Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. -Matthew 26:41 (KJV)
Lately I have found myself quoting this verse more often than ever before. Jesus reminded the disciples of the ongoing struggle between the spirit and the flesh. The Bible teaches that the spirit desires the will of God, but the flesh desires what satisfies self. These days I get up earlier than I ever have in my life, and when the alarm goes off I often have to face the temptation to hit the snooze button and steal a few more minutes of sleep. However, as I am fumbling around in the dark with my glasses, wristwatch, and robe, this precious verse keeps coming to mind: “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Each morning this verse empowers me to go and have an early morning time of prayer rather than go back to sleep. As a result I am discovering anew the power of an extended period of devoted prayer which takes place long before the sun comes up.
This wonderful verse, which reminds us of the power of God over the desires of the flesh, can be applied to countless situations and temptations we face. The sinful nature ever wants to be fed through the flesh. By standing firm against temptations that lead us away from God we are constantly being strengthened in our faith and commitment to the Lord Jesus. Giving into sin is easy. How easy you say? It’s as easy as overeating at a local buffet. Anyone can give into temptation. However, only by the power of the Holy Spirit can temptation be resisted. As we walk in faith and the guidance of the Spirit we become stronger with each passing day. The will of God opens up before us and we discover heights of faith and depths of grace we had never before experienced.
What sort of temptations are you facing right now? Are you being tempted to compromise your morals? Are you being tempted toward a path that would lead you away from God and His will for your life? Is there a temptation you are facing that clearly goes against God’s Word? Perhaps you are struggling with the temptation to drift too close to something you know God would have you stand against. Whatever it is, know that in Christ it can be overcome. The Lord will give you strength and divine Holy Spirit power to resist when you take your stand upon the Word of God and faith – in the name of Jesus.
When we are tempted, lulled towards spiritual sleep and complacency, and the devil is trying to deceive us, recall the life-giving words of our Lord: “The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.” Claim that blessed truth and walk forward in faith and victory.