Stay Alert & Always Learning – September 10, 2017
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
“”Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.“
John 8:31-32 NLT
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
If you are a seeker of truth, you must be aware that you have an enemy who wants you asleep and ineffective.
Keeping this in mind, Christians must wake up and be alert -without giving way to fear- realizing there are spiritual forces set out to destroy. A Christian’s lifetime is and should be one of non-stop learning, the seeking of truth in a relationship-overcoming the obstacles —enduring, never giving up [see last weeks series: prevail]. In practicing we must have a right attitude that enables and encourages continuous learning, knowing we never completely arrive —are never quite finished—, but always moving forward. If we fall asleep, we become vulnerable to walking away from God’s purpose for our lives. There is a point where we finish our earthly race, but until that happens we never stop learning.
Learning and Feelings
One of the many things that stands out from this passage was Peter’s reality, at that time, was tied to his feelings, so much so that he was asleep when it came to truth. Peter’s feelings were so hurt when Jesus pointed out the truth to him— he wept bitterly and if it had not been for Jesus prayer, he would have lost his faith. Two thousand years later, the same trap. A tragedy of our generation is that feelings have become the ultimate reality. Feelings are directing peoples lives more and more, twisting the truth so that lies are accepted as truth.
Back in the sixties we used a sing a song made popular by Joan Baez, ‘ We Shall Overcome’. During that time -a particular day was selected- where we were all determined to overcome, staying awake throughout the night at the old public library site, now a seniors centre. As it turned out we were actually overcoming our desire to sleep, although the purpose was to overcome the culture of the day. It was the age old battle of the younger generation fighting against the old. Sadly we could not overcome anything while sleeping even though many have mastered sleep with eyes wide open. Looking back, I think it was a waste of time, but what stuck with me is how hard it is to stay awake and alert throughout the entire night. God asks us to stay alert. The fact that He does, means it is vitally important. We do know that not doing so caused Peter excruciating pain revealing something that needed to be seen; he temporarily gave up returning to his old fishing job, catching nothing. It took our Lord’s prayer and seeking him out again to restore.
Question: What happens to you when you fall asleep? What does this reveal? How have your feelings taken the lead and distorted truth?
Christians would not lose their faith when feelings become so overwhelming because of circumstances and, when confronted with truth all with sincere heart would turn back and not follow their feelings— giving up.
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