Ruth Bell Graham said that “a bore is someone who, when you ask them how they feel, will tell you the truth.” There are people like that. They love to talk about their aches and pains. Then there are others who are in denial when they’re sick. They’re reluctant to go to the doctor, yet something may be seriously wrong with them.
As believers, we can be sick or dying spiritually. We lose our closeness to Jesus, that intimacy with Him. Jesus said to the church of Sardis, “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1 NKJV).
This wasn’t a lazy or inactive church. They weren’t slackers. In fact, their name was known far and wide. The church probably was humming with activity. Outwardly, there was every indication of a church on the move.
But there was a problem developing that only Jesus could see: “I have not found your works perfect before God” (verse 2 NKJV). In other words, “You’re not fulfilling the purpose for which you were placed there.”
Someone who is dying spiritually is usually the last to know. They think everything is fine. They can rationalize every decision they’ve made, even though those decisions are wrong.
Jesus has given us His prescription for spiritual renewal. He said, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die” (verse 2 NKJV). “Be watchful” could be translated, “Wake up.” In other words, recognize that something is seriously wrong. First, you wake up, and then you “strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.” The word strengthen means “to stabilize that which is frail.”
Jesus is, in effect, saying, “Stay with Me. Don’t give up now.” Jesus can heal a spiritually sick believer.