The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak

Vaclav's picture

Mark 14:37-38,
"Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” "

Have you ever been found by the Lord sleeping, when you know you were supposed to be watching and praying? I have, sadly and unnecessarily, many times, and have fallen into temptation.
Is one hour of fellowship in reading and pondering God's Word and talking with Jesus so much to ask from us? Yes and no!

In Romans 8:8 Apostle Paul said, " Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God." The person that has never put their faith in Jesus as their substitute for his or her's sins, has not repented and turned away from their life of sin, and has not received God's Spirit, these cannot and will not have the will and power to seek Jesus, to be able to stand against temptation.

But Romans 8:9a says, "You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you." Therefore, those that have turned their lives to God through their faith and trust in Jesus, these have been cleansed from their sins, have received God's Spirit within them and live in "the realm of the Spirit". "The spirit is willing..." we have been made alive to God, we have new spiritual taste-buds, we desire God, to love and please him in all things, but...! If we do not seek Jesus on daily basis, like our daily need for food, we will be weak, we will not have power to withstand any temptation that comes against us. So, you and I must, "Watch and pray so that you (and I) will not fall into temptation." It is not necessary that God's children would be without power against temptation, but we must go and get it from him, on daily basis - the Father seeks relationship with us, his children.

Firstly pray, that you may be able to go to bed early and rise early enough, so that you may have a quality time with Jesus, in his Word and prayer, without rushing or stress. I find mornings work best for me, but you can find the best time of the day for you.
Practical suggestions: When you rise, don't stay in your room, as you will want to go back to bed, go to another room, bring your Bible only, and pen and paper, if you like. Ask God's blessing on the reading, and listen to what God speaks to you. After the reading and pondering, take those words God spoke to you and speak to him about it. The best way is not to read randomly here and there, but to take a book of the Bible and read consecutively from beginning to the end, read a chapter or two, and next day pick it up where you left of. When you finish with say, Matthew, next read a book in the Old Testament, like Genesis. And this way you'll have a good balance of Old Testament in the New, and the New Testament in the Old. As with our health, if we eat meat only, we will miss out on vitamins and nutriets of the vegetables and the energy of the carbohydrates. We must have a balanced diet, or we will get sick.

One more thing, the flesh - our sinfulness and our weak bodies, that give in to our sinfulness so easily, will be with us until we die. Therefore let us not deceive ourselves, that just because we might be doing well now, I have permanent power, and I am above giving in to temptation. "Pride comes before the fall." Let us seek Jesus day in and day out, for "The spirit is willing, but the flesh (our body) is weak."