Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.   –  Ephesians 6:10-11

Are you ready?

Are you ready for whatever comes your way today?

Are you ready for challenges that are sure to come?

Bigger question…Are you ready to take a stand for Christ?

The disciples sure weren’t ready on the night Jesus was taken to trial.  After sharing what would be their last supper together before Christs’s crucifixion, Jesus led them to the Garden of Gethsemane (Mount of Olives) so they could pray.  Before Jesus separated himself from the disciples so he could pray alone, he instructed them to pray for themselves that they would not fall into temptation, but when Jesus arose from His prayers, He found the disciples asleep!

Jesus awakened the disciples and again instructed them to pray for themselves that they would not fall into temptation.  While he was speaking, Judas arrived with the men who had come to arrest Jesus.  Jesus was led away and the events of that fateful night began, when Jesus – an innocent man – would be tried, wrongfully convicted, and ultimately crucified like a criminal.  Where were the disciples during all of this?  They scattered.  Peter, who had sworn  earlier that evening that he’d follow Jesus to His death, tried to stick around for Jesus, but became fearful for his life and denied being one of Jesus’ disciples when confronted by someone who recognized him.  Peter didn’t just deny Christ once, but three times!  (Events taken from Luke, Chapter 22)

No, clearly the disciples were not ready.  They were not able to stay awake and pray with Jesus,  and they weren’t ready to face the challenges of being Christ’s followers.  Notice that Jesus’ only command for preparation was prayer.

I find the disciples response to confrontation interesting because prior to their final meal together, they had been asking Jesus if it was time for him to usher in the new kingdom.  They thought Jesus was going to overthrow Roman rule, and they were anxious to be His top dogs when His leadership took place!  Of course we know Jesus was preparing to usher in the Kingdom of God, but even if He was about to overthrow the Roman rule, were the disciples ready?  Surely that would mean fighting and clashes with Roman leaders/supporters, but they couldn’t even stay by Jesus’ side when men came to arrest Him!

We were talking about this in Bible study yesterday as we studied the first few chapters of Acts.  A question was raised about Revelation and End Times, when Jesus comes back to usher in the new Kingdom of God, the Eternal Kingdom of God.  I thought about those disciples.  Here they were, anxious to take their places in the new kingdom under Jesus’ rule, but they weren’t ready for the challenges and battles they’d have to face.

Fast forward in time to now.  What about us?  We look forward to that day when all Christ ushers in the New Kingdom in heaven.  Like the disciples, we want to know what places we’ll have there and if we’ll be by Jesus’ side…but are we ready?  Are we prepared to face challenges and fight battles in Christ’s name?  Are we ready to deny Satan and take our stand for Christ?  What about our family, loved ones and friends?  What about you?  Are you ready?

Quite honestly, I don’t know what lies ahead, but I know how to be prepared.  Just follow the teaching in the Bible of  Ephesians 6:10-11 and put on The Armor of God  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”    We have to be strong in the Lord every day and follow Jesus’ instructions to pray, and keep praying, that we won’t fall into temptation.    Reminds me of the Lord’s prayer: ” …And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil…”  (Matthew 6:13)       

Again I ask.  Are you ready?     For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory.  Forever and ever.  Amen.