{"devotional":{"title":"July 8 Stay alert and pray that you do not fall into temptation","content":"

\"July<\/a>Mark 14:38 Stay awake~~<\/b><\/i>\u00a0and pray~~<\/b><\/i>\u00a0that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.<\/i>\u201d<\/p>\r\nOne of the many attributes of Jesus was His ability to be ready for whatever happened. What seemed to hurt Him most was the selfishness or disinterest of His closest friends when He knew they would be tempted and fail Him.

To the very end, Jesus was committed to training His disciples. He was telling them the secret of inner fortitude. Three times Jesus interrupted His prayers to check on His disciples who had lost interest and fallen asleep. Each time, Jesus exhorted all three to \u201cStay awake<\/i>,\u201d or to stay alert for spiritual dangers, deceptions, or disillusionments. They were to \u201cpray<\/i>,\u201d which expresses total dependence on the power and presence of God.

If you are unprepared in these two steps, it becomes highly likely that you will \u201cfall into temptation<\/i>,\u201d meaning you will be \u201cput to the test.\u201d Reaction to small tests indicates your inner fortitude for inevitable greater tests in life.

The word fall<\/i> into temptation, means to \u201ccome into.\u201d Behind it is the idea of walking unaware into a trap, as in the case of the \u201csimple\u201d<\/i> fool of Proverbs 1:32: \u201cFor the waywardness<\/i> of the simpletons will kill them and the careless ease of the fools will destroy them<\/i>.\u201d Once you are in the middle of a situation, it is hard to get out unscathed. Prayerful alertness is the key.

The wise person learns the pitfalls, stays alert for the symptoms of danger, and asks God for wisdom to avoid such situations and courage to turn away, say \u201cno,\u201d or stand firm as an unashamed follower of Christ.

The \u201cspirit<\/i>,\u201d which is willing, must be strengthened through prayer to overcome the weakness of the self--interest of the flesh. Have you experienced the presence of Christ in areas of testing? Did you have the courage to be true to Him?

\u201cDear Lord, guide my steps each day and help me to always be watching and praying to keep from being drawn into any temptation to disobey Your word.\u201d<\/i>"}}