“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
— Mark 14:38
Rarely does an hour pass by when we are not tempted. Sometimes the temptations are small: should we eat that cookie or not? But sometimes what is seemingly small can have much greater significance.
We rarely see the flaws in our character until we are tested. Jesus asked his disciples to watch and pray with him, but they dozed off (Matthew 26:36-46). By surrendering to a small temptation, they lacked the spiritual strength to fight off a much greater one. The disciples gave in to the weakness of the flesh, and as a result they were not prepared to support Jesus during his trial and crucifixion.
Our flesh is our own weak-willed human nature without the power of God. Our natural capabilities fail in the midst of temptation, so we need a divine infusion of persistence and endurance from the Holy Spirit. With the Spirit, we have the ability to defeat any temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Throughout the Bible we learn that the Holy Spirit equips us for many tasks. The Spirit empowers the believer in many ways.
In Mark 13:11, Jesus speaks of a time after he is gone and encourages his disciples that the Spirit of God will lead them into and through many struggles and much adversity. He even goes so far as to say that the Holy Spirit will give the disciples words to speak when they need them (Mark13:11)。We too can receive strength even when we are in trying circumstances.
We live in the age of the Spirit today. We can call upon the Holy Spirit to strengthen our spirits to resist any temptation. What a gift from God, who never stops giving of himself for us! Remember, all we need to do is ask, seek, and knock: call on the Lord!
PRAYER: Lord, I am so often weak in fighting temptations. May your Holy Spirit enlighten my spirit to the divine power at my disposal. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.