Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Mark 14:38
I don’t want to sin against God!
That is my spirit talking. My spirit is strong in the decision not to sin against God, my wife, my family, my church, or anyone else.
What happens, when tempted, is another reality!
You may have the idea that temptation always comes in the form of big carrot dangling in front of you – enticing you to away from God. Be watchful because it’s not always the big things that tempt you. Sometimes it is small and seemingly innocent.
Just before His arrest, Jesus and disciples were in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was here He asked the disciples to keep watch and pray, while He went a little further by Himself and prayed.
He returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Mark 14:37-38
Sleep was the enemy for the disciples. It was late and they were tired. Jesus was tired too but was more concerned with the events about to unfold and the battle about to take place.
The disciples were overwhelmed by their desire for rest. James 1:14 – Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.
Is sleep a sin? No. Unless you should be awake. Would it be a sin for you to fall asleep at work when you are supposed to be working?
Paul said, “Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do.” Eph 5:6-7
The only way not to be fooled and the only way not to participate is to keep watch and pray!
Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. Eph 5:10-12
Again keeping your eyes on the Lord and keeping watch can help you see the temptation before it presents itself. Notice what is deemed shameful in the verse above – even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.
How many times are you enticed and tempted to talk about evil things or tell secrets behind other’s backs?
Paul then says something that is surprisingly similar to what Jesus said in the garden – “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” Eph 5:14
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
If you are awake and alert you will see your great enemy coming and can take preventive measures like going on the offense with the word of God – your sword!
Through Christ you have the ability to overcome temptation by praying, reading God’s word, staying alert, keeping watch, and always be aware that temptation will return.