Matthew 26:41 - Victory Over Temptation And Sin. [addendum]

Matthew 26:41 - Victory Over Temptation And Sin.  [addendum]

Matthew 26:41 (KJV)  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into 
temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 

Why we need to watch and pray:
So we may resist temptation, and force Satan to depart from us, 
Jesus gained the victory through submission and faith in God, and by 
the apostle He says to us, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. 
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He 
will draw nigh to you."(1 James 4:7, 8.) We cannot save ourselves 
from the tempter's power; he has conquered humanity, and when we try 
to stand in our own strength, we shall become a prey to his 
devices; but "the name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous 
runneth into it, and is safe."(2 Prov. 18:10.) Satan trembles and flees 
before the weakest soul who finds refuge in that mighty name.  DA131 

   Philip Yancey writes of shooting "arrow prayers" throughout 
the day. Sometimes they are as brief as, "Help, Lord!" Other times 
they may be biblical prayers, such as "Create in me a clean heart, O 
God" (Psalm 51:10, NLT) or "Restore to me the joy of your salvation" 
(Psalm 51:12, NLT). 
   If we are to "pray without ceasing," and if we are to 
"practice the presence of Christ" as Brother Lawrence urged, we need to do 
so in the flow of our activities. How can we remember to turn often 
to the Lord throughout the day? Yancey says he "looks for the 
spaces, the interstices," and gives as examples such times as when lying 
awake at night, driving, waiting for a computer to reboot, exercising, 
or standing in line. "Instead of fidgeting or staring at my watch 
during a lull, I pray." 
   He finds that turning otherwise wasted moments into prayer 
sometimes produces interesting results. "I find myself more aware of the 
old woman in front of me fumbling through her change purse. I pray 
for the people inside as I pass a neighbor's house, a church, a bar. 
I pray while watching the news." 
   Our opportunities for such prayer are individual and unique, 
but we can all watch for opportune moments. We can send up an "arrow 
prayer" or pause to meditate on a verse of Scripture and--if only for a 
moment--bring ourselves into God's presence. 
   When we actively look for God during all the ordinary events 
of our lives, we find reasons for gratitude and objects for 
compassion. We see people to pray for, and we see God's handiwork and praise 
him for his remarkable creation. 
   But to see these opportunities for prayer, we need to be 
looking for them. When we're aware and turning our thoughts to the Lord, 
it's amazing how many things we see to pray about. 
   Heavenly Father, I get all caught up in the pace of the day, 
and my mind is often far from you. Please help me to constantly 
connect with you. 
   Keep watch and pray. Matthew 26:41 NLT [The One Year Book of 
Encouragement by Harold Myra] 

   Thomas A Kempis sketches for us a very unpleasant reality: 
"So long as we live in this world, we have trials and temptations. 
As Job says, `Man's life on earth is a warfare.' We must therefore 
be on guard against temptations and watchful in prayer." 
   He repeats the Bible's warning against the devil's deceiving 
us, prowling and never resting as he seeks whom he may devour and 
then says, "No one is so perfect and holy that he is never tempted, 
and we can never be secure from temptation. When one temptation or 
trial draws to a close, another takes its place and we shall always 
have something to fight." 
   Like a football coach warning his players that 
three-hundred-pound opponents want to crush them into the ground, a Kempis lays the 
hard facts before us. But also like a coach, he challenges us to 
resist: "We must not despair. When tempted, earnestly pray God to grant 
his help." 
   How do we resist? "Be on guard at the very onset of 
temptation. Repulse [the devil] at the threshold, as soon as he knocks. 
First comes an evil thought; next a vivid picture; then delight, and 
an urge to evil, and finally consent." 
   In our culture of instant and constant gratification, the 
process can be swift indeed. Thomas a Kempis could never have dreamed of 
all the temptations we face today. Yet the principles and the 
warfare remain the same. 
   "Fire tempers steel," he writes, "and temptation the just. 
Let us humble ourselves under the hand of God in every trial and 
trouble, for he will save and raise up the humble in spirit." 
   Thomas a Kempis expands on how this works as he prays, "If I 
count myself to be dust, as I truly am, then your grace will come upon 
me and your light will enter my heart. Left to myself, I abound 
with frailties; but when you turn your face toward me, I suddenly 
gain strength and am filled with new joy." 
   Father, temptations of all sorts catch me unaware. When I 
fail, draw me back to integrity. Help me to be alert, to pray, and to 
experience the strength and new joy Thomas a Kempis prayed for. Take charge 
of my mind and spirit. 
   Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to 
temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak! Matthew 26:4 
NLT [The One Year Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra] 

"Either prayer is removing sin from our lives or sin is removing 
prayer from our lives" Chikonga Maimbo ChikongaM@Compulink.co.zw 

When you can have the best; Why would you want anything less? 
Pastor Trevor Thompson 


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