Friday, July 3, 2015

"Pray that you will not be overcome by temptation."

Luke 22:39,40 Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. There he told them, "Pray that you will not be overcome by temptation."

Jesus knew what was coming. He knew what it would be like for Him and for the disciples. He knew that He was ready for what was about to happen, but the disciples weren't. They had yet to learn just how weak faith is without God's help to make it strong.

Jesus knew that He had to pray as well. Although He was willing and ready to face the horrors of the cross, He had to overcome the flesh's desire to avoid it. He was just like us in that regard; He did not want to have to endure the sufferings of the flesh He was about to go through. He had to pray so that He would be strong enough in spirit to resist the temptation to call for the angels of heaven to come and take Him home to heaven without the cross.

We need to follow Jesus' example. We need to pray much that we might not be overcome by temptation. Sometimes we know ahead of time the situation we will be in. We know that it will be very tempting for us to let down our guard and participate in the sinful behavior that awaits us. Our greatest need is to pray beforehand. We can't expect God to help us resist temptation when we don't pray and ask Him to before we encounter it. Praying beforehand indicates the true desire of our hearts to stay pure before God.

We dare not overestimate our willpower. We, like the disciples, are weak in faith when faced with overwhelming temptation. We, too, will stumble and fall without God's help. The Spirit will give us the willpower and strength to resist temptation if we ask Him to. Never take for granted what you can do; ask the Lord to help you and you will live in victory.

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