“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (NASB)
This morning as I wandered into the kitchen to start my day, I passed by my walking shoes without hesitation. I’m too tired even to put them on, let alone head to the gym or walk around the block.
I have many mornings where I don’t feel like exercising—I bet you can relate. I’m tempted to lay in bed longer, read, or get on social media. I am full of excuses, tired, and unmotivated.
I need more willpower.
I’m willing to guess that you’d like more willpower in your life. Maybe if you did, you could easily resist temptations or stick to your exercise program, right? We need a lot more than willpower to do things like that.
Willpower can be a great thing. It can work wonders when we feel great, but it’s disappointing when we are tired and weary.
Because temptation strikes when we are most vulnerable, we can’t resist it alone.
In today’s verse, we find Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knew what journey was ahead for him and He knew the reason. He may have been tempted to linger longer with the bread, wine, and disciples. He could have gone off to another room to read or crawl in bed to sleep the night away. But He didn’t. He knew He needed strength from God, so He went off to pray.
Jesus’ struggle was intense, but also He also knew He had to face it. So, He set out to spend some time with His Father, the source of our strength. Jesus took James, John, and Peter with Him so they would stand watch while He prayed. But they didn’t have enough strength and willpower to avoid temptation.
Jesus said, “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (NASB)
Just like everyone else, we are human, and there will be times when our willpower runs out. Jesus’ words are as true for us just as they were for the disciples that night in the Garden—the way to overcome temptations is to keep alert and pray. When we pray, God pours His power into our willpower. He gives us strength and energy so we can resist temptation and defeat the enemy’s power.
If Jesus can walk to Calvary with a heavy cross on His back, I can surely walk around the block.