Throughout our lives we are continually bombarded with temptation. It is especially easy today with technology and the ability of information to freely flow into our homes and lives. This greatly effects our agendas, our thinking, our attitudes and mindset, and our physical health. What are we to do? How are we to guard ourselves, and our families from all of this temptation? I love today’s scripture where Jesus gives us some easy to follow steps.
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” – Matthew 26:41
Image courtesy of: Roger Smith
(1) Watch – The first thing that we have to do is to be diligent and be on guard against temptation, continually on lookout for the enemy. In the military, what happens if the watchman who is supposed to be looking out for the enemy falls asleep? The enemy creeps in and finds the troops sleeping, catches them by surprise, and they are attacked, overtaken, and slaughtered. Jesus gives us a very clear message that we are at war here against temptation and the forces of the devil, and that we should always be at watch against the enemy attack. This isn’t just once per week on Sundays, or every once in a while, but constantly.
To do this effectively, we have to recognize and know what the enemy looks like. Do we even know? It’s pretty easy actually when you know Jesus. Anything that is against what Jesus taught and what the Word of God says is the enemy. If we are doing our best to walk in Jesus steps and are having difficulty somewhere, chances are that is the enemy. God can do all things. Nothing is impossible with god. And so anything that is causing conflict, pain and suffering, fighting, sorrow, and so on, that is the enemy and we should be able to tell the difference between what is God and what is the work of the enemy. Recognizing that this is the enemy, not the person who we are struggling with, helps us not be mad at the person but at the enemy at work inside the person. That leads us to the 2nd thing that we are to do, and that is to pray.
(2) Pray – The second thing that we have to do is pray. When someone is attacking us, or treating us poorly, it is likely that person is under attack and we should pray for them all the more. Jesus cast out demons all throughout the bible, and immediately afterward the person was of sound mind. We too can pray for God to remove the enemy that is working on that person and leave it up to God to restore them to a sound mind. So are we supposed to show people kindness even when they are being wicked? Some people like to subscribe to the concept of turning the other cheek when someone hits you, so that you can be struck on the other cheek. Others subscribe to the David model that we should conquer the enemy, attack them and bring them down. Which is correct? I think that answer is different for everyone, and for different situations. What is important is that we are able to separate the enemy from the person who is a child of God created and who God yearns to be saved.
God created each of us in His image and for a unique and special purpose. There is no one in this world that is an exact replica of you. How amazing is that to know that we were created unique for our own special purpose? And He loves each one of us so much that He sent Jesus Christ his one and only Son to come down to earth to show us the Way back to Him. Jesus died on the cross to deliver us from the power of the enemy once and for all, and so that we might live life and live it abundantly. God has amazing plans for each and every one of us. So to protect ourselves from the enemy, we can lean on Jesus. And we can follow the beautifully simple formula that He gave us (1) Watch, and (2) Pray. God’s Word is so powerful, so simple, so perfect. Let us seek God through His Word today and every day.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for this Word today. Fill us with your Holy Spirit, that we might be able to walk through today with love and grace toward others. Help us to be on watch constantly, and in constant prayer with You. Direct our steps, and remove and deflect the attacks of the enemy so that they may not disturb our mind and our day. Let your light shine so bright that it eliminates the darkness. We receive your Holy Spirit and all of your goodness, through Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: 2 Samuel 17, Psalm 71; Matthew 26
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
- “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26
- “Nothing is impossible with God” – Luke 1:37
- “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:12
- “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8
- “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” – Hebrews 4:15
- “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10
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