I had a real “wake up call” this morning.
No pun intended.
I was reading through Matthew 26:36 – 48 this morning. It was not an accident; this was something that the Lord had really convicted me of yesterday. I think it is easy to get the impression that people in missions, or full time ministry, have their relationship with the Lord all sorted out. They are completely “on fire” spiritually; enthusiastic about the kingdom and being used by the Lord to do great things. This is actually not necessarily the case. It is easy to slip into a routine, “working for the Lord”, despite the fact that you don’t happen to be working with the Lord anymore. It’s easy to let your spiritual side slip slowly off to sleep, thinking you have everything under control…You being the operative word there.
Jesus asked Peter, James and John to come and pray with Him, as he wrestled with the Lord in the garden of Gethsemane the night before he was crucified. It was a night so agonising for the Lord that he literally sweated drops of blood. And what did his three closest friends do to help Him in His distress?
Sometimes it is easier to just drift into mediocrity than it is to really battle in prayer, the work of the Lord, or even in our relationship with Him. I don’t mean to say that these three men didn’t want to help Jesus out; Jesus said to them that “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”. Perhaps, like me, they wanted to strive for closeness to God, but it was easier to obey the desires of their flesh: a little bit of shut-eye, distance from all of the problems in the world, a degree of comfort. Maybe they, like I, forgot that even if their own spirit wasn’t “willing” enough to combat the flesh, their is another Spirit (with a capital S) that we can call on to help us come to the Father.
While the disciples slept, those who came to arrest Jesus were also making their way into the garden. It was just a matter of time before these three disciples would run away from their Lord, and Peter would even deny Him. Trouble, temptation and sin doesn’t always make a point of announcing themselves to us. They slip into our lives while we are unaware. Peter later acknowledged, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8) I become lazy, drop my spiritual defences, fold my hands for a nap, and put myself into a very dangerous position.
So – I had my wake-up call this morning. It’s time I get really serious about coming back to the Lord in prayer, serious study of His word, and contemplation of who He is. I need to wake up. God rang the buzzer for me last night – it’s up to me to throw back the blankets and meet Him each day.
It is easy to get so caught up in the work of the Lord that you forget the Lord part of that equation completely. Thanks for letting me be accountable to you all (those who I know who are reading these posts). “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and Just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Thank-you for your prayers. Please do feel free to check up on me and see that I am being diligent in keeping those Spiritual eyes from dozing.