Are we watching?

While we are alive on Planet Earth the Lord continues to give us ‘time’ currency, one moment at a time.

Oswald Chambers asked a question.  Are we just watching for Jesus, for His Coming, but failing to watch with Him?  I began to think of Gethsemane and the words of Jesus.  On the night, the very night of His betrayal, Jesus spent so much time (John 13:16) teaching, comforting, assuring, preparing His disciples and they had the privilege of hearing (John 17:1) His high priestly prayer.  But when He desperately needed them in Gethsemane He said (Matthew 26:38) watch with Me, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful even unto death.  (How do these words make you feel?)  Were they listening?  What did they do?  They slept to escape their own sorrow and ignored His much deeper sorrow.  They’d had 3 years of intimacy with Jesus but (Matthew 26:56) they all forsook Him and fled.  Jesus was not a MAN without feelings and emotions - but then – alone – alone – utterly alone.  Something had to happen or it would be continual disastrous failure for the disciples and for you and me.

Thank God – something did happen – just as (Acts 1:8) He had promised – Pentecost!  Now we can do all things (Philippians 4:13) through Christ Who strengthens us and only through Him. When I meditated on the sorrow of Jesus and watching with Him, my thoughts went to the Persecuted Church.  I remembered that Jesus didn’t ask why Saul was persecuting Christians but said (Acts 9:4) why are you persecuting Me?  I can understand the weakness of the disciples in Gethsemane, but what does it mean for us now to watch with Jesus to-day?  Some things came to mind but I knew there was something that was missing so I asked the Holy Spirit to show me.  I know we’ll never have a Gethsemane like His.  Oswald Chambers – “Our Lord is trying to introduce us to identification with Himself in a particular Gethsemane and we will not go, we say – No Lord, I cannot see the meaning of this, it is too bitter”.

I tried to figure out what Gethsemane could mean and wondered if it could be something like - - a person is securely settled in a safe neighbourhood and God asks them to move to a rough neighbourhood in order to be a witness there for the Lord Jesus - - God asks someone in a highly paid position to leave that job and take on a ministry with no financial guarantees - - never bring my private viewpoint into my daily life and my world because to watch with Jesus I must have God’s viewpoint on everything.

Maybe such could and would apply in some cases but I still felt that something deeper and personal was eluding me.  Every time I wakened through the night my mind was filled with my prayer that the Holy Spirit would reveal what I needed to know.  Later during that night I had a dream.  I was sitting in a single seat on a moving streetcar, suddenly a man at the back stood up and began to loudly scorn God and mock Jesus Christ.  When he paused for breath I asked him politely if I could say one thing to him.  I wanted to say that God loved him so much that He thought he was worth dying for.  But I only got as far as – God loves you – and he took off again with a ranting of derision.  I said – could I just finish my sentence – but then 2 ladies across the aisle joined him in scornfully mocking God and ridiculing me on that crowded streetcar.  I tried to get in a few words about personal choice and eternal destiny.  One of the laughing ladies said – once my father-in-law went to People’s Church and he said - - .  Right then I woke up and I was filled with thankfulness for the clearer picture.

As such situations increase in our real, wide-awake life, will they be preparation for the persecution that is coming to faithful witnesses and has already come to many of God’s loyal, suffering saints?  We must never deny Jesus by being silent when He is mocked.  It may come to a time when bearing shame and abuse for His glorious, holy Name will become our Gethsemane.  How do we watch Jesus every day?  Absolute loyalty to Him all the time everywhere.  To always put His interests first, at any cost to myself, just as Jesus put the Father’s interests first, at any cost to Himself.  If our motivation is to watch with Jesus, I think it will deepen our intimacy with Him and increase our spiritual discernment.  I know I have more to learn but the disciples learned to watch with Jesus for the rest of their lives - - - and we can too!

While we are on Planet Earth the Lord continues to give us time currency, one moment at a time.  We can choose to spend it foolishly but if we are prudent stewards, watching with Jesus, we will invest it wisely.

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