"Why are you sleeping?"

Lk. 22:46 - And he said to them, Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.

Not too long ago at the conclusion of a Bible study that was being held in the chapel of an Indiana state prison, one of the inmates said turned to me and said, "I'll walk to the gate with you so no one will mess with you!" This would have been a more comforting thought if this friend was 6' 6" and built like a Marine! However this friend was shorter than I was and about 20-30 years my senior. However think this through with me.

What if my friend had been built like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, wouldn't I feel more safe and secure? And since I would have felt safe, wouldn't I relax and be more at ease?

In Luke 22 the disciples had just finished celebrating the Passover with The Messiah. Then a select group were invited to Christ's personal prayer time. Spiritually they were in the presence of the strongest man who ever lived. I'm not surprised they felt safe and secure. They felt so safe and secure that they gave into their increasing desire for rest.

However, despite being in their midst, what Jesus urgently tried to teach them was that they each still a personal responsibility to stay alert, be aware of temptations and lean on God for assistance. He wouldn't do it for them.

Think about this; if a spiritual giant like Jesus was distraught enough to stay up intently praying as he sought to submit his will to God's, then shouldn't I do the same?!

So when it comes to your spiritual life, as you rejoice in the presence of Jesus, do you take his presence for granted and become lazy as you relax and take your ease? Or, do you hear his warning, trust in the strength he provides, and shoulder your responsibility to "rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation"?

Jeremy Dehut

(Originally posted 3/4/13)