After praying fervently the night He was betrayed, Jesus returned to where His apostles were and found them sleeping. He said to them: “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41). He might say the same to us as we do not want to be sleeping our way through life but instead be ever diligent to be on the lookout for temptation and to pray for the strength to overcome it in our lives. It can often be said of us that our spirit is willing to do what is right in all things, but often our flesh is weak when we are tempted to do otherwise.
It is that which makes us human (our fleshly, worldly tendencies) that often cause us to fail when we are tempted and fervent prayer is needed to help us overcome and do the right thing despite what Satan tempts us to do. We should keep 1 Peter 5:8 in mind at all times and be watchful: ” Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
The devil is always looking for ways to lead us away from God and cause us to sin, so we must be vigilant and ever watchful lest we be caught off guard when he does tempt us. We can pray that God will deliver us from temptation (Matthew 6:13), but God will still allow us to be tempted at times, as even Jesus was tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1-11), so we need to be ready.
Prayer is especially useful when temptation does come our way to help us resist because we are weak in the flesh and have a tendency often toward sin, especially when it catches us unaware. If we immediately enter into prayer to God when temptation strikes, how can we then be drawn away from God by it. God will give us the strength to overcome if we will turn to Him.
Then, on those occasions when we do give in to temptation, we must repent and pray forgiveness from our father, who is faithful and just to forgive us. (1 John 1:9). That is, of course if we are faithful to Him by obeying Him in all things to the best of our ability, (see Plan of Salvation above and under categories) He will hear our prayer. If we have a good relationship with Him that is defined by His terms and found in the scriptures, He will hear and answer our prayers and deliver us from evil. (Proverbs 15:29).
Communication with God is a two way street. God speaks to us through His word today and no longer directly, but we can take our needs and our desires to Him directly through prayer and He will answer as He deems appropriate in a way that is best for us as only He knows, better often than we ourselves do. A way to be watchful is to keep both lines of communication open.
Not only must we pray for deliverance from temptation, but we must leave little room for the devil and worldliness in our lives by constantly studying and applying God’s word to our lives. If we pray for deliverance from evil but do nothing to fill our hearts and minds and actions with the goodness of God’s word, how can God answer our prayer?
He may do so by making it possible for us to study and learn His will more diligently, but it is up to us to do so. Just as God forces no one to obey the gospel in the first place, He will not force us to study and apply His word to our lives. We must learn ourselves to “hunger and thirst after righteousness ” (Matthew 5:6) and we will be filled through diligent study and application in our lives of God’s word.
In these ways we can overcome temptation and sin in our lives and learn to be more godly, walking as He would have us, in righteousness. If you are not in a right relationship with God, do so while you still live and have opportunity. The bible tells us everything we must do to be saved and when we follow and obey it, we can learn to live for God and as He would have us live in this life, with the hope that He will take us home to live eternally with Him and His Son in heaven. Do it before it is too late and your life on this earth comes to an end. Again, see Plan of Salvation link above and under categories.
May God bless and keep you until next time.