In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus talks about end times. “Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come…—lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.” (Mark 13:35-37)
Obviously, Jesus didn’t mean that we should never fall asleep. Our bodies need rest. It is essential for us to sleep. So, what did He mean by “Stay awake”?
Peter makes a statement that may help us in this regard. “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8, author’s emphasis) The word translated here as “be watchful” is rendered differently by various versions of the Bible. The NIV uses the word “alert.” The KJV says, “be vigilant.” Others say, “keep watch” or “keep on the alert.” Paul uses the same word Peter used when he tells us to “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it…” (Colossians 4:2).
In fact, the same Greek word is also in Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. He tells them, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith…” (1 Corinthians 16:13). The NIV translates it “Be on your guard…”
That’s really the point of what Jesus was saying. Keep an eye out. Be watchful. Be vigilant (literally, “keenly watchful to detect danger; wary”). Don’t let your guard down.
Years ago I heard a great true statement. “As Christians, spiritual warfare is not a choice we make; it is part of our identity.” That’s true.
We do not have the luxury of letting down our guard or thinking we don’t have an enemy. He is prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Don’t give him an easy meal. Stay awake.