. Will you allow Jesus to rule over your heart in all things, or will you get angry?
Do you really believe that God will answer your prayers? Pastor Ray Greenley suggests that when God doesn’t answer our prayers, it’s because we had no faith that he would, and then we drift into indifference and hostility. Is your relationship with God characterized by affection and submission, or do you experience flashes of anger and rage because God didn’t do what you wanted him to? As long as we are hostile towards God, we are his enemy. Our spirit must be alive in righteousness. Unforgiveness, hostility, and anger will destroy our righteousness and prevent God from answering our prayers. Even still, it is often necessary to wait on God in order to align our will with his. It’s not so much that we are waiting on God, as he is waiting on us.
The heart of our risen Lord is reflected clearly in His message to the Laodicean church and has three elements: buy gold refined in the fire; wear white clothes, which represents the righteous deeds and buy salve. In order to walk through the process, we must begin to see ourselves as Jesus sees us which is wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Righteousness only comes out of an outer crushing. Will you allow Jesus to do this in your heart or will you remain defiant that you are not part of the Laodicean church?