“So could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation…” (Matt 26:40-41).
“Be sober minded’ be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8).
I find myself making an excuse for spiritual apathy and general apathy. What does it matter? I ask myself, I can just do that later. Oh, that is just a little thing. Oh, I know I should fix that now, but I am so tired. Get up early and spend time with God- I will just take my rest and do that later.
Yet Christ rebukes his disciples and tells them he desires their fellowship in the hour of need, as seen in Matt 26:40-41. Their fellowship with God is not desired so that they give God something, but that by being in God’s presence, they are guarded from the fierce lion who waits to tear them apart. Peter was warned of the temptation to come “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32); Peter was warned again to stay awake (Matt 26:40,45); and then when the temptation came, Peter gave in to the temptation to deny Christ (Matt 26:75).
Yet Christ’s prayer gave Peter the strength to persevere. Then Peter, humbled as one who had fallen before (I Peter 5:6-7) and who knew the bitterness of coming into the hour of temptation unprepared, admonishes his brothers to stand in Christ as well and to stay awake.
What is the takeaway lesson? For me it is several: 1) Be killing sin now as it comes into my mind and not later; 2) When I awake in the middle of the night disturbed by dreams or ungodly thoughts, come before God right away and bring his Word to mind; 3) Spend time with God when it seems hard or when I find myself desiring sleep badly; and 4) Don’t buy into the lie that if I do such things, it shows I am not just trusting in God or that it really doesn’t matter if I don’t pray.