“You have a reputation of being alive but you are dead. Wake up!… Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to Me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.” Revelation 3:1-3
The Christian life is a long journey at night. God has ordained that we would have to choose Him in a world of moral darkness that is opposed to the gospel, so that those who choose Him in the dark will never reject Him in eternity when we see Him in the light. But we have to stay awake!
Presumption put the church at Sardis asleep. They had a reputation of being alive, probably gained by past experiences of life and reflected by a doctrine of life, yet in reality, they had become dead. Like the foolish virgins (See Matthew 25) they presumed that the oil they received at the beginning would be enough, so they didn’t bother to keep their relationship with God fresh.
America is one of the most dangerous places in the world spiritually. I’ve had missionaries tell me that they are glad they don’t live here because life is so easy and busy in America that they find it difficult to stay spiritually awake. On the mission field they sense their absolute dependence on God’s protection and provision so it’s easy to trust Him day by day, but here they find the urgency to seek Him is lacking.
The enemy seeks to put the church to sleep by the cares, worries, and pleasures of this life. (Mark 4:19) Do you have a strategy to stay awake? When I drive at night I make sure there is a passenger to help keep me from dozing off. I believe God has given the church to be that spiritual passenger for each of us. (Hebrews 10:24-25). There’s something about gathering together and hearing the word of God that reminds us of who we are, who God is, and of what’s truly important. Are you part of a group where someone regularly asks you if you’re still awake?