The end of all things is near, therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. – 1 Peter 4:7
When Peter wrote this, I believe he was thinking back all those years to when he denied his Lord three times. In Matthew 26:40, Jesus had specifically asked Peter, “Could you not keep watch with me for one hour?” Even though Jesus tried to tell him, Peter didn’t realize it was the last night on Earth he would physically be with Jesus. Had he really known . . . he certainly would have done things differently.
The end of all things is near
No matter what age you are as you read this, you will be out of here before you realize it. It is appointed unto man once to die, and after this to face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). This is happening much, much sooner than we think. Our lives are vapors that appear just for a moment, and then vanish (James 4:14). John says in 1 John 1:14 that the world and all its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. Isn’t it amazing how little we think of the will of God? Just yesterday, I spent so much time doing the things of this world. I’m not even talking of what most people would call sinful stuff. I’m just talking of television, social media, sports, games, music, and countless other worldly activities that fill our minds constantly on a day-to-day basis. The Neilson Company reported three years ago that adults in the United States spend an average of 10 hours and 39 minutes each day staring at a screen of some sort. I’m not saying screens are bad any more than Peter going to sleep was bad. But, sleepiness cost Peter his last night with Jesus. Even in his old age, Peter remembered this and issued a warning to us.
Therefore be alert and of sober mind
I know it sounds like, “Big deal if I engage in a little of the world’s entertainment!” Well, it is a big deal. Peter is telling us that we must be alert and of sober mind at all times. I used to think this verse only applied to alcohol, drugs, or other substances that messed with our minds, but it can be so much simpler than that. All Peter and the other disciples did on that last night with Jesus was be really sleepy. They missed their last prayer session with Him present. I’ve found that after I have sat through some movie or television show, God does not come back to my mind very quickly. I don’t think that I could immediately go and pray in His presence for any substantial amount of time. Why? My mind has been going nuts processing all those pictures that have been rapidly firing through my brain. It is just in no condition to hear Him and His still, small voice.
So that you may pray
I watched television last night and went straight to bed without saying anything to God. What if that had been my last chance on Earth to talk to Him? People every day fall asleep for the last time and do not wake up. The sin that lives in you and me assumes at all times that we will have another day to live. How would I have lived yesterday if I had known it was my last day on this planet?
Let’s just say yesterday would have been a lot different.
Lord, one day my faith will become sight. Right now, I have the opportunity to pray. In heaven, prayer is unnecessary. Right now, I have the opportunity to witness to others about the great salvation that you offer. In heaven, there will be nobody to tell. Help me take advantages of these opportunities while I am on Earth. I don’t want to fill my mind with hours and hours of entertainment that has zero eternal value. Help me, Lord to disconnect so much more than I do from this world and connect with you. The time is so short. Keep me sober minded so that I want to pray.