Faithlife
Faithlife

Be Vigilant (2)

Prayer & Fasting  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We often stop pursuing God when our attention are enticed

Notes & Transcripts

Introduction

There are moments where we are caught up with so many things in life and we totally miss the only very thing that we should be focusing our lives on. (Later on challenge: that’s why we need Christ - elaborate)
The Bible says in:
Matthew 6:21 NLT
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
And this is not just about money or things, this is about what we value so highly!
Whatever that is, the desires of our heart will be there.
If we value your car so much, guess what - that’s where our heart is, if we value our job, not that I’m saying it’s not valuable, but if its valued higher than the Lord, that’s not right. Because wherever our treasure is, the things that we value, there the desires of our heart will also be.
You know, things becomes complex and hard to understand if we struggle to comprehend that our lives is within the hands of God.
Christian life becomes complicated because we want to do our own thing, our fleshly desires, which is outside the boundaries of God’s plan.
So, now how do we subdue this desires in order for us to live out the life that we should have and enjoy God’s favor?
The title of our message today is:

BE VIGILANT

Our text for today can be read from Matthew 26:36-46, but I will be reading the key verse:
Matthew 26:41 NLT
Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
Let us Pray
The crowded cafeteria sported a large sign reading: “Watch Your Hat and Overcoat.”
Bobby was determined to keep an eye on his coat, and he kept turning every minute, almost choking on his food. His pal, Bubba, kept on eating, without thought of his own coat on the hook.
Finally Bubba said, “Calm down. You can stop watching our overcoats.”
“I’m only watching mine,” replied Bobby. “Yours has been gone for more than half an hour.”
From the our text today, I would like to propose

3 Essential Truths about being Vigilant.

Requirement

Matthew 26:41 NLT
Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
The word “keep watch” - “gray-gor-yoo-o” - keep awake, be on alert, be vigilant
The word translated “watch” means “to have the alertness of a guard at night.”
A night watchman must be even more vigilant than a daytime guard. In the daytime, danger can often be spotted from a distance. But in the night everything is different. A night watchman must use senses other than sight to detect danger. He is often alone in the darkness and without the defenses he would otherwise use. There may be no indications of enemy attack until it happens, so he must be hyper-vigilant, suspecting it at any moment. That is the type of watching Jesus spoke about.
“Keep-watch” also entails being patient specially when we are praying.
The New Bible Dictionary defines patience as “God-given restraint in the face of opposition or oppression.”
The Bible shows the different types of prayer, we will talk about that next time, but the thing I want to point out, as we develop our walk with Christ, we progress more in our prayer life, and that progress brings us to different levels of intimacy with God and the more we grow in Christ, the more the Devil oppose or oppress us.
Seeking patience in prayer in many sense is a battle. The promise we can lean on here is that patience is God-given restraint. The Lord is the one who provides us with spiritual armor to go into battle. We often think of patience as mere endurance, but that kind of logic, that kind of thinking will not work. We are not exercising restraint on our own strength. In truth, our only responsibility is to trust that God will provide the strength to hold on, and then act accordingly to our faith in that promise.
Jesus repeatedly requested His disciples to stay awake and and to pray, but they constantly fall asleep.
What seems like a request for moral support gets defined a few verses later: “Stay awake and pray that you will not enter into temptation”
Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
And that brings us to our 2nd point:

Reason

Matthew 26:41b NLT
Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
There was a survey done by the Discipleship Journal, November / December, 1992 and the Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:
1. Materialism.
2. Pride.
3. Self-centeredness.
4. Laziness.
5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness.
5. (Tie) Sexual lust.
7. Envy.
8. Gluttony.
9. Lying.
Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when:
they had neglected their time with God (81 percent)
and when they were physically tired (57 percent).
Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent),
avoiding compromising situations (76 percent),
Bible study (66 percent),
and being accountable to someone (52 percent).

Faith doesn’t always come to bear until we are faced with our own fallibility. When we “enter into temptation,” it often means we haven’t been vigilant—that we’ve stopped pursuing the God who has pursued us.

I believe there are times in our life that we’ve been doing the same thing over and over again, the sad thing about it is, it just forms into a routine, and since it’s almost a pattern, we are like a programmed robot. (I have an app....wink, it has a “robot”....turns off an on every assigned lightbulb ..)
When we accepted Christ in our hearts, we have committed our life to Him, not like a robot.
The word pursue is a verb and it literally means “to run after”. We must run after God, we must chase him. There should be an effort, we should intentionally do it. We must be relentless in seeking Him.
Bible says
Jeremiah 29:13 NIV
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Regardless of how long we have been a follower of Jesus, temptations will always be around us, Temptations in our life will not be triggered or set off, if we constantly seek His face.
When I say constantly, that means from day 1 when we accepted Jesus, and if from day 1 we wrestled against the urge to sin or to give in to sin, we already are a target by the enemy. (I said when we accepted....because if a person is not with Christ yet, the Devil will not waste his time with that person, why?
Bible says
John 15:19 NIV
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
And when we read
2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
The Bible says:
John 10:10 NLT
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
All of us are vulnerable to temptation. Jesus, as human as He was, experienced struggle when He was tempted in the wilderness but He prevailed, and He triumphed all throughout His ordeal and His victory is an indication that we can also be victorious over sin and temptation.

Result

Matthew 26:41c NLT
Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
A willing spirit.
The more we yield to God’s will, His desire for us, the more we are inclined to choose the right decisions in life.
The greek word used for willing is prothymos - which means - eager, ready. I believe that we should all the more be passionate and intentional in seeking God, because the fact about the flesh being weak, is constant. It’s not just the truth in our head- “flesh is weak”, but it’s real, and it’s weakness is constant. The probability to fall into sin might always happen. Because the more you choose the right thing, the Devil is relentless and he will tempt you at all cost.
Bible says:
Genesis 4:7 NLT
You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
So if the Devil is relentless, if he is like a roaring lion ready to pounce on us, any minute, uses every kind of sin you can name that is out there, we can win over him, we can win over our urges. Right? Amen?
How can we subdue sin and temptation in our lives?
Let’s check out this verse:
Galatians 5:24–25 NLT
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
C. Swindoll, One Step Forward, p. 85.
Some people fall into temptation, but a great many make plans for disaster ahead of time. "Son," ordered a father, "Don't swim in that canal." 
"OK, Dad," he answered. But he came home carrying a wet bathing suit that evening. 
"Where have you been?" demanded the father. 
"Swimming in the canal," answered the boy. "Didn't I tell you not to swim there?" asked the father. 
"Yes, Sir," answered the boy. 
"Why did you?" he asked. 
"Well, Dad," he explained, "I had my bathing suit with me and I couldn't resist the temptation." 
"Why did you take your bathing suit with you?" he questioned. 
"So I'd be prepared to swim, in case I was tempted," he replied. 
Too many of us expect to sin and excite sin. The remedy for such dangerous action is found in Romans 13:14, "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." Whenever we play with temptation, it is easy to drift into great danger. A woman was bathing in the Gulf of Mexico. She was enjoying the comfort of relaxing on an inflated cushion that kept her afloat. When she realized that she had been swept about a half mile out from the beach, she began to scream, but no one heard her. A coast guard craft found her five miles from the place where she first entered the water. She did not see her danger until she was beyond her own strength and ability.
We need to be constantly persistent and relentlessly pursuing God. As we run after God, we can always prevent ourselves to be entangled in every temptation that is around us because the Holy Spirit will allow us to see the boundaries of our own strength and abilities. Let us all the more be vigilant
and remember...
Being Vigilant Requires us - to Keep Watch and Pray
The Reason why we should be vigilant- for us not give in to temptation
And our being vigilant Results - for our spirit to be willing, even if our flesh is weak.
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