For many thousands of years, each nation has a history of cultures, people, with great feats of glory, accepting the self-sacrifice of their defenders, warriors, and sailors who, without thought of their lives, defend their homeland. In their memory are built statues, memorials, cathedrals and temples. The feat that the warriors perform is the best evidence of our nation as well as any other nation which manifests itself in the most difficult time of trials.
With that in mind, whenever history looks at heroic deeds, only the most evident of heroic deeds are celebrated. Albeit, no book has ever been written on four-hour sentry duty. No man has been hailed as a hero of guard duty. Standing watch during peacetime can be monotonous, tedious and would not inspire a young patriot to join the military. Yet it prepares a soldier for duty during hostile times, and properly executed watch saves lives.
That’s exactly what Jesus Christ did in the garden of Gethsemane. He is about to go on to the cross, betrayed by his close companion. He is about to partake in a spiritual conflict, which will change the course of history. All prophesies are about to be complete. Before he enters his prayer, he tells his closest companions “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”
Stay Up! Pray! And what do we find later? His disciples are asleep. At the brink of the greatest change of history… Asleep. Are you keeping watch? When God is trying to change everything around you! At the time when God is about to push you to fulfill what he created you for! Are you keeping watch? During the time when God is about to push you to fulfill the whole reason, you were sent to this world… Are you keeping watch?
During sentry duty, what is most observed, that right before light, the night becomes the darkest. The most arduous time of watch is from 3 am to 5 am, the time when the sentry’s “life” is screaming for sleep. Young Soldiers learn the art of sleep while standing. Likewise, in a mind-boggling astonishment, one can sleep on the go. Think on this, while one is on watch, the duty is to be aware, to guard everything within the limits of ones post and to quit post only when properly relieved. Yet, a Soldiers earns for sleep, the helmet and the body armor become a tool of sleep. While standing on guard – with the edge of the helmet you grab the door grille, relax one leg and sleep, after about 2-3 minutes the supporting leg bends and you immediately wake up cheerful and contented, because nothing is more invigorating than the prospect of falling flat on the concrete floor. The trick of the Sergeant of the guard is to surprise the Solider in a way, which will place the fear of God in his heart and the sleeping Soldier will not slumber on duty again.
Are we as the Church learning how to embrace sweet slumber? Are we enjoying the prospect of dreams and illusions while in the Service of the Great and High King? Are we sleeping when God is inviting you into great and precious promises? Are you standing watch in prayer for the family? The Church? The City? The Nation? Are you staying connected in communion with God? Or are you sleeping while God is inviting you to you to share his divine nature? Are you awake or are you asleep while God is trying to do something in your life? Are you praying right now while things are going ok? Are you angry at God and stopped praying when questions and troubles entered your life? David was connected with God, he slew Goliath! Elijah stayed connected to God, and defeated the prophets of Baal! Are you connected to God and are allowing him to work in your life. He is trying to speak to you! He is trying to teach you! He is trying to work through you! God is searching for someone among us who would build up the wall and stand before Him in the gap on behalf of the land so he would not have to destroy it, but…Has he found one? Are you even awake to hear Him? God wants a revival…. But we are asleep… We rested on our helmet and body armor… our legs are asleep… we are focusing on money… homes… who is right in a family feud… distracted by philosophies and theologies… God is on a back burner… we focus on businesses… new trends and algorithms… we focus on who did what…
What did Jesus ask his apostles when he returned? “You could not even stay up an hour?” Why are we distracted, or impatient? For this reason, it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
You must pay close attention to what the prophets wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.