Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “ Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him (Mark 14:37-40)
WE have fallen asleep on our watch! As the world continues to get worse and worse; As the ‘way of the world’ builds upon itself and justifies itself; Christians, believers, we stand idly quiet and suppress the Truth that we were commanded to stand upon. It doesn’t take much of a lapse in alertness to become desensitized to the spiritual reality upon us by the pseudo-comforting distractions around us. Staying awake spiritually involves looking past the clamor of worldly attractions. It’s about our spiritual awareness – it’s about perceiving the presence of the kingdom of Heaven growing up like wheat among the tares of modern society. But we have lost our spiritual edge and focus and as a result, we are not aware of the ongoing revealing of the Kingdom and the immanent coming of our Lord! We are more and more finding ourselves conforming to the ways of the world; being accepting and even partaking of things that we in our spirits know that God opposes and timidly sitting quietly regarding the Truth of God. Rather than walking in that Truth that we are so well versed in, we settle in to the crowd in fear of being the standout and possibly the cast out!
Jesus told the disciples to watch and pray, yet we are not praying; for all sorts of reasons. We are getting up in the morning after sleeping until the last minute because we worked or played too hard last night and we’re not giving God the glory for waking us up this morning! We are so career, socially or entertainment occupied throughout the day that we don’t hear the Word of God trying to guide us through our day and rather than giving Him glory for helping us make it through the day, we are praying a rehearsed memorization – if we even remember to do it after we turn off the TV and plug in our electronics for the night. We won’t even talk about the last time we went to church! Our Bibles have more dust on them than the unused dining room table and not only are we setting a bad pace, our children are learning from us!
Our lack of relationship with God has us unprepared to face the world we must live in and worse, it has us unprepared to witness His impending coming. Let this be a ‘WAKE UP’ to all of us – as the world continues to worsen, our spiritual alertness must intensify! If we are to stay awake spiritually we need to listen closely to what Jesus is saying. We need to read Scripture with our minds and hearts, with our eyes and ears. Jesus said it so often: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
As the world continues in its tailspin, we have to be diligent to stand on and for the Truth of God. Accepting the politically correct so as not to offend is not part of God’s command to love thy neighbor! We must not waiver in our faith or in our function with regard to the direction of the spirit versus the comfort of our flesh – that means we will make unpopular decisions and even stand alone in our opposition to the world view at times. We must be mindful of the tricks of the father of lies (satan) that twist and manipulate the Truth to set the motions of the world! And we must keep a strong relationship with the Lord to ensure our preparedness for what is to come! Jesus said “watch and pray,” but they slept. Jesus’ passionate praying before his betrayal prepared him to receive God’s will—even in suffering and death—with power and grace. If we are to stay awake in the midst of a world in a spiritual stupor, then we need to diligent in prayer. No wonder Paul advises to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Jesus was praying and they were supposed to as well. Listening and praying won’t tell us when Jesus is coming again, but they will get us ready to receive Him when he comes. May we, as the bride of Christ, stay awake as we eagerly await His glorious coming!