No. 71, Lost in Temptation

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Stay awake and pray that you don't fall into temptation (time of testing); the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38; Luke 22:46

Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane praying in anguish to prepare Himself for His crucifixion; He wants support from His friends. He needs it.

Sometimes commands are dictums, sometimes they are warnings. This one is a cry and a warning. There are times in each man's life when it is very easy to be alive, to love God and to be at peace with the world. And there are times when we are holding on to life by twine over a deep canyon, and our hands hurt like hell.

This is a somber Mark, a teetering Mark. To fall into its heart is to see ourselves at the mercy of a horrid situation. This Mark tells us that we must (once again) pass the test that determines whether or not we are trusting immortal children of God.

Testing times roll in like thick morning fog: temporary, but blinding. Lord help us to see without our eyes.

To stay awake is to be hyper aware of the situation, the presence of Father God and His holy angels and the equally real presence of evil spirits hell-bent on tripping us. To stay awake is to stand instead of falling into temptation.

Jesus knew what was coming and He sweat drops of blood thinking about it and preparing Himself. It was His spirit that was willing and His flesh that was weak. He was smart enough to know the difference. Jesus knew that He had to stay standing through the terror of anticipation. This was the first worst moment of His powerful life.

We are lost in temptation when, we have fallen into it and can't climb out. This is why the one short prayer that Christ gave us included a plea for the Father to not to lead us into temptation but to deliver us from evil. Even then, sometimes the Father replies, "No, but trust Me."

Then we must stay awake to His ever present help, and pray for guidance and encouragement so that our willing spirits can take up the slack of our weak flesh. With any hope, we may have a few friends to help us through, but don't count on it.