Have you ever returned to a place you loved, only to find it completely changed? I recently experienced this with a golf course and, more poignantly, with a church that had once been vibrant but had fallen into decline. This got me thinking about how this decline happens not only to places but to people and even to our spiritual lives.

In Revelation 3:1-6, we read about the church in Sardis, a church with a stellar reputation but a tragic reality. Jesus said, “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead.” This stark contrast between reputation and reality is a warning for all of us.

Sardis was a wealthy city, known for its jewelry and textiles, and had a rich history. The church there had likely been vibrant and full of life, but over time, they grew complacent and comfortable. They stopped depending on the Holy Spirit and started relying on their past successes. They were spiritually asleep.

Jesus' message to Sardis is simple yet profound: Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. It’s a call to awareness and action. Just as Sardis had once been overconfident and unguarded, leading to its downfall, the church had become complacent. Jesus was urging them to wake up, be alert, and revive their faith.

This message is incredibly relevant for us today. It’s easy to fall into routines, to go through the motions of faith without the fervor and passion we once had. We may have a reputation for being alive, but Jesus sees our reality. He knows when we’re just playing church.

To revive our faith, we need to go back to the basics: remember what we first believed, hold firmly to it, and repent of any complacency. This means daily nourishing our spiritual lives through prayer, reading Scripture, worship, and fellowship. It’s about being continually filled with the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to guide and empower us.

So, here’s my challenge to you: Are you spiritually asleep? Do you need to wake up and work out your faith? Take a moment to honestly evaluate your spiritual life. Are you living a life marked by the Holy Spirit, full of love, joy, peace, and all the other fruits of the Spirit? Or have you become complacent, relying on past successes?

Let’s not be like the church at Sardis, resting on our reputation. Let’s strive to be alive in Christ, allowing His Spirit to work in us and through us every day. Wake up, work out your faith, and walk worthy of the calling you have received.