This is the longest I’ve ever gone between posts, and I’ve gotta say, I’m not a fan! I’ve missed you all very much.
Thankfully I’ve managed to clear away the school holiday cobwebs that had obscured my brain function, in order to share with you. Please try to be as excited as me, if not, please pretend.
I was reading through Matthew 26 the other week, when this practically leapt off the page….ok fine, screen, it leapt off the screen, I was reading on my phone. I’m so 21st-century-techno-advanced Christian right now!….Anyhow, Jesus was eating with His disciples, preparing and warning them for what lay ahead. Jesus then predicted Peter’s denial. Peter emphatically, and we can assume, with a heart full of genuine disbelief at the very thought of denying Him, implored Jesus to believe it wasn’t so!
The passage then moves into the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus is full of deep sorrow and anguish, knowing the agony that lies ahead. He asks His disciples to stay and keep watch while He seeks solitude in desperate prayer.
A while later He returns from His solitude to check on His disciples, only to find that they have fallen asleep. He wakes them, and THIS is what bowled me over, look what He says SPECIFICALLY to Peter:
Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:40, 41 NKJV)
Woah! I’ve read this passage many times, but this time was different, this time I saw Jesus was warning Peter.
Many times throughout the bible, we see prophesy given, but in order for it to come to pass there is almost always a choice, an act of obedience or disobedience, submission or rebellion, that must first occur in order for the prophesy to manifest (the same is true today).
Peter made a choice. He chose sleep.
Jesus prophesied/predicted Peter’s denial, BUT, after reading this with new revelation I wondered, if Peter had stayed awake in the garden, if he had taken control over the weakness of his flesh, if he had understood the urgency and fought his fatigue and stayed awake, would he have still denied Jesus?
One of the enemy’s greatest tools is fatigue.
For example, I have found a recurring theme become apparent among men seeking freedom from pornography addiction. Thanks to the open and honest dialogue from these very brave men, I’ve discovered that they were usually able to maintain self-control until they were overtired. When tiredness kicked in, it became far greater a struggle, they felt they had no willpower left to fight.
We also fatigue of doing ‘good’ we’re tired of the endless flaws that are unearthed in us, we see our sin, our rebellion and it tires us. “It’s too much God! How much more is left!?! Why can’t you just make me completely whole all at once? Give me a Spiritual Extreme Makeover! Why the drawn out process…?”.
We become overwhelmed and we lose sight of the purpose of our growth. We lose sight of the fact that Father God adores us, He wants us to ‘stay awake and keep watch’, not for His sake but for ours! He’s not restricting us, He’s protecting us. Warning us.
Do you have an area in your life that you know Father God is speaking to you about, but you’ve found yourself with your fingers in your ears, deciding it’s all too hard, so instead you’re drifting off into a spiritual snooze?
Peter learned his lesson the hard way, but clearly he learned it, and then sought to warn others, for he later wrote:
Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, prowling around to find someone to attack. (1 Peter 5:8 CEVUK00)
The bible is full of people like Peter who have missed the mark, they have gone before us and learned the hard way so that we don’t have to.
If you’re feeling brave, I’d love to read about your journey in the comments.
What areas of your life are in need of a wake up call?