“Rekindle Your Spiritual Life”
By Pastor Donald Parker
Jesus had this to say to one of the seven churches; the church in the city of Sardis that’s recorded in the Book of Revelation chapter 3 verse 2 “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.”
This was a church with a reputation for being alive. A church that was thriving. Jesus saw the reputation they had for themselves around town, but He also saw something else, a church that was in a spiritual coma.
He said, you look alive, but your spiritually dead. He was basically saying, you people look good on the outside, but on the inside your fire to spread the gospel, your passion for others, your church attendance has begun slipping away, and your fire has been reduced to only a small flame. They were just playing church and going through the motions.
The same can be true for churches and Christians today. To the world we can look like we’ve got it all together; a reputation of being spiritual, but in reality, we’ve allowed our flame to nearly burn out; but how and why? Because of a problem I refer to as “sideways energy”
Sideways energy is anything that gets between you and God. The idea that this over here is more important in my life, and you start following that, instead of following God’s plan for your life; that’s sideways energy.
When we allow sideways energy into our lives the first thing that happens is Jesus falls from first to last on our list of priorities. You can look all spiritual, but actually be spiritually dead. So, how can you get back the flame for Christ and the gospel that you once had?
You start by examining your own spiritual condition and ask yourself, am I close to God or far from God? Do I spend time alone with God reading my Bible and praying, or has something else gotten between me and God?
The church in Sardis was a church with a good reputation, so why would Jesus say they were dead? Because He said, “I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.” Jesus was basically saying, you’re not doing the things I told you to do. You just show up for church and go through the motions and check off the box, “went to church.” Now, I can get on with living my life my way.
They had faith, but there was no action taking place; no evidence of their faith, and Jesus calls them out on it and says, “Your faith is dead.” They weren’t living out what they believed, and it can happen to churches and Christians today. James2:14a says, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds” Then in verse 17, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
The next thing you need to do is, wake up and rekindle your fire. Jesus says, “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die.” Jesus is saying, what are you doing? Where are you going? He was saying to them and to us today; you have heard the Word, you know the Word, but you don’t love the Word because you’re not doers of the Word.
Jesus is saying, you’ve got to wake up and strengthen what remains; that flame of faith that’s in you, because if you keep heading down the wrong path, that flame of faith will slowly burn down to nothing but a pile of smoldering coals.
You see they were hearers of the Word, but not doers of the Word. Their deeds were done half-heartedly, just doing the minimum to get by, but James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
Here’s what you need to understand, when you read God’s Word, when you study God’s Word, when you apply God’s Word to your life, the flame you once had, rekindles. Your passion for the lost; your desire to see people come to know Jesus; the sense of urgency is revived when you wake up and strengthen what remains by being doers of God’s Word.
Maybe you have allowed your spiritual flame to all but nearly burn out. Maybe you have allowed sideways energy to get between you and God. Jesus says to repent, and turn back to Him. I encourage you to rekindle your spiritual life.
We invite you to join us Sunday mornings at 11am. First Baptist Church; “A Place to Belong”