“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1 NIV).
Without belaboring any discussion about John’s vision, I would like to move forward to the last part of this verse–“God knows our deeds, we have a reputation of being “alive,” but are dead.”
There is absolutely nothing we can hide from God. He looks upon our hearts and knows our thoughts from afar, so our deeds–cannot escape Him. Whatever consumes our thoughts will dictate what we do–and God already knows what that will be.
In spite of the fact that God knows all, we attempt to fool people with acts of holiness and piety, when in reality, we are living what we want others to think we are living. Other people think we are such spiritual Christians–when we: constantly quote scripture (but no idea what they mean), always have a word of prophecy for others (but never hear God’s voice), sing louder, pray louder, and dance longer than others (moved by our emotions rather than guidance by Holy Spirit), and always quick to tell others what they need to do to be saved (but living saved has not been accomplished)–Oh yes, we have a reputation of being alive, but are dead. People think we are “all that,” because of what “they see” not what they know. God knows!
When given an opportunity to show compassion, the response is anything but compassionate and often more judgmental. When given an opportunity to show mercy, we instead condemn others for the same things from which we have yet to be delivered. When given an opportunity to show the love of Jesus Christ, we attempt to show our superiority over others in knowledge and in holiness. God knows, which is why He showed these things to John in the vision. Not everyone is guilty, but so many are.
We are not righteous of our own accord or by what we do. We have been declared righteous because of His righteousness when we are living in right relationship with God. That right-relationship involves hearing God’s voice, following His directions, and living before all men as God would have us to live–even when they cannot see us–God can. Having a right relationship with God brings humility–total submission and awe about His love and leaves no room for superiority, judgment, or condemnation of others. Being religious and not having a relationship with God brings us no closer to Him and will actually widen the gap of understanding.
Our God is an awesome God! He gives us chance after chance to get it right before Him and others. He loved us enough to come down from glory in the person and likeness of Jesus Christ, showed us how to live, then showed us what real love will do–sacrifice self–so others can be saved. That’s the God I serve! I pray every day that my life (how I live) is a praise unto Him and I will not need to expect to hear anything other than, “well done” on that day. I do not want to be, the praising (loud but saying nothing) dead!
Lord Jesus, help us to be all that You would have us to be and to do all things well in Your sight.