September 29, 2018
Luke 21:35&36… For that day will come upon all who dwell upon 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.
This was one of the comical statements by Jesus that language doesn’t accurately translate. We cannot stay awake at all times. I stayed awake for 26 hours once and I thought I was going to die. I can’t do what He is seemingly asking here. Fortunately, He gave a bit of explanation in the verse before…
Verse 34… But watch yourselves less your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day will come upon you suddenly like a trap.
I had to look up “dissipation” to find out exactly what it meant. My best take on it is… “to squander money and resources and energy on useless stuff.” He seems o be describing someone who is not staying awake. Living, now, in Phoenix, Arizona, I am within driving distance of Las Vegas, Nevada. Some people love Las Vegas. Thank God, I am not one of them. But, as an extreme example of dissipation, spending money in a casino is “squandering”. Yes, I know, sometimes a person wins… but if you did a study of winners and losers at a casino, you would find that the losers far outnumber the winners. That is why the casino is there and why it is often beautiful. It is easy for me to write about such dissipation because it does not tempt me. I am not condemning anybody who struggle with it, though. We all have area of vulnerability.
“Staying awake” involves resisting temptation, but it also involves ‘not succumbing to the cares of this world.’ Are you encumbered with the cares of this life? Are you worried about paying a certain bill? That, like gambling, can lead you away from trusting God. Some people gamble from the safety of their own home. They may play the lottery or some other form of “instant money”. They justify it by saying thing s like, “If I win, I am going to help you or the church with the winnings.” In essence, that is saying, ‘Since God isn’t doing it, I will.” “Staying awake” is trusting God.