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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Alert and Ready

My husband has always been one to get up early. But me, I would always say I wasn’t a morning or a night person — I was a day person.

However, when God impressed on my heart to write a book, we had three small children at the time and since I fell into bed exhausted every night, I discovered the best alone time was early before my kids got up. At first, it was a big challenge. But on lazy mornings when my body was talking very loudly to me, my spirit would say, “You know how much you love this time with God…”, and it was true, so against my body’s wishes, I would pull myself out of bed and straight to the coffee pot.

I have now been an early-riser for almost 20 years. All our friends and family know this about my husband and I. So, a ministry friend was quite surprised recently when he picked us up at our hotel to discover we had slept in to 7:00 am that morning! We laughed and blamed it on the dark curtains, but there’s a spiritual parallel here.

Jesus said (concerning his return),

“No one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.” Mark 13:32-33 (ESV)

Just like the dark curtains of our hotel room, the world is experiencing a lull of spiritual stupor. Jesus knew this would happen and therefore was adamant in his warning:

“This is why you must be waiting, watching and praying, because no one knows when that season of time will come.” Mark 13:33 (TPT)

He wasn’t referring to literal sleep when he told us to stay awake. The word here denotes attention. In other words, to be mindful and conscious of Christ’s return.

I heard a minister use the illustration of a scope on a gun as a good example of how to remain ready (awake and alert). She said every gun has a notch on top to help your eye focus on the target. The notch represents the cross of Jesus. If you keep your eye on the cross, with eternity as the target, you won’t miss His return.

Jesus used the example of a traveler. He said,

“For those days can be compared to a man who was about to leave on a journey, but before leaving he placed his servants in charge and gave each one work to do while he was away. Then he commanded the watchman to be on guard at all times. So I say to you, keep awake and alert — for you have no idea when the master of the house will return; in the evening, at midnight, at four o’clock in the morning, or at dawn. Be alert, for he’s coming suddenly and may find you sleeping! And what I say to the four of you, I say to everyone — be awake at all times!” Mark 13:34-37 (TPT)

If our friend had knocked on our hotel room at 5:30 am, assuming we were up like we normally are, we would have all been surprised to find us still sleeping. I pray none of us will be surprised like that when Jesus returns, rubbing sleep out of our eyes, trying to come out of a stupor.

No, let us all be alert and aware of the times. Keep your eye on the prize, with the cross as your guide, and you won’t be found sleeping.

Copyright © 2019 Daphne Delay, used with permission.

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