“And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:37, NKJV)
Spiritual watchfulness is a consistent theme of Bible. “Take heed” is used dozens of times (to beware, to look, to pay close attention, BDAG, 179), and “watch” is used dozens more. Jesus warned His disciples to “take heed” for the approach of divine judgment against Jerusalem, to avoid being deceived, and to be ready to flee (Mark 13:14-23; Matthew 23:3-5). To be watchful about spiritual things requires being alert; the watchman who sleeps is useless (Isaiah 56:10). Spiritual watchfulness requires soberness; the self-control that comes from clear-headed thinking. Worldly distractions are intoxicating, and destroy our ability to “watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6). Spiritual watchfulness must be coupled with prayer. “Take heed, watch and pray” is Christ’s exhortation to be prepared for judgment, and to avoid sin (Mark 13:33; Matthew 26:41). Spiritual watchfulness means always being ready: 1) For the Lord’s day of judgment (Matthew 24:42-44); 2) To resist the devil and escape sin (1 Peter 5:8; Luke 21:34-36); 3) To fulfill your God-given work (2 Timothy 4:5); and 4) To stand fast in the faith (1 Corinthians 16:13). We desperately need the Lord’s constant reminder to “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13). Here’s why: Only those who are ready will enter eternal life (Matthew 25:10).