Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:36-41
For I while I couldn't understand why the disciples fell asleep if they knew Jesus was sorrowful and troubled. If something is bothering me, I often have a harder time falling asleep. But the more I thought about it, it makes perfect sense. I looked at my own life and when things have been really hard or really sad, do I keep watch and pray?
Not usually. I look at the mound of troubles in front of me and it seems like too much to face and too much to conquer so instead of even trying I just go to sleep.
And I know it's not just me, it's really the church in America. But you guys, things are so bad because we are sleeping! In America we sleep all the time, but we sleep with our eyes open. We sleep in front of the TV with our eyes glued to a screen. We sleep as we scroll through the pages of Facebook or Instagram. We sleep while we text each other memes and laugh at videos of people doing stupid stuff. And none of these things are bad in and of themselves but we worship the glow of a distracted mind instead of suiting up for battle.
And I for one am saying no more.
By the grace of God I will not go back to sleep.
By the grace of God I will gird up my loins and I will fight.
I will fight for the glory of my Lord.
I will fight for the unity of my family.
I will fight for my brothers and sisters in chains.
I will fight for the harvest
and I will fight to be worthy of the calling to which I have been called.
We have an enemy that is real and he is active. We do not fight against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities. We do not fight an easy battle but praise our God that we fight a battle that has already been won. We can fight with all we have because we already know that Christ has the victory and we can fight in this world to remind the devil and his demons of what waits for them when our King returns to earth. We can fight knowing that we are not fighting alone but the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is fighting for us and fighting with us.
So, by the grace of God I will fight, will you join me?
For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8