The Spirit is Willing – Mark 14:38

“Stay awake and pray so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Christ’s words here are ever true even today. The call is for His disciples to stay awake and focused on Jesus and His concern is that we not fall into the temptation of the enemy and be destroyed. Our spirit within is truly willing but our flesh and physical follow through is flimsy and weak. The connection between believing and doing is significant for what flashes into our minds as inspiration and conviction often fails to move us. We know it; yet, do not do it. We believe it; yet, do not live it. We grit our teeth and set our face and steel our mind; yet, still the daily grind of the same old thing paralyzes us. We sit and stare until we slumber and sleep. The humdrum of life lulls us into inaction through physical lethargy. Our heavy eyelids close.

The living water of the Spirit must flow freely within us moving our body in conjunction with our minds. The Holy Spirit must be engaged and allowed to provoke us and shake us so that the scar tissue of injuries and paralysis does not imprison us. Yes, our hearts must be willing and our spirit must be ready and focused; yet, still we must be submissive to the hard work of God’s Holy Spirit within us if we are to remain alive and useful to Christ. He calls us to pray in spite of our drooping eyelids. He calls us to walk in response to His Lordship. He calls us to strengthen our flesh through the indwelling Holy Spirit that we might do what He needs us to do and what He empowers us to do. There is a deep mystery here of how this happens but not the type of mystery that ushers in an excuse for inaction. No! We know He has filled us with His Spirit and that it is His Spirit that strengthens us and intercedes for us with unknown groaning.

As best we understand, we must submit ourselves to the leading of the Spirit of Jesus within us and be about praying and doing the concerns of Christ. In this way we will not enter into temptation.

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