“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” 1Peter 4:7
We need to be sober to be able to watch and see life as it truly is. So many people are living an illusion; so many are seeking after a fantasy world created in their imagination. Some are seeking a perfect family with a dog and and a yard. Some are seeking to be a millionaire and have prestige. Some are seeking adventure and travel to far away lands. But God has warned us in his word that we need to watch and pray, because the end of all things is at hand- the end of your life, the end of my life, is at hand.
“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the LORD so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thess 5: 1-6
When we are watching, we are going to see something; God will reveal some things to us, and then we must pray, because the enemy of souls is waiting to steal right away that which God has made known unto us.
Sometimes when watching we will see a warning;
“Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you unto God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Act 20: 31-32
A warning to us needs to be followed by prayer. We need to pray that God will help us to heed the warning and to deliver us from the snare that Satan has laid. When we are watching and praying, we are alert and we need to pray that God would keep us from the hour of temptation;
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26: 41
It is easy to say, “oh sure, I will stand for Jesus, I want to please him and do all he asks of me.” But when it comes to performing, we need to be praying for the help and strength of God, because in ourselves… in our flesh dwelleth no good thing and without Christ we can do nothing. Peter was indeed willing to stand by Christ to the death, but because he had not watched AND prayed, he ended up denying him three times, even with cursing. This can happen to any of us. We must WATCH… and…PRAY!
When we are watching we are girded- we have prayed, and sought God’s will and read from his word, and we are ready for his call, to do his bidding. When you begin a new employment and you are eager to build a good repoir with your boss you are watching and looking for ways to work, and when that boss needs something done, you hop to it. It is the same in serving Christ. His true servants are girded and waiting to hear his voice and bidding;
“Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.” Luke 12: 35-38
Here he tells us “blessed are those servants” twice. I don’t know about you, but whenever I see those words “blessed” that tells me that this is an area for receiving great blessings from God.
We need to watch and pray for our fellow soldiers;
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all preserverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, (Paul) that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.” Ephesians 6: 18-19
We need to watch and pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Some are going through hard battles, some are weak, some are sick, some are on the front lines of the battle field like the apostle Paul and need courage and strength. We need to pray always for them and watch for them too!
When we are watching we will be stedfast in the faith and work of the Lord;
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” 1 Cor 16: 13
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor 15: 58
All of life outside of Christ is vain. Our hopes and dreams perish when we die. The only true life is life that is hid in Christ Jesus- lived for his cause, which is the salvation of souls.
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Colossians 2: 2-4
The Bible tells us that those things that are of high esteem in the eyes of men, are an abomination with God. A life in Christ will not be applauded here by the general population of men. In fact, we will often be looked upon as fools for the hidden things of God are foolishness to those who are spiritually blind. (1 Cor. 2:14)
We need to keep our hope in the life beyond this world; in the life that is hid in Jesus Christ;
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thess 4: 16-18
Christ is our life, our hope, our labor. He is our everything. Have you ever been to a most beautiful spot in God’s great creation and just been enraptured by the beauty and magnificence of it all? If God made this world, so beautiful, this world that is so engulfed by the sins of men, we can be assured heaven will be that much more glorious. We will not be disappointed. We will not arrive in heaven missing earth- EVER!
We must watch unto prayer. We must not miss the goal!
Now if you have not been watchful and the enemy has gained advantage in your life, there is still hope this side of eternity;
“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee… He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot our his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Rev 3: 2-3, 5
REMEMBER: Watching and Praying go hand in hand. We must do both. We must watch to see and thenpray to fulfill what God shows us.