“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
The power of habit: Know your weakness
No one gets married and thinks, “In ten years, I’ll be unhappy in this marriage and go looking for love somewhere else.” No one ever says to themselves, “I think I’ll be a drug addict or an alcoholic when I grow up.” No Christian ever confessed their faith thinking, “I won’t always believe this.”
Yet it happens every day. It even happens to pastors of churches and the most dedicated students of the Bible. They fall into sin and away from Jesus. What happens?
Peter never dreamt that he would be the one to deny Jesus. He actually took an oath, because he was so sure that he would never do it. But just hours later, he swore another oath saying that he didn’t even know who Jesus was.
Jesus identifies it for us: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” We have the heartfelt desire to remain faithful and steadfast. We have the sincere intention to stay true, faithful, and steadfast in our faith. Our spirit is certainly willing.
But our flesh is weak. Our nature has been weakened by sin and weakness. Ever since Adam and Eve, our nature has been tipped toward sin in the most despicable and vile ways. Even as Christians, our sinful nature is still a powerful force to be reckoned with.
Our spirit is willing, but our flesh is weak. Because of the weakness of our nature, we need spiritual disciplines to bolster and to hold us up. We need the power of God’s Word to correct, rebuke, encourage, and train us. We need to be people of prayer, constantly turning to our source of strength. We need close and trustworthy Christian friends around us to keep turning us back to the God of our salvation.
Because of our sinful weakness, it vital for us to keep active in God’s Word and prayer and to stay close to God’s people.
His Word, prayer, and his people are God’s gifts to keep us close to him all the days of our life and to call us back when we stumble and fall. Use them. They are God’s gifts to you.
Prayer: Lord God, I know my weakness more and more each day. Keep turning me back to you for strength and direction. You are my Savior. I need you. Please help. Amen.