”And He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’”
– Mark 14:37-38
As Jesus agonized through one of the hardest moments in his life, his closest friends and followers snored. It had to be difficult for Jesus. He knew, in the greatest of detail, all that awaited him over the next 24 hours. In his mind, he could see the betrayal of Judas, the thirty pieces of silver, the crowds shouting ‘Crucify Him!”, the crown of thorns that would tear into his scalp and the awful cross that would end his earthly life. And though he had tried to tell his disciples about what was coming, they hadn’t believed him. In fact, Peter had gone so far as to rebuke him for his talk of sacrifice. Before he went to pray, he commanded them, “Remain here and keep watch.” He was asking them to go before God and seek the strength and sustaining power that they’d need for the upcoming trial. Unfortunately, they didn’t comprehend the gravity of the situation; so they slept.
How often do we miss the importance or the seriousness of what God is calling us to? Each of us has a calling on our lives. It doesn’t matter whether you consider yourself a missionary or not. It doesn’t matter whether you think you’re in ‘full-time’ or ‘part-time’ or ‘no-time’ ministry. As a Christian, we all have a calling on our lives. We all face trials of faith and character. We all face times when God calls us to witness about Him and His saving power. We all have a daily call; a daily mission, if you will. And if we do not “keep watching and praying,” there’s a good chance we’ll fail Him.
Jesus tells Peter and the others, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He recognized that people’s spirits often have the desire to do the right thing but many fall short of that desire. Why is that? It’s simple. They aren’t relying wholly on God by constantly seeking his power and by feasting on the Bread of Life. If we’re going to endure every trial and pass every test, we need to be watching and praying to the only one who is able to “keep us from stumbling” (Jude 24). Don’t let Christ find you sleeping today, be alert, watch and pray. If you do, though trials come, you needn’t fear, for “God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).