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The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and
watch unto prayer.

1 Pet. 4: 7.

It is not becoming to Christians to lead heathenish lives, to indulge in gormandizing, guzzling, and carousing, by which they demoralize themselves. They have something nobler to do. They are to be occupied with the Word of God from which they derive their new birth and with which they preserve it. Being born anew they have enemies to fight. As long as they live on earth they must combat the devil and their own flesh.

They must, therefore, not give way to drowsy indolence; much less may they become foolish, drunken sots, indifferent to all issues and heedless of their obligations. They need rather to be watchful and sober, ever ready with the Word and with prayer. These are the two kinds of weapons with which the devil is vanquished and of which he is afraid. Whichever we wield is unendurable to him and he cannot abide it. Christians need both equipments that their hearts may ever turn to God, cling to his Word, and continually pray a perpetual Lord's Prayer. Christians should be diligent in hearing, learning, and practicing the Word of God, that they may receive instruction, comfort, and strength. They need to be sincere in their petitions upon the authority of that Word, cry and call to God for help when temptations and conflicts arise. One or the other of these weapons of defense should be continually in active exercise, effecting perpetual intercourse between God and man— God either speaking to us while we quietly listen, or hearing our utterances and petitions to him concerning our needs.

The Christian should learn from the temptations and straits with which the devil, the world, and his own flesh constantly oppress him, to be ever on his guard, watching for the enemy's point of attack; for the enemy never sleeps, nor rests a single moment.

Peter therefore enjoins the Christian to keep within the bounds of physical temperance and sobriety. He is not to overload and injure his body by excessive eating and drinking. He who is not careful to discharge the obligations of his office or station with temperance and sobriety is incapable of praying or performing any Christian duty, and is unfit for any service.

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