April 29, 2017
READ: Matthew 26:36-46
Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak! (v.41).
Unsolicited emails are as annoying as a swarm of insects. Perhaps you made an online purchase and later received a stream of follow-up emails enticing you to buy other products. There’s only one way to try to stop them—unsubscribe!
Don’t you wish you could also unsubscribe from nagging temptations that attempt to lure you away from Jesus? While we can’t eliminate temptation, it’s encouraging to know we can subscribe to God’s help in our struggles with sin.
After spending time agonising in prayer, Jesus returned to the three disciples, who should have been praying with Him. What He found was discouraging. They had slipped into slumber—failing another test (Matthew 26:40). Their deep sleep solicited a gentle rebuke and challenge from their Leader and Lord. Jesus urged them to remain spiritually alert and to continue praying to God for extra power to fight against temptation (v.41). God’s strength would shore up their defences and help them remain faithful to Jesus, especially in the dark hours that followed.
Like unsolicited emails, temptations keep coming at us in a variety of ways. Though we may not feel strong enough to ward them off, we’re not powerless to fight against them. We have the Spirit of the risen Christ empowering us in our struggle against sin. Because He has defeated sin, we too can experience victory. Our connection to His power through consistent and persistent prayer will assist us in fighting against our sinful desires and the devil—guarding our heart and strengthening our spirit. Then, instead of giving in to temptation, we’ll be able to resist its pull and stand strong by God’s faithful provision (1 Corinthians 10:13).
365-day plan: Nehemiah 2:1-20
Read Matthew 4:4-10 to see how Jesus overcame temptation.
What temptations are you battling? How can you experience Christ’s victory and resist them?