Watch & Pray

Message: Despite our best intentions and our most passionate devotion, we can’t comprehend the ways of God with our small minded thinking, and our flesh is weak and is prone to crumble under the weight of the pressure. Over the course of his ministry, Jesus brought up a lot of old prophecies, and he spoke them out as they were being fulfilled. Even though the disciples and the crowds would have been familiar with these prophecies and probably heard them read in the temples their whole lives, it doesn’t seem like anyone really realized they were actually being fulfilled right in front of them in real time. As Jesus recalled these past prophecies, he also spoke prophetically about the things that were going to occur over the next several hours and days. He had been preparing his disciples for his crucifixion and resurrection for quite some time but they weren’t emotionally prepared to hear it nor were they spiritually mature enough to receive it.  I can almost see them glazing over just trying to comprehend this. Peter even pulled Jesus aside and tried to rebuke him earlier on when he told them that he would have to die, and Jesus had to rebuke Satan for his influence. So here they were just hours before it all. The disciples are comfortably reclining at the dinner table with Jesus as he warns them all that one of them will betray him and he even identifies the betrayer. They are all so appalled by the idea that one of them would be capable of betraying him that seem to obsess over that idea and deny the possibility. Then he quotes the prophecy that the shepherd will be struck and the sheep will scatter and he warns them ALL that they will all run away- so not only will one betray him, but really, they all will when they abandon him. They are still not listening and they all deny it and Peter, with all of his passion emphasizes that even if they all do that he will not. What stood out to me the most was that even after all of this warning and denial going on they are still so comfortable. When they got to the garden of Gethsemane and he tells them to stay awake and pray with him. They are clearly not comprehending that this is all going down right now. They drift off to sleep a few times and when Jesus wakes them up to pray, it is not for Jesus’s benefit but their own. He tells them “Stay awake and pray so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” This really grabbed my attention because I feel like we spend a lot of time trying to pray for or against things that are probably all part of a plan that we don’t understand, when we really need to be praying and asking God to help us to withstand the pressure of it all. For him to help us to see with spiritual eyes so that we aren’t expending all of our fleshly energy trying to stop something that God is doing.

Command:  Stay spiritually awake and pray so that I don’t enter into temptation.

Promise: There will be a whole lot of unrest, and a lot of things will happen that I have been warned about in scripture. Things that I have heard, but I will not understand. But in the end, God has promised that he is coming. He is faithful when I am not and if I stay spiritually awake and pray through this,  God will be faithful to help me in my time of temptation, and to show me what my spirit is willing to see, but my flesh is too weak to handle.

Warning: If I am not willing to stay spiritually awake, and I insist on trying to walk this out with my fleshly passion, I will be swept up by temptation and I will not comprehend the things that are going on spiritually.

Application: Lord Jesus, please help me to put on humility, and not rely on my own fleshly passions. As much as I want to believe I will be faithful, I need you Lord to keep me faithful because my flesh is weak. Help me to see what you are trying to show me is happening in real time-right before my eyes and stop just assuming that I can rest comfortably without a plan for the future.

Leave a Reply