Are you spiritually dead? Are you feeling disconnected? Are you simply going through the motions of life and not feeling a connection to God? This was happening to the church in Sardis. They looked good to the passerby. They were doing ministry. But they had lost their fire. As Jesus said, they were dead.
Jesus’ wake up call for the church in Sardis may well speak to us, too. “Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.” You can picture a garden that has been ravaged by hail or pests. You want to tend to what is not ruined and bring it back to life. I think of the grass in our yard which has been taken to some sort of mold. We are working feverishly to restore what remains and make it stronger. So, too, we need to tend to our faith.
We need to fan the flame of our devotion. That’s another image we can use to understand what is going on. What’s happening to to church in Sardis is not an uncommon phenomenon. There are many churches that find themselves dull and lifeless. Even those that are doing great ministry may be feeling empty on the inside. What do we do?
The message of repentance rings out again here. “Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly.” Remember when you first learned about Jesus or encountered him in an impactful way? Maybe it was at a retreat, revival, or simply an on-fire worship service! Sometimes we need to call on those “mountaintop experiences” to rekindle the flame, to “strengthen what remains.”
Like any relationship, it takes work and attention to make it stronger. Spending time in God’s word, in prayer and meditation, are all good activities to undertake to strengthen us. What relationship can you think of that is more crucial to your life and future than a relationship with God? Take a moment to let that sink in and resonate in your soul.
Spend your quiet time today searching your heart. Are you feeling alive in your faith journey? What may you be missing?
Let’s pray. Lord, thank you for the messages you gave the churches and to us. Thank you that you are the one in charge. Help me to clear away the distractions that keep me from a stronger relationship with you. Help me to maintain my focus and truly revel in your majesty. Fill me with your wisdom. It is my desire to strengthen what remains and be on fire for you! In Jesus’ name. Amen.