Like the disciples, I often have great ambitions concerning how I am going to serve the Lord. At times I too believe that I would give my very life for Him; but then, in only a moment, I find myself denying Him by the way I live. A thought, an emotion, a word or deed, something comes into me or out of me that reveals the weakness of my flesh.
Some Christians try to excuse their sin by declaring that we all are only human. Indeed the Bible says,
“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” (Ps 103:13-14)
The Lord understands that we are nothing more than earthen vessels made out of dust. But to be honest, I find little comfort or consolation in saying that I am only human. Even though I know that my sins are under His blood, they are ever before me and I am grieved whenever I fail Him.
Jesus understands that we are weak, but He also encourages us to come to Him and find His strength.
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
The Bible says much about ‘repentant’ prayer, but it also says something about ‘preventive’ prayer. Jesus instructed His disciples to pray every day, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13)
No doubt this prayer is a part of what it means to “Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation…” (Matthew 26:41) The word watch means to: give strict attention, be cautious, be alert, take heed lest some calamity overtake you. (Strong’s Concordance) As I consider this, I think of something Peter wrote concerning the importance of prayer when it comes to facing temptation. “Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Peter tells us to wake up and to watch. No doubt these words were inspired by His Lord’s command for him to do the same. Just before Peter denied the Lord, he had been commanded to “Watch and pray…”
I have found it effective to pray both “specifically” and “strategically” when it comes to my spiritual weaknesses. Rather than trying to deny them, or pretend that they don’t exist; I talk openly with the Lord about them. I am thankful that He understands that my body is nothing more than dust, I am also thankful that He encourages me to come to Him for help.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.