I’ve been journaling through the Bible. I started in Genesis maybe 3 and a half years ago. Three and a half years of reading through, line by line, and journaling what the Lord is speaking to me personally in it. It’s been a slow and beautiful process. And I’m finally in Revelation. Revelation 3 verses one and two have captured my attention for many years. The Lord is speaking here through John – a prophetic word. He says, “I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of God.”
Oh man. There’s so much here to unpack. But simply put, This is a letter John was to write to the church in Sardis, a luxurious city full of earthly comforts. The Lord is warning the people of the church telling them to wake up because they have fallen asleep – in a deep spiritual coma, approaching death. Again, so much to unpack here. But I want to take it in a direction that I think we can apply to any of us today. The reason I’ve been captured by these two verses is because when I read them, I feel the Lord’s admonition to me and His warning to be very careful not to be lulled to sleep. I fear looking like I’m alive – I’m okay, doing well, happy, energetic, purposeful – and yet actually being dead to the works of God. Being spiritually asleep. This can easily happen. We get lulled to sleep by the comforts of this world. The luxuries we get to enjoy. Our human nature and fleshly desires call to us to prove our worth and get plaudits from man. We get on the hamster wheel and run for dear life, chasing the carrot and get lulled to sleep. And then we miss what our true calling is. We miss contentment. We miss peace. Because we’ve got to let the world know that we’re doing great, we’re fine, we’re making it, we’re alive. But in reality, we’re dying inside. Little by little.
Sometimes this begins very early on in our lives. We get dulled by the weight of life, the pressures, the tragedies, and concerns. Maybe it was even growing up in a dysfunctional family of origin. And now we’re left with the inner voices that tell us to be good girls and boys. Or, on the flip side, get out there and grab as much as you can. We’re left with feelings of inauthenticity because we’re afraid people won’t like who we really are, even if we don’t know who we really are. Our essence – our personal being – gets dulled and eventually lulled to sleep. We’re no longer really alive. We may give the impression, or have the reputation, of being alive, but we are about to die or are already dead inside.
God says it’s time to wake up! When you are asleep, you cannot pay attention to the things that are destructive to your life. You cannot even see it.
The end of verse two says, “…for I have not found your works complete in the sight of God."
The church of Sardis heard this because they were a busy church, full of things going on, programs, meetings, and yet those things they were doing we not the “works” God had intended. He wanted their hearts and souls and wholehearted devotion.
It is true that the wounds of the past can keep us from completing what God intends for our life. Ephesians 2 verse 10 tells us that before we were even born, God prepared and determined good works for us, something very specific for each individual to do in their life. You have a very specific purpose in this world. You are needed for God’s kingdom. But if your past wounds are hindering your present freedom to do those good works, then you’re not able to walk in what God has designed you for. Maybe, like the church of Sardis, you’re keeping yourself so busy so that you don’t have to look at what’s really wrong. You don’t even have time to notice that you’re dying inside. Or maybe you’re very well aware. Little by little, month by month, year by year, you feel yourself getting smaller, finding that you’re less and less yourself. Maybe you’ve never really known who you are in the first place. Maybe you’re so used to people pleasing, play acting, pretending, that you have no idea who you are, what you like, what makes you happy and brings you life. We do this, too, when the wounds of our past make us feel inadequate, worthless, not as good as other people, less than, so we make ourselves someone we’re not. We make ourselves like “them”; those people who we think are better. And then we have to keep up, lest we get found out; We’ve gotta keep up. We’ve got to conform, and bend, and contort ourselves. Act a certain way. Just so that we’re liked and validated. You know what I’m talking about, right? You know…that moment when you did something or said something and inside you cringed because you knew that was just so fake. But you did it, you do it so that you feel like you fit in; that you’re enough, and you, your life, is important.
“Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die.” Here’s our wake-up call. Who we truly are – our authentic selves - is about to waste away and die. Wake up!
Because, obviously, how we’ve been thinking and acting is so backwards according to what God has designed when we are looking for external solutions for an internal problem. Before you were even born, He planned out what your life’s purpose would be. You already are accepted, have value, have purpose just by being you. But if you refuse to be you – you keep on living an inauthentic life – then you’ll never truly know the fullness that God has intended for you. It’s time to wake up. It’s time to strengthen what life does remain. You’re clearly still alive. Something keeps drawing you to truth. There’s an inkling of the real you deep inside, crying to get out. Convicting you of your inauthenticity. Just praying that you’ll see what’s happening. Hoping you’ll reach out for help.
Yes, I’m a Life Coach and I’d love to help you. But that’s not why I’m giving such a strong call to wake up. I’m doing it because I know what it’s like to be asleep. To think you’re alive, or to have the reputation of being alive as the scripture says, when you truly aren’t. When who you are is wrapped up in how much money you have, the possessions you own, your achievements, the plaques on your wall, the crowd you hang out with, or the next big thing you’re chasing. These things do not make you alive. Not in the way God wants you to be alive. Again, looking for external solutions to an internal problem will just leave you empty, always craving more, driven to achieve, yet never really satisfied, pushed to the next, yet stressed, exhausted, and worn out. I’m giving a strong call because I know what freedom feels like when you finally wake up. And there’s just nothing like it; To not worry about what people think about me; To dance and sing through life uninhibited; To take responsibility for myself and my own emotions and not anyone else’s; To love all the quirks and idiosyncrasies that makes me me, and to not be ashamed about any of it. Total freedom found in who God made me, how He made me, and His unconditional love for me. Free.
Friend, it’s time to wake up and strengthen what little remains. It’s time to slow down enough to allow yourself to see the real you. It’s time to uncover what’s been hidden – intentionally or unintentionally. And to discover all that God has designed for you to be. Free to be you. Just as you are. Not like anyone else. Beautifully, uniquely you. Friend, it’s time.
Yes, I’d love to help you. If you’re ready and you hear God telling you, “It’s time,” then I’d love to chat with you. I’ve put a link in the show notes to book a free 30-minute call at your convenience.
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Have a wonderful week, friends. See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life.
Do you feel stuck in your life? Do you find yourself pretending to be someone you’re not more than the person you really are? You have a reputation of being alive, but sadly you’re really dying inside. Join me for this very important “Wake up call.”
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