“And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?”
Several times in the Scriptures the Christian is warned to watch. The night that Jesus prayed in the garden, He asked His disciples to pray with Him. After praying alone, He came back to check on the disciples only to see them sleeping. The final time He checked on them, He asked them, “What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” Jesus knew the importance of the Christian being on watch. If it is important for the Christian to watch then what does it mean to watch?
First, watching is praying. The question in the verse above came when Jesus found the disciples sleeping instead of praying. The Christian is opening themselves up to temptation if their prayer life is anemic. One of the ways you keep from doing wrong is by having a strong prayer life. Every person who struggles to serve the LORD is a person who’s prayer life is nonexistent or anemic. It is often said that every failure in the Christian life is a prayer failure. If you want to live a vibrant and healthy Christian life, you are going to have to make prayer an integral part of your life. Praying has a way of keeping you on guard for Satan’s tactics.
Second, staying busy in the LORD’s work is watching. Jesus said in Matthew 24:42, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” He said this because He wanted the Christian to stay busy until He comes. The busier you are in serving the LORD, the better chance you have of not falling into sin. Every time a person slacks off in their service to the LORD is when they open themselves to temptation. King David is a classic example of this when he stayed home instead of going to battle. It was in his time of ease that he yielded to temptation. You have a better chance of staying away from sin when you are busy serving the LORD.
Third, watching is being strong in the faith. 1 Corinthians 16:13 says, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” How does the Christian gain strength to stand “fast in the faith?” They gain strength by studying the Word of God. If you never spend time in God’s Word, you are bound to fall in sin. The only place the Christian will gain strength for the battle is through reading God’s Word. You may think you don’t have enough time to read the Scriptures, but you better find the time if you don’t want to become sin’s victim. You may be able to run on your own strength for a while, but eventually the lack of spiritual nourishment from God’s Word will cause you to succumb to temptation.
Fourth, watching is enduring afflictions. 2 Timothy 4:5 says, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions…” One reason you mustn’t ever quit in the LORD’s work is because enduring is watching. When hard times come, keep going soul winning and serving the LORD because your spiritual senses are on guard while you continue.
Why is it so important to watch? Matthew 26:41 shows us why when it says, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation…” My friend, temptation is around every corner, and the Christian will only overcome and avoid the temptation by watching. I implore you to be sure to watch. You will be sure these four things are a part of your everyday life if you don’t want to become sin’s next victim.