““But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.”
This is the conclusion of Jesus’ explanation and warnings about the end of the world. He’s had the balanced approach of seriousness, urgency, mercy, and patience, but this part applies to everyone.
He uses some language that He has used earlier in the parable of the sower. Just like one of the seeds was carried away by the “worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth,” Jesus cautions us to watch ourselves.
Don’t be Weighed Down with These Things
Likewise, the cares and anxiety of daily living can wear you down. You don’t have to watch the news for very long to know that this is true. There are other ways to get ripped off though. When my son went backpacking through the Grand Canyon, it wasn’t until day 2 or 3 that I realized I was only praying for his safety. I wasn’t praying for his joy, deep conversations with his team, good interactions with others on the trail, or that God would leverage that natural beauty to move my son’s soul!
Nope, just “keep him safe Lord, worry worry worry.”
That’s the best example of “cares of this life” that always comes to mind for me. Our idols of control, comfort, and success all have strong bases. They are the gods we all have in common, even though their faces don’t look the same.
Jesus frees us and tells us we’re free from such things. We don’t have to escape life with beer and we don’t have to over-indulge in life with worry.
But we are to pray.
Pray that you’ll be strong enough to escape all of these traps.
Pray for your friends. Pray for your family. Pray for your pastor. Pray for your Mayor. Pray for your County Clerk and your garbage man. Jesus thought prayer was so important, that instead of running around Israel the night before He died to get all of His last bits of work done, He stayed put and prayed.
As if Bret didn’t say it enough on Sunday: Pray.
This is time spent with God and by His Spirit, He slowly and kindly removes our idols of control and gives us the gift of surrendering to Him.
In exchange, we get the fullness of Him. It might take a lifetime, but He loves to do it.
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