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Day 21

SPIRITUAL WRESTLING

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

MARK 14:38

Too often we settle for much less than what God wants to do through us. We read in Jeremiah 32:27, “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” and we answer, “No, Lord.” Yet when we face difficult situations, we begin to qualify our belief in God and lower our expectations of what God will do.

It’s one thing to believe God could perform a miracle in the Bible, a thousand years ago, or even in the life of a friend; it’s quite another matter to wholeheartedly believe God can do anything He chooses to do in our lives.

When Almighty God speaks to us, what we do next proves what we believe about Him, regardless of what we say. God revealed to Moses His plan to orchestrate the greatest exodus in human history, and He wanted to use Moses to accomplish it. Yet Moses responded by arguing with God. Moses was overwhelmed by what he heard and began to make excuses for why he couldn’t participate in God’s activity. Moses would have readily acknowledged his belief in God’s power, but he simply didn’t believe God could do His miraculous work through him. Moses’ argument with God limited his ministry for the rest of his life (see Ex. 4:10-16).

At times your spirit must demand supremacy over your flesh. Your spirit will know what your Lord wants you to do, but your flesh will cry out for its own comfort. There are times when even sleep must be denied, because it would be disastrous for you to rest at such a time.

When the Lord commands you to “watch and pray” (Mark 14:38), it’s crucial that you obey. As Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, He knew that the pinnacle of His ministry was quickly approaching. He was aware that the legions of hell were marshaling their forces to defeat Him. If there was ever a critical time for His closest friends to undergird Him in prayer, this was it.

Jesus told them that He was deeply distressed, even to the point of death. Surely they could have sensed the intensity in His voice and the urgency of His demeanor, and surely they could have found the strength to obey His request. Yet He found them asleep. No excuses. They’d fallen asleep at the most pivotal moment in human history, not once but three times!

Jesus asks you to join Him in what He’s doing. He may ask you to watch and pray for an hour. You may have to deny your physical needs and desires in order to pray with Him. You may have to leave the comfort of your bed or your home. You may even have to sacrifice your safety to be where Jesus is. Seek to bring every physical desire under the control of the Holy Spirit so that nothing impedes your accomplishing what Jesus asks of you.

Do you sense there may be far more that God wants to do through your life than what you’ve been experiencing? Ask God to show you what it is. Then be prepared to respond in faith and obedience to what He tells you.

With what decision are you currently wrestling? Why?

What do your hesitations and excuses reveal about your belief in God?

How will you submit your flesh to the supremacy of your spirit?

What was the most meaningful statement or Scripture you read today?

Reword the statement or Scripture into a prayer of response to God.

What does God want you to do in response to today’s study? [Henry T. Blackaby, Richard Blackaby (2014). Seven Realities for Experiencing God – Member Book. LifeWay Press. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]

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