MARK 13:32-37: “No one knows when that day or hour will come. Even the angels in heaven and the Son don’t know. Only the Father knows. Be careful! Watch! You don’t know the exact time. It is like a man who went on a trip. As he left home, he put his servants in charge. He assigned work to each one and ordered the guard to be alert. Therefore, be alert, because you don’t know when the owner of the house will return. It could be in the evening or at midnight or at dawn or in the morning. Make sure he doesn’t come suddenly and find you asleep. I’m telling everyone what I’m telling you: ‘Be alert!’” (GW)
OBSERVATION: Don’t fall asleep at the wheel! This is one of the most important lessons one needs to learn when receiving the privilege and responsibility of driving. It is easy to take a car for granted and over estimate our personal stamina. To do so can result in finding ourselves in a ditch, in an accident, or even worse – losing our own life, or unintentionally taking the life of another. And all this can be avoided if we simply stay alert, don’t ignore the signs (personally and literally), and don’t fall asleep at the wheel!
This is also true with life. We must learn to stay alert, to understand the signs, and to not fall asleep at the wheel. Jesus gives this exhortation to the disciples regarding His Second Coming. It is easy to be lulled into a sense of stupor regarding the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. We may hear a sermon on it, or read the Biblical accounts, but then we wake up the next morning and nothing seems to change. It is easy for doubt to creep in and to be distracted from our “watch”. This is why Jesus exhorts us – “Therefore, be alert, because you don’t know when the owner of the house will return. it could be in the evening or at midnight or at dawn or in the morning. Make sure he doesn’t come suddenly and find you asleep.”
How do we “fall asleep” spiritually with regard to Christ’s return? Have you ever expected a special guest at your home? In preparation you clean your home and put everything in its’ place. The newspapers are picked up, the floor is swept, the pillows straightened. You are ready, but your guest is delayed. It is uncertain when they will come, although they have told you that they will be there. Slowly, the dust reacumulates, the newspapers begin to stack up, and the pillows are disheveled. The once ready house slowly slips back into its’ original condition as our readiness slips into apathy and doubt.
This is what happens so many times to our spiritual walk of faith. We begin to allow the delay of Christ’s return lull us into a sense of apathy and doubt. We believe that Jesus Christ will come again – but we cease living like He will come at any moment. Our thoughts no longer are directed heavenward, but are gravitated to the daily grind of life. Our prayers become less frequent and depleted of their original zeal. And our hunger for God’s Word begins to wane and is replaced by artificial and temporary substitutes. We move from being hot to merely being lukewarm. It happens gradually and without notice, until we find ourselves suddenly in a spiritual and emotional ditch.
God’s Word calls us to live our life in a continual state of readiness and faith. If I really understand and believe that Jesus Christ can return at any moment – will it not affect the decisions that I make, the thoughts that I think, the things that I do? It absolutely will, and it absolutely should. How tragic it will be if the Lord finds us asleep when the trumpet calls. May He find us ever alert, ever in prayer, ever abiding in the Word, ever about the Father’s business! May our faith continue to burn brightly until the final trump of God. May we live fully awake and fully alive in His Spirit!
In Jesus Name!