When you gonna wake up? ∙
Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain. – Revelation 3:2
34 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
35 He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by.
36 “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
37 Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour?”
38 “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
39 Then Jesus left them again and prayed the same prayer as before.
40 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. And they didn’t know what to say.
41 When he returned to them the third time, he said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But no – the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.”
Modern life can be very hectic and unsettling. We are often worn down, worn out, and exhausted. It is way too easy to succumb to the need for physical sleep.
Digital advances of the modern age, particularly the 21st century, have provided almost instantaneous streaming access to video and audio. We can literally enjoy just about anything we want, whenever we want. It is far too easy for our minds to relax, shut down, and wander off to sleep. Suddenly, we are jarred awake, and we realize that time has passed, and we missed large chunks of what we were watching or listening to.
The same is true in the spiritual realm, only worse. It is easy to fall asleep at the spiritual wheel and find ourselves in a self-induced spiritual coma. As such, we are often unaware of our actual condition.
Spiritual comas are nothing new. The children of the King have suffered from them throughout the Scriptures. The apostle John stated categorically, I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive – but you are dead (Revelation 3:1).
Is it possible to become so identified with earthly values and compromised by the pagan environment that children of the King are so in name only (i.e., “nominally” Christian)? Another example would be the prodigal son. His own father said, “This son of mine was dead” (Luke 15:24) (Mounce).
How can they be dead and alive at the same time? Spiritually speaking, they were as good as dead. They were “the living dead.” Or perhaps with apologies to “The Princess Bride,” they were “only mostly dead!” They needed to become truly alive again, wake up from their deathly spiritual slumber, and live out their position and responsibilities as children of the King (UBS). They had become so dull of hearing, and they were no longer acting like the children of the King. It was as though they were at the point of spiritual death. They needed to strengthen what little remained. They needed to repent and return and experience restoration and newness of life.
The apostle John issued a prickly, somewhat blunt warning 2000 years ago, “Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain” (Revelation 3:2). The Greek term translated as wake up is gregoreo. Gregoreo means to be vigilant, watchful, on the alert, or stay awake.
The Greek verb translated as strengthen sterizo. The verb to strengthen means, in this context, to restore to strength, renew, invigorate, and put strength (vigor) back into. NJB translates as “put some resolve into what little vigor you have left” (UBS).
Ephesians 5:14 Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.
REFLECT & PRAY
Spiritual slumber is way too common among children of the King. It is so easy for us to doze off mentally and spiritually. A spiritual self-check is required, accompanied by repentance and new determination.
Father I recognize the weakness of my own flesh. I find myself simply dozing off in some critical moments. Please help me be alert, focused, and seek to live as You wish.
We often find a great deal of personal willingness in our spirit, but the flesh is weak. This is precisely the problem the disciples had in the garden of Gethsemane. They were physically weary. The Lord Jesus Christ gave them only two responsibilities: watch and pray. But they failed both. They were unable to carry out His wishes.
Matthew 26:41 Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
It is natural for us to begin our spiritual journey with a great deal of enthusiasm. But sadly, our enthusiasm wanes, and we become lethargic. We are alive, but we are asleep. At any given point, there are “things that remain.” The Father implores us to strengthen them. The Father is at work in the world. He has plans for us. We need to be alert and watchful. We can no longer be content with our spiritual mediocrity, stagnation, and utter boredom. We are to be like the sons of Issachar.
1 Chronicles 12:32 The sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what [they] should do,
Bob Dylan, a reluctant prophet of modern times, reflected the sentiments and bewilderment of a generation. A seemingly unlikely convert, Dylan embraced the Christian faith in the 1970s. He wrote an album, A Slow Train Coming, with many powerful, provocative, and soul-searching songs. And given the opportunity, they will pierce the shell of our spiritual stupor. Now is the time to wake up and open our spiritual hearts and minds!
When you gonna wake up (Bob Dylan)
God don’t make promises that He don’t keep
You got some big dreams baby, but in order to dream you gotta still be asleep.
When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
When you gonna wake up strengthen the things that remain?
You got innocent men in jail, your insane asylums are filled
You got unrighteous doctors dealing drugs that’ll never cure your ills.
You got men who can’t hold their peace and woman who can’t control their tongues
The rich seduce the poor and the old are seduced by the young.
Adulterers in churches and pornography in the schools
You got gangsters in power and lawbreakers making rules.
Spiritual advisors and gurus to guide your every move
Instant inner peace and every step you take has got to be approved.
Do you ever wonder just what God requires?
You think He’s just an errand boy to satisfy your wandering desires.
You can’t take it with you and you know that it’s too worthless to be sold
They tell you, “Time is money” as if your life was worth its weight in gold.
There’s a man up on a cross and He’s been crucified for you
Believe in His power that’s about all you got to do.
When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody
© Dr. H 2022