Ron's Reflections

A Bad Time to Sleep
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 by Dr. Ron Susek

A Bad Time to Sleep
by Ron Susek
©Golden Quill Publications
 
And he came to his disciples and found them sleeping.
Matthew 26:40
 
      Not long after breaking bread with His disciples, Jesus faced the ultimate spiritual battle. The stakes were eternal for Jesus, for the devil, for mankind and, finally, for the whole universe. Eternity past and future would pivot on this battle. Gethsemane and the cross posed Satan's last chance to snuff out the Light of the world--and that, forever!
      Daniel's story found in chapter ten may shed light on the depth of the battle confronting Jesus. Daniel had been troubled by a vision revealing a great conflict. For twenty-one days he fasted and mourned. An unidentified, but obviously mighty angel appeared to Daniel. He said that it required Michael the archangel's help to overpower the resistance caused by the satanic power reigning over Persia.
      The angel's parting words to Daniel cast an ominous shadow toward Gethsemane. He said, "But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince" (Daniel 10:21).
      This angel had Michael's help to overcome one prince of darkness. In Gethsemane, however, Jesus bore the onslaught of Satan's entire arsenal: rulers, authorities, cosmic powers over this present darkness and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places; all revealed in Ephesians 6:12.
      Daniel's angel had support. Jesus had none. Eleven disciples slept as the twelfth one scampered into the night to betray Him. Alone, Jesus fought, refusing to disobey His Father, all the way to His final breath.
      His disciples slept, then abandoned Him. Soon, His Father would look away. No one has ever been so forsaken. To take our death, Jesus had to be separated from both God and man. That is ultimate death.
      Agonizing sorrow brought Him to the brink of death. All of hell assaulted Him, hoping to provoke the slightest word or act of disobedience. Blood and water burst through his pores. He held firm. This was a bad time to sleep. His disciples succumbed.
      Shortly after His resurrection, Jesus commanded His Gospel to be carried to the ends of the earth. The powers that could not stop Jesus from the cross have since turned to resist the advance of the cross. The light of heaven dispels darkness by two forces: intercession and preaching. While darkness reigns in the absence of light, it is powerless against a flickering candle.
      Two reasons are hindering the Church from reaching the last dark corner of the world: One, sleep is prevailing over prayer and, two, the pure and simple Gospel is diluted.
      Every healthy-minded person wants to be of value to a worthy cause. There is none greater than this: Intercession for the advance of the Gospel. Powers of darkness are rising up to oppose the Gospel with a rage of desperation. This may be their last stand before the coming of the Lord. Watch and pray. This is a bad time to sleep.
 
Immanuel: God is with you,
Your friend,
Ron
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