Dear friends, in the previous article, we learned that there is what is known as the power of darkness operating in everyone’s life. Every now and then, we are under constant spiritual attack; but as mentioned previously, a moment is coming upon the whole world when the power of darkness will reach its peak.
We saw last time how the terrible events unfolded in the case of Jesus and His disciples. Judas was lost and the rest barely managed to escape the ordeal. Having read all this we are left to wonder whether we ourselves will be able to sail through when such an hour comes over us. The answer is 'yes' provided we heed certain warnings that Jesus gave to His disciples and which are meant for us too.
Know that it is God's will for us
First of all, we must know that it is God's will that everyone on earth should pass through this phase; this is because of the spread of evil to such a great extent. God has already forewarned through the prophets of our times. In fact, as the hour of darkness was approaching, Jesus Himself had forewarned Peter that such a dark moment was being permitted by God... "Simon, Simon! Listen! Satan has received permission to test all of you, to separate the good from the bad, as a farmer separates the wheat from the chaff. (Luke 22:31).
Therefore, it is up to us to acknowledge God's warning and accept whatever is coming as His will for us. The same Peter would later write, “So then, those who suffer because it is God's will for them, should by their good actions trust themselves completely to their Creator, who always keeps His promise.” (1 Peter 4:19).
Be alert and Keep Watch
Another reason why Jesus forewarned about the dark hour was that He wanted all His disciples to be prepared. He wanted all of them including Judas to be alert and keep watch. The same applies to us. We ought to be alert and keep watch lest we are caught unaware and give into the temptations of Satan. In fact, Jesus used the same words on an earlier occasion when He foretold about the tribulations that would come upon the whole world. He said, Be on watch, be alert... (Mark 13:33).
Jesus' warning didn't mean anything to Judas because his heart was full of greed for money. Unlike the other disciples, he simply didn't care because he wanted the 30 pieces of silver at any cost. Ultimately, Satan entered him (John 13:27). And Jesus could not help but say to him, "Hurry and do what you must!" Often we will come across people like Judas who will pretend to follow the Lord but their hearts have been given to some idol. Undoubtedly, when the power of darkness reaches its peak, they will end up betraying the Lord.
Knowing that the hour was fast approaching, again Jesus warned His disciples so that they would keep watch and alert... The ruler of this world is coming… (John 14:30). But they didn’t take his warning seriously. Even when Jesus took them along with Him to the garden of Gethsemane, they thought it was just another trip as usual. And so, they were totally unprepared for what was going to come. Even when Jesus took along with Him those closest to Him (Peter, James and John) to pray, like the rest, they too did not sense the urgency. They went off to sleep. And again Jesus warned them, “Keep watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation..." (Matthew 26:41). Later, after having had a narrow escape from being lost like Judas, Peter would realise the importance of those words, "Be on watch, be alert."
Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8). Those words of Jesus had registered deep down in Peter's heart. He was speaking from experience; he had seen for himself what the Devil could do to a soul when given permission by God to act at will.
Remain in fellowship with God and with His People
Another very important reason why Peter and the rest of the disciples made it through was their union with Jesus. Judas was the only one who was lost because he had left the supper table where Jesus and His disciples were. He parted from the fellowship and went all alone into the darkness. (John 30:30).
Therefore, fellowship with God and fellowship with His people, both are most important if we are to be saved when the power of darkness builds up and reaches its peak. We will never be able to make it alone.
I have prayed for you
After everything is said and done, finally, we must know that it is Christ who will ultimately not allow us to fall. "But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you turn back to me, you must strengthen your brothers."(Luke 22:32). That is the sure hope we ought to have. As St. Jude would write... To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to bring you faultless and joyful before His glorious presence... (Jude 1:24)
Peter learned all these important lessons and he sums them up for all of us who are now bracing for what is coming upon all the earth… Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Be firm in your faith and resist him, because you know that other believers in all the world are going through the same kind of sufferings. But after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who calls you to share His eternal glory in union with Christ, will Himself perfect you and give you firmness, strength, and a sure foundation. (1 Peter 5:8-10).