Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WATCH AND PRAY: THE KEYS TO OVERCOMING TEMPTATIONS-JOIN US IN THIS DISCUSSION

TEXT: MATTHEW 26:41

We are looking at the instruction of Christ that we should WATCH AND PRAY in the light of living a victorious christian life.

When God focuses on a man (generic use), he also attracts the attention of the devil. The more the focus from God, the more attention from the devil because he is out to frustrate the purpose of God. He knows that if a man successfully fulfills God’s purpose for his life, he would not only lose that man but many as well.

Multiplication is the desire of God, he wants our fruit to be abundant. When the new testament church started,the testimony was that the Lord added to the church, later it became ‘and the disciples multiplied’. They became uncountable.

This is why any christian that doesn't witness is ultimately helping the purpose of the devil…which is to prevent more people from making it to God.

This should challenge us as citizens of heaven to get up and arise to fulfill God’s agenda of bringing all men to a new relationship with God.

There are two forces in operation in the spirit realm, the God’s side and the devil’s side. The highest is the God’s side hence the devil run for covers when God appears on the scene. He runs for covers but he won’t run away.

When he sees a man that is attracting the attention of heaven, he plans to strike him down and he will not relent till it is done but our prayer is that we will not fall but root out the activities of the devil in people’s lives.

We must however note the key that Jesus gave for overcoming the traps of the devil, in Matthew 26:41 which is our focus text, Jesus said ” Watch and Pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit is willing indeed, but the flesh is weak”.
The two keys are the most important keys in overcoming the traps of the enemy.

However before we look at the keys, we must also note the other part of the verse that says “…the spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.”

This tells us that no amount of physical or religious activity can help man overcome the antics of the devil. Many times we have made commitments, pledges and even gone to the extreme of placing oneself under a curse just to make sure one overcomes a bad habit or sin but then we always find ourselves going back into those things. We then feel so bad afterwards…indeed the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

But there is a way to live a perpetual victorious life.

Let us look at the keys that Jesus gave for victory individually first and then together later.

A. Watch: What are we to watch?
1. Ourselves. Paul speaking in 1 Corinthians 10:12 said “..let him that thinketh he stand TAKE HEED lest he fall”
We are responsible to ensure that we flee from all appearances of evil. God won’t do it for us. Don’t ever think you have arrived, many that burnt brighter than you that felt devil couldn't touch them have been slaughtered on the altar of trivial habits.

2. Our scars: What do I mean by scars? those things Christ saved us from like sexual sins, anger, lies, drunkenness etc. Even though we have been forgiven, we should be careful not to feed the weakness or the habit. Anything that will sow and nurture the seed in our heart we should deal with it immediately they appear again don't indulge it and say you are stronger now that you are in Christ.

The furious anger in Moses prevented him from the promise land, Saul loved people’s acceptance, Samson loved women(he destroyed a whole plantation because of a woman), Peter feared faces, etc Deal with it every time!

3. The enemy: Most times when we are making spiritual progress the enemy subtly bring things that tend to create imbalance in our life, to get an avenue to lure us back into what we had overcome. We should recognize the devil behind those things and rebuke him.

When the devil tempted Jesus, he wanted Him to abuse the power he had but Jesus resisted him with the word of God but later he came back this time through an innocent act of Peter. He rebuked satan with the same words he used in the wilderness when he was tempted “Get behind me Satan”.

Many times there is a hand of the enemy in a situation that is threatening to slow you down or divert your attention from the purpose of God. You must watch to spiritually discern that it isn’t just a simple matter but the devil in action.Rebuke the devil and he will flee.

B. Pray: Prayer is your access to divine help. Prayer envelopes you in grace, when you pray you will easily defeat any temptation of the enemy. I am not talking of morning or occasional prayer, i am talking of living and breathing prayers. 24/7 your spirit is connected to God in continual communion.

When you make prayer your lifestyle, you will easily walk in holiness because the holy spirit will correct you immediately when you want to put your hand in sin. Pray without ceasing Paul advised…immerse yourself in ceaseless prayers.
Even when you are not saying it aloud, your spirit is praying and you can feel it physically( well that is my experience when I am in tune with God in this manner.) Oh for this grace!

Also when you find your mind wandering to those things that is drawing you into sin, know that the enemy is nearby declare a fast immediately. Take the offensive against the devil and the flesh.

Let your focus in prayer be on spiritual growth and not overcoming the temptation: hunger for more of God,crave the fresh outpouring of the power of the Holy Ghost upon you, bind every spirit luring you back into sin, intercede for lost souls and go out there witness to people about Christ. Cry every time “THAT I MAY KNOW YOU MORE LORD”

Travail in prayers until you are fully reconnected back to God. Let the fire burn on your altar every second.

If you desire a close walk with God this is the key. Next we will talk about following closely.

Will you open your mouth now and let heaven hear your voice!

O lord let me know you more.
Use Exodus 33:12-18 for your prayers -it is helpful....