I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.Revelation 3:1b-3 NIV
Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
This passage is part of a letter from Jesus to the church at Sardis. And the message is primarily to the church as a whole. Yet I believe this verse is applicable to individuals as well.
This is a message to people whose spiritual lives are on auto-pilot. It appears that there has been significant spiritual activity in their past. But that’s where it is now; in their past. They started well. But they have not followed through. Instead, for one reason or another, they are no longer actively engaged in serving God.
These folks have not become atheists. Nor have they become ‘nones’. They are still in the church. They actively attend and maybe contribute to the offerings. But Jesus says they are dead. They are in grave danger.
And Jesus’s instruction to them is ‘Wake Up!’ Wake up from the spiritual lethargy that you are in. Get back into the fight and live as a faithful follower of Jesus. Not just going through the motions. But fully engaged. It’s not yet too late. But you need to wake up.
It is easy to look at other people within the church and feel like this is a message they really need to hear. But it is important that I first examine my own life. Am I coasting by on past reputation? If so, I need to wake up and get back to work. Don’t be satisfied with what you have done in the past. Or with comparing yourself to others. Instead, commit yourself fully to our Lord. And faithfully serve him in this new year.