“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” — Luke 21:34
In Luke 21, Jesus is talking about the signs that will precede the coming of His kingdom (v.31) when He returns to set up His kingdom on earth (v.27). One warning He gives to those listening and that future generation who will be alive before His return is found in v.34.
He tells them to be careful not to allow their heart to be “overcharged” (weighed down, burdened) with three things:
- Surfeiting – excessive drinking or eating that leads to intoxication and the resulting hangover
- Drunkenness – a state of being overwhelmed or overpowered with alcohol to the point that reason is disordered and physical abilities are affected
- Cares of this life – worries or concerns about matters of daily life
How well Jesus knows the human heart! He knows that we are prone to overindulgence in so many things to the point of dulling our senses and abilities. This can be food, drink, entertainment, sport, gardening, cars, sex, work, family, shopping, gaming, gambling, technology and a thousand other things.
Jesus also knows that not only can our hearts become burdened with over-indulgence, but we can also become weighed down with the various “cares of life.” We can allow thinking and worry about daily tasks and ordinary life to consume our hearts and to distract us from the return of Christ.
Christ warns about these things because He does not want “that day to come upon [us] unawares.” He wanted us to be ready, to be busy serving, and to be focused on what is important.
What is on our hearts today? Is it the return of Christ and the work of God? Or is it indulgence in food, drink, or some other thing? Are we controlled by alcohol or some other substance or something else to the point that we are not clear thinking or able to do what God wants? Finally, are we simply far too concerned about ordinary life and all its cares to give time and attention to the work of God?
May we take heed and be careful to guard our hearts and to keep our focus on spiritual things, the return of Christ and the work of God.