I Peter 4:7
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
We can see from this verse that prayer is to be our focus in these last days. I think we can all see that we are in the final hours before Jesus comes again to this earth, so we, in particular, should give heed to what this verse is saying to us.
But, what are we, as believers, to be doing about the fact that we are at the end of the church age? By looking around the body of Christ, it doesn’t seem many know the answer to that question. For one thing, we are to be alert to the Spirit in prayer. Evidently, Christians will be heavily enticed and distracted away from prayer in these last days, or God would not have given us the kind of warning we find in this verse.
Let’s examine this verse closely and grasp what the Spirit is saying to us.
Not Caught Up with the Affairs of This Life
First, since the end of all things is at hand, “Be ye therefore sober…”
This term sober is found throughout the New Testament. In our day, we often use this term to refer to someone who isn’t under the influence of alcohol. Of course, we know we’re not to be drinking alcohol, but the way the Bible uses this term refers to so much more than just crucifying one area of the flesh.
To be sober scripturally means not being caught up with ANY of the lust of the flesh or even the natural affairs of this life that may not necessarily be sin. It also means to be free from the spirit of the world around us—free from what the world is caught up with or focused on. He’s telling us not to be so entrenched and engulfed in the affairs of this natural life that we’re not giving ourselves to spiritual things. In fact, if we’re not sober, we’ll not even be aware of what the Spirit is saying, what time it is or what we ought to be doing.
When Peter instructs us in I Peter 4:7 to “be sober,” he’s referring to avoiding the distractions of this modern life. This particularly applies to this generation because it has more distractions than any other generation in history.
In Your Right Mind
What will be the result of being sober spiritually? We’ll be wide awake and serious about cooperating with God in prayer regarding what He is doing in this hour. We’ll be about our Father’s business.
When a man is intoxicated with alcohol, he’s not thinking clearly. He’s neglecting what is important and giving himself to what is unimportant. He’s not doing some things he should be doing, while being busy with things he shouldn’t be doing. He’s making many mistakes, making wrong choices and will be found in wrong places.
In other words, a person who is intoxicated isn’t of the right mindset regarding much of anything they are doing. They are under the influence of something that is altering their ability to think clearly or appropriately for the situations or settings they may be in.
That’s what we’re being warned against in this verse. Moving with God in prayer in these last days calls us to not be so mindful of earthly things that we’re not busy about prayer.
God needs people who are wide awake spiritually—aware of what the Spirit is saying and responding to Him in prayer in this hour rather than being under the influence of many natural interests. He’s looking for people whose entire prayer life isn’t just about their needs and their wants but also about the big picture—the harvest, the rain, the move of God that brings Jesus back AND--their part in these things coming to pass.
Do we have a natural side to our lives down here on this earth? Yes, we have natural things we need to do, but what He is talking about is not being intoxicated with these things or distracted by them. He’s talking about guarding against these things making us dull to the things of the Spirit and avoiding what keeps us from moving with God’s plan in prayer!
From I Peter 4:7, why are we to be sober and watch? For the purpose of prayer. His plans in these last days need prayer to be fulfilled. If His plan is not coming to pass, it’s because we’re not praying. And if we’re not praying, it’s because we’re not being sober.
A man isn’t ready to be used in this end-time move of God if he is caught up with natural things. These things keep him from a life of prayer and cause God’s plans in the earth to be delayed—or at the very least, grind forward with much resistance.
You Have a Job to Do
I encourage you to turn from anything that is hindering your spiritual preparations to meet Jesus at His coming! But, more than that, the end is at hand, and you have a job to do to participate in the move of God’s Spirit in this end time. God needs us all to do our part in His great plan here at the end. What is our part? For one thing, to watch unto prayer.
A big part of being sober is what your mind and attention are on. God needs us to have the right mindset—particularly here at the end. Many of the other translations of I Peter 4:7 talk about our mindset and often also use the word discipline. After all, a man who stays sober only does so if he disciplines himself to avoid these fleshly appetites. So, God is talking to us about our mindset and the practice of certain disciplines that lend themselves to a life of prayer. We are to have a mindset of being alert and in prayer.
You and I need to be sober and turn our ear to what God is saying because the world is loud; the world is saying many things and going in many different directions. If you and I are being caught up in it, we’ll find ourselves moving with the world rather than being sufficiently alert spiritually to move with God. We’ll be caught up with these many different voices—being taken in many other directions than prayer. We’ll live mad at all the things we see going on around us rather than be in prayer. Or, we’ll be getting our “unction” to pray from the news media rather than the Spirit of God.
What Are You Paying Attention To?
Let’s look at the next statement in I Peter 4:7. “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, AND WATCH…
To watch is to pay attention—not so much to the world around us but watching in the Spirit to catch our cues in prayer. We are to pay attention to God’s plan and watch over it in prayer, seeing to it that it comes to pass.
Isaiah 62:6-7 (AMPC)
I have set watchmen upon your walls, O Jerusalem, who will never hold their peace day or night; you who [are His servants and by your prayers] put the Lord in remembrance [of His promises], keep not silence, And give Him no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes her a praise in the earth.
Secondly, we are to pay attention to what time it is regarding God’s plan because knowing this tells us what is most important for us to be giving ourselves to.
Let me give you an illustration a minister friend of mine used that gives us a picture of what I am talking about. If you have to be at work by a certain time, the closer you get to leaving, the more you start paying attention to what time it is. Also, as the time gets nearer and nearer to when you have to leave for work, your focus turns more and more to only those things which must be done to get to work.
If you have a flight to catch, as your departure time gets nearer and nearer, you begin to cut more and more things out of that space of time between you and the departure of your flight. Your complete focus is on doing only those things that pertain to catching your flight. Other things are not as important any longer.
First Peter 4:7 tells us that the same is true as we draw closer and closer to the end of all things. We are to turn our focus more and more away from the things of this natural life to doing only those things that pertain to moving with God in these end times. Other things just aren’t as important any longer. What pertains to moving with God’s plan and the return of the Lord? Prayer!
Take Heed to Yourself and to Prayer
The believer who moves with God in these end times has a twofold responsibility in this area of watching.
First, we are responsible to watch in the Spirit and in prayer over our own life personally--because the devil is going about with great wrath knowing that his time is short. We are not to allow him to hinder us as we go about the plans of God in this hour. Fleshly living can give place to him and give him the opportunity to knock us out of our race or make us unusable to God.
We are to watch over our lives, renew our minds and present our bodies—giving him no opportunity. By keeping the door closed to Satan, he can’t steal our supply from this end-time move of God, kill our spiritual progress or destroy our witness. This is something we are to be sober (serious) about.
Let’s cut off the sins and weights that would keep us from running our race and doing our part in these last days. If we, as believers, are engulfed in the affairs of this life, we won’t see his attacks coming, and these strategies of the enemy can succeed where they wouldn’t have--if we had been watching!
Second, we are responsible to watch in the area of seeing and hearing what the Lord is saying and doing for the purpose of participating with Him in it in prayer. Nothing happens just because God planned it or said it. God’s plans need to be processed with prayer. We see that truth all through the Bible. As we saw in Isaiah 62:6-7(AMPC), watching means an alertness to the voice of the Spirit and then a watching over His plan in prayer to see to it that it comes to pass.
We’ll ALL Give an Account
You and I are going to be called to stand before the Lord and give an account of our lives and what we were busy with (II Corinthians 5:10 AMPC).
I John 2:28
And now, little children, abide in him; that, WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR, we may have CONFIDENCE, and not be ASHAMED before him at his coming.
There are two ways you can stand before him—confident or ashamed.
Part of what it means to not be ready to meet Him at His coming is to have to stand before Him ashamed of some things we’ve done in this life or of other things that were neglected and left undone.
I don’t want to stand ashamed before Him because I was too caught up with the natural affairs of my life to be sober and watch unto prayer. What about you?
Written By: Jay Eberly // September 14, 2021
© 2021 Jay Eberly Ministries. All rights reserved.
share this post
stay in touch on social