gethsemane-carl-blochMy last devotional regarding the importance of watching and praying is so important in the Christian life, that I am compelled to write a bit more about it today. Jesus said these words to the disciples in the garden that He could very well say to you or me right now. “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” As I said yesterday, watching and praying require strict attention and vigilance. They are necessary ingredients of discerning the wiles of the enemy, who seeks to entice us to gratify our flesh that we might suffer leanness in our souls. Beloved, watching and praying is serious business.

Once again, Jesus exhorts us regarding the importance of this mindset of watching and praying, with these words. “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.  And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” Did you notice that we are reminded of the urgency of being ready for The Lord’s return coupled with the uncertainty of the timing. In other words, the time to be ready and watching and praying for The Lord’s return and the thief’s attacks is now!

Beloved, the return of a Jesus is nearer now than when you started reading this blog. Paul said to the Romans, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Why is it vital to watch and pray? Because this weak flesh of mine would rather fulfill its bodily appetites and lusts than put on Christ!  It is only when I am drawing strength from The Lord by watching and praying that I am able to keep my body in subjection.

Peter links watching and praying with being holy. “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” Dearly beloved, today is the day that The Lord has made. In reality, there are no “surprises” when it comes to realizing that as long as I am in this flesh, there will be temptations to do my will instead of submitting to God’s will. You can count on it.
But here is the good news: now, in Christ Jesus, we no longer walk in our limited, weak human strength, but in the mighty power of God. Prayer is like fuel to our gas tanks. It keeps us going forward in The Lord and keeps the world and the flesh in the rear view mirror.

Be blessed in The Lord Jesus today brethren. The victory has already been won by Christ on the cross. The resurrection power of Jesus resides within you. The Lord Jesus is at hand. Talk to Him. Walk with Him. Worship Him. The more your heart and affections are turned towards Him, glitter of the world becomes less and less appealing. Watch and pray.