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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


Time to Wake Up

June 1, 2014

Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” (Mark 14:41,42, NIV)

Sleep is very necessary. Unless we get proper rest, we do not function well. God has so designed our bodies that we must take about one-third of every 24 hours to rest and biologically recharge our batteries.

We even find Jesus sleeping. On one occasion He was so exhausted from ministry that when He got into a boat with the disciples, He promptly fell asleep with His head resting on a cushion (4:38). In fact, His sleep was so deep the panicked disciples had to awaken Him.

Now, in Gethsemane, it’s the opposite situation. The disciples are sleeping, and Jesus awakens them — not once, but three times. They too were exhausted. They did not know the violence of the storm that was immediately around the corner.

In His Parable of the Wheat and Weeds, Jesus taught about the inherent dangers with sleep. “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds” (Matthew 13:24,25). Jesus explained that the good seed was sown by Him, but the devil sowed the weeds.

How does the devil do his work in our lives? It happens while we are spiritually, morally or emotionally sleeping. We are not awake to the dangers of temptation or the dangers that come with trial.

This is what the Lord warned us about in His discourse on the future, given just two days prior to Gethsemane: “If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping” (Mark 13:36). While this warning is attached to the end of days, clearly it has immediate application.

The disciples are asleep in Gethsemane. If they fall asleep in this crisis, will they be awake when the Son of Man returns suddenly? If we cannot watch when Jesus tells us to discern the signs of the end times, will we be watchful of our own conduct in the everyday of now?

The story, perhaps apocryphal, is told that when Muslim armies surrounded the historic city of Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Christian eastern empire, that inside the city theologians were debating whether Mary had blue or brown eyes and whether a fly falling into the Communion chalice would be sanctified or would contaminate the wine. The city was asleep to the danger all around it.

Too often the Church has also been asleep to the internal and external threats all around. The enemy does come and sow weeds of false doctrine, division and spiritual lethargy. Jesus wants His Church to be wide-awake.

Remember the first murderer, Cain? Before he killed his brother Abel, the Lord warned Cain that “sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it” (Genesis 4:7). Cain did not heed the Lord’s warning even as the disciples did not heed Jesus’ warning to stay awake and pray. Thus, they were not prepared for the events that would immediately unfold.

Something or someone evil is always “crouching at our door.” Fervent and regular prayer in our lives keeps us awake so that we are well prepared for whatever spiritual danger is just around the corner.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, with all my heart, I want to watch and pray that I may do Your will in my life.

DR. GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

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