There are some key Scriptural passages that we would do well to heed in light of current trends in the evangelical circuit. These verses contain a singular, all-encompassing command of Christ to “watch”. The Greek word used in this command means, “to keep awake; rouse from sleep or inactivity”. It’s all too easy for a believer to be spiritually lulled to sleep, for apart from the strength of the risen Jesus, we fatigue easily. Yes, we want to do right, but the problem stems from an uncrucified, unrelenting enemy that we carry around, called “the flesh”. Therefore, we must constantly keep watch, for our flesh doesn’t sleep, and neither does our adversary, who readily stirs up our flesh.
Mark 14:38 records these words of Jesus: “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” What if you are not alert? What if you’re not praying? The inevitable result is that the carnal will overcome the spiritual in your life, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Although we can’t always avoid temptation, we can successfully resist it when we are spiritually alert and morally aggressive. “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” Our defense against fleshly lusts and spiritual attack is to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ”, who is God’s Armor for us.
Notice that watchfulness is linked together with prayer. In other words, we keep alert by praying. Is it surprising to see the Church in America by and large so cold and ineffective when the weakest part of many believers’ lives is prayer? We can collect tapes, videos, books and various Bible translations, but without a fervent prayer life we are only functioning in intellectual energy.
While knowledge is useful in tearing down demonic strongholds, power from the Holy Spirit usually comes when one is in an attitude of prayer and worship. We need this holy power in order to combat the wave of hedonistic living that is part of a Christ-less society. We literally need to, “Be awake to all the dangers; stay firm in the faith; be brave and strong.”
Remember, the enemy we fight is unseen and crafty, and the spiritual warfare is real. “Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” To do this we need four vital ingredients recorded in Acts 2:42. Does this describe you?
“Watch!” Jesus’ coming is closer than we think! Will you be ashamed when He comes, or are you ready?