Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” – Mark 14:38
Temptation is very real, and I don’t think that many would disagree. The real issue, though, is how does one successfully overcome it? Christ was so economical with His words, and in this verse gave us some great insights as to how to win this lethal battle. Firstly, He says ‘to watch,’ which speaks of an attitude of spiritual vigilance; being alert and watchful to detect danger. A biblical understanding of the three sources of conflict for the Christian – the world, the flesh, and the devil – will go a long way to winning over temptation. Knowledge alone isn’t enough, though, as Jesus also said to pray. If knowledge connects us to God’s mind, prayer helps connect us to His heart, and literally downloads the spiritual fortitude to override the impulses of the flesh, empowering us to live out of our spirit and to do what is right in God’s sight. No one ever stumbled who was on his knees before God. Attempts have been made to reduce Christianity down to a formula – but it is so much more, as at its core it’s a living relationship. A heart that is surrendered to God, and focused on His Word and drawing upon Him through prayer, is the vital union we all need, because it connects us to the very source of life and victory.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your wisdom – yet simplicity – in what you say to us. Help me to take You at Your word, and to be a doer of your word. For in it You have provided for all of my needs in times of temptation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Scriptures for Reflection: 1 Pet 5:8; Eph 2:1-3; Mt 16:24; Rom 12:2; James 1:13-15; Jer 2:13; John 16:33, 1 Cor 10:13