“Be careful or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you will be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
Jesus tells us that because of our knowledge of future events, our lives should be different from the world. We have a mission before us that’s time sensitive. Those things that hinder us from effectively preaching the Gospel of Christ must be put away.
The Lord spoke of dissipation. The Greek word literally means tossing-head. It was the common term for a hangover. We associate this term with drinking, but Jesus wasn’t limiting it to the use of alcohol.
Whenever we leave our calling to chase after the world, there’s a wasted period of time while we get back on track again. This is the period of our spiritual “hangover”. Too many Christians are living most of their lives in dissipation.
They’re either giving in to the desire for the things of the world or they’re trying to regain what they’ve lost. Don’t waste most of your life in dissipation.
Drunkenness, then, is the actual pursuit of worldly pleasures. You can become intoxicated on more that just alcohol. Power, money, sports, and a host of other distractions can rob you of your effectiveness in God.
Does that mean that all these things are sin? Absolutely not! But if you find yourself more involved in these temporary things than in your walk with God, then your priorities are messed up.
The third warning the Lord gives us is to beware of the anxieties of life. We’re not to be so overwhelmed by our cares that it hinders our walk with God.
When we spend most of our time worrying about finances, health, and relationships, we lose our desire to serve God faithfully. Jesus said that if you seek His kingdom and His righteousness first, then your needs would be taken care of.
Jesus said that the temptation to fall into these traps would come on all people – no exceptions. There will be no free rides. He’s warning us about the future so that we’ll be ready.
That’s why He said that if you’re watchful, awake, and alert, you could pray to escape some of these things. Literally it means to run away from. I believe that if we seek God’s wisdom, we’ll be protected from much of the pain that will come to the earth. Of course that means we need to listen for God’s voice of instruction, and then obey Him when He speaks.
I believe that the last days of this age are going to be the most exciting time period that any Christian could be a part of.
Question: What emotions does the thought of Christ’s return stir up in you?
© Nick Zaccardi 2014