By Wade E. Taylor
"To the angel of the church in Sardis write; These
things saith He that has the seven Spirits of God,
and the seven stars; I know your works, that you
have a name that you live, and are dead." Rev 3:1.
There were those in the church at Sardis who appeared to
be alive, but the Lord saw them as being dead. We can apply
this to those in the Body of Christ today who are saved and
satisfied with all that the Lord accomplished on the cross
for them; but they themselves have not come under the power
of the cross to change their lives.
Judicially, in Christ, we are seen by the Lord as being perfect
and mature, as though we had never sinned. Experientially,
we are seen as a baby who needs to grow and develop. The Lord
does not look at our Judicial position - that which He did
in our behalf - but rather, He looks at what has been accomplished,
His image and likeness formed within us.
The Word of God is to become a personal reality in our lives,
and so change us that we reflect the life and nature of our
Lord Jesus Christ. Our having the "right" beliefs,
and attending the "right" church, is not enough.
The Lord seeks and responds to those who seek to go beyond
judicial, positional truth, and enter into an active experiential
(personal) relationship with Him. Thus, the Lord views those
who remain satisfied with merely the externals - as being
"The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him;
and He will show them His covenant." Psalm 25:14.
This fear speaks of an active respect for the Lord and for
His presence. It means that we practice reverence in the place
where we meet.
“For where two or three are gathered together in My
there am I in the midst of them.” Matt 18:20.
This requires a personal discipline, so our actions will
indicate that we highly respect the Lord, and greatly value
Therefore, when we enter a meeting, it is very important
that in anticipation, we maintain an upward poise of our spirits,
and that we respond to the slightest indication of His presence.
All too often, we use the time prior to the beginning of
a service for fellowship with each other. Doing this does
not indicate to the Lord that we value or respect His presence.
Rather, we should prepare ourselves to enter into the presence
of the Lord.
It is our respect for the presence of the Lord where we feel
no presence, or when we feel the least spiritual, that really
counts, rather than what we do in the place of intense blessing.
When the Lord so moves in a service that we feel the glow
of His presence, it is easy for us to respond and promise
the Lord all kinds of things. Most of these commitments are
We should both know and value “the letter of the Word,"
but our relationship with the Lord must go beyond this, until
the Word has become a present, experiential reality within
Some believers dwell on the problems within the lives of
others, while neglecting their own relationship with the Lord.
They then wonder why their words of correction to others are
not effective, little realizing that their own problems speak
louder than their words.
For correction to be acceptable, it must come from the heart
of one who exhibits personal concern and understanding, because
they themselves have gained a victory in a similar area. Only
then are we able to show mercy and love.
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all
comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation,
that we may be able to comfort them which are in
any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves
are comforted of God." II Cor 1:3-4.
Thus, to be effective in any ministry, we must have a vital
personal relationship with the Lord, in which we value and
are responsive to His presence and dealings in our lives.