" And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." Revelation 3:1
Christ was speaking to the seven churches and had addressed four already. When he got to the church of Sardis, he gave a chilling description saying that they had a name that seemed to indicate they were alive and well but in reality were dead in spirit. Sardis represents the dispensation that covers the historic time of the Reformation or what secular history refers as the Renaissance period. During this period of history, there were truly great men of God such as Luther, Knox, and others however when one looks at the period closely, it was a period that was, in most cases, the church being merged with the world. For instance, Samuel Wesley, father of John Wesley who was later a powerhouse for God, commented that the strongest witness of the Christian faith was that small inner witness. Of course, we know that out of this period, the great period of the Philadelphia church rose boasting such men as John Wesley, D. L. Moody, Jonathan Edwards just to name a few.
But what about the church today with all of it's offerings that t can offer - all of the amenities and activities? What about us who claim even to be Pentecostal yet haven't spoken in tongues for several days and even weeks? What about us if we haven't felt the power of the Holy Ghost in our services or our prayer closets? It's easy to look at another age or people and say, "Glad I'm not like that" but when we examine ourselves, we can bare that same description - that people think we are lively, full of power, lover of Christ, yet really dead in spirit.
We have to constantly keep up our prayer life. It's a battle. The devil will see to that. As one man put it, "He wouldn't be a good devil if he didn't." But we must not give up and we must strive forward in prayer. Not only that, but I believe that God wants us to enjoy his presence. This is not a drudgery but it should be a joy to serve him. In Psalm 37:4 we read, "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." The word "delight" means to be soft, delicate, be happy about, make merry over. It constitutes a pleasure that nothing in the world can replace but too often we rob ourselves of this pleasure, but it's delighting ourselves in him that can give us life. It gives us courage and strength to go on and joy when in every circumstance. This the life that Christ wants for us. Let him look at us and say, "They are alive and well."