Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. – Matthew 26:41
Have you ever been frustrated with the weaknesses of your flesh? Have you ever resolved never more to yield to a particular sin, yet when the temptation came, you fell right back into it?
It’s happened to all of us. Even the disciple Peter. He swore he would never deny Jesus…but he did it anyway, time and time and time again.
There is, however, something we can do to keep from falling prey to temptations like that. We can “watch and pray.” That’s what Jesus told Peter and the other disciples to do in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew they were about to be tempted, and He knew that the weakness of their flesh would overcome them if they didn’t strengthen their spirits through prayer.
That’s true for you and me too. That’s why in Jude 20 and 21, God tells us much the same thing that Jesus told the disciples that night. He says, “But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith… praying in the Holy Spirit: Guard and keep yourselves in the love of God” (The Amplified Bible). God knows even better than we do that our flesh has been trained to flow with the world’s stream. He knows that even though our born again spirits are reaching for God, our untrained flesh will always have a tendency to fall into sin.
So, He’s given us the ability to pray in other tongues, to strengthen our spirit and build it up until it takes ascendancy over our flesh. As we pray in the Spirit, Romans 8:26 tells us, the “(Holy) Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf” (The Amplified Bible).
Is it any wonder the Apostle Paul said, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all!” (1 Cor. 14:18). It is one of the most powerful tools God has given us.
So don’t neglect to use it. Follow the instruction in Ephesians 6:18 and pray “always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…watching thereunto with all perseverance.”
Don’t make the mistake that Peter made. When temptation comes to your door, don’t let it catch you sleeping. Be prepared. Make sure your spirit is strong enough to rise above it.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. —Romans 8:1
The elephant is the largest land animal on earth—and one of the most powerful. Yet it takes only a strong rope to restrain one. Here’s how it works. When the elephant is young, he is tied to a large tree. For weeks, he will strain and pull, but the rope holds him fast. So eventually he gives up.
Then, when the elephant reaches his full size and strength, he won’t struggle to get free, for once he feels resistance, he stops. He still believes he’s held captive and can’t break free.
Satan can play a similar trick on us to hold us captive. The Bible assures us that there is “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1). We have been set “free from the law of sin and death” (v.2). But the enemy of our soul tries to make us believe we are still dominated by sin.
What shall we do then? Reflect on what Christ has done. He died for our sins and declared an end to sin’s control over us (v.3). He rose from the dead and gave us the Holy Spirit. Now we are empowered to live victoriously in Him because “the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in [us]” (v.11).
In Christ, we are set free.
He has our salvation wrought,
He our captive souls has bought,
He has reconciled to God,
He has washed us in His blood.
Experience true freedom— take every thought captive in obedience to Christ.
THE SWORD IS THE WORD :
John 18:36 “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”
Christ’s kingdom is spiritual, in the hearts of men – not physical; therefore, our fight as Christians must not be with carnal weapons but with spiritual weapons (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Spiritual forces cannot be defeated with human weapons.
When we are being attacked for being a part of Christ’s kingdom, we must fight with spiritual weapons. Our warfare is not against people, but against the spiritual powers that operate behind the scenes through people. We must realize who the real enemy is and fight with the spiritual weapons the Lord has given us.
We often think that anger will put a person in his place. But “the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God” (Jas. 1:20). Anger displayed against people puts us right into the hand of the devil. The way to overcome the spiritual powers that come against us through people is to turn the other cheek (Mt. 5:39). That makes the demons flee in terror.
One of the main weapons the Apostle Paul speaks of is the Gospel, which is the Sword of the Spirit, (the Word of God). It’s the Word backed by God’s Spirit that can pull down and crush the strongholds of Satan.
Every Christian is at war. There is a perpetual struggle against Satan and his kingdom from which there are no “leaves” or “discharges.” Our enemy goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8). Those who resist the devil will see him flee (Jas. 4:7). The only ones whom he devours are those who don’t actively fight against him.
TALK LIKE GOD!
Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. – Mark 11:23
Jesus didn’t say, “Whosoever shall speak to God about this mountain.” He said we should speak directly to the mountain the desired end result.
From a worldly point of view, that sounds foolish. But 1 Corinthians 1:27 explains that God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. It’s always going to sound foolish to the world when a Christian talks as if what God has promised is reality, especially when those promises seem to contradict the natural evidence around us. But if you want to keep the enemy defeated, that’s the kind of talking you’d better be doing.
The Bible says God Himself talks that way! In Romans 4:17, it says, “[He] calleth those things which be not as though they were.” God doesn’t wait for circumstances to line up before He speaks. He causes them to line up because He speaks. You can do the same thing if you’ll make your words agree with His and speak them out of your mouth by faith.
“But what if nothing happens right away?” you may ask. “What if the circumstances don’t immediately change?” When Jesus spoke to the fig tree in Mark 11:14, He didn’t go back and check to see if anything had happened to it. No, once He had spoken it, He considered it done.
Follow His example. Let your faith speak. Agree with God’s Word!
PRESS TOWARD THE PROMISE :
“…Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” – (Hebrews 6:12, NIV)
Are you facing a challenge today that seems overwhelming? Through faith and patience, you will see God’s promises come to pass in your life.
Understand that the enemy always fights the hardest when he knows you are closest to your breakthrough. He’d leave you alone if he thought you were going to live in mediocrity. If you keep pressing on toward your promise, through faith and patience, you will get there. Don’t be like the Israelites in the Old Testament who were right next to their promised land when they talked themselves out of it! They said, “There are giants in the land. It’s too difficult.” No, today, don’t look at the obstacles in your life. Lift up your eyes because you serve a supernatural God! Follow the example of Abraham who believed God even when his circumstances looked impossible. Remember, God always rewards the people who seek after Him. Stand in faith and keep believing because God will take you places that you never dreamed. Keep pressing toward the promise so you can live in the supernatural victory He has prepared for you!
THE SAME SPIRIT :
“And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you” – (Romans 8:11, AMP
When you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and are Baptized with the Holy Spirit with miracles, signs and wonders following, the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit of God makes His home inside of you. That’s the same Spirit, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. That resurrection power can bring back health, strength and life to your physical body, and it can bring back life to your hopes and dreams. In fact, it can bring life to any area that may seem dormant on the inside of you.
The next time you feel overwhelmed by sickness, challenges or despair, remember, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you. You may have been burdened by an addiction, fear or worry, but there’s nothing that can stand against the power of God. Rise up and declare by faith, “He whom the Son sets free is free indeed. I am restored and healed in the name of Jesus! No weapon formed against me can prosper!” As you rise up in faith and declare the Word of God, you are activating His power within you, and you are moving forward in the victory He has for you!
PRAYER FOR THE DAY :
“My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.” (Psalm 108: 1-2)
Dear Lord God, I praise You. I honor You. I give thanks to God for another beautiful day and a bright week. Loving God, let Your unfailing love come upon me this morning and bless me every success throughout the day and days ahead. Sanctify me by the blood of Jesus; make me holy for God is holy. O God, You can change deserts into rivers; dry and thirsty lands into springs of water. Nothing is impossible in God. I humbly pray that my life will be transformed into the riches of Your glory. Let miracles come to me that my heart may sing Your praises and not be silent.
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