Stumbling in Our Weakness
Mark 14:38 Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Jesus had invited Peter, James and John to go with him to Gethsemane. They were to wait and pray while he went to talk to the Father. Jesus was agitated because he knew what was coming. When he returned he found the disciples asleep. He was not just concerned about his own well-being but that of the disciples as well. He urged them to keep awake and be in prayer. Jesus recognized that they would need the strength that comes from God to endure the difficulties ahead. If they pressed on in the power and strength from on high it would not seem a trial to them.
The problem with the disciples was that they were stumbling on in their weakness. Their spirit certainly wanted to participate with Christ but the flesh was weak. Our hearts and minds may want to be engaged in God’s work, but we live in these human bodies which can bring us down. The flesh is weak and we can stumble in that weakness.
It seems that there are times when we conveniently connect the spirit and the flesh and other times when we choose not to! However, how we live our lives in the flesh is the reflection of our life in the spirit. We may think that we want to live for Christ and our spirit is willing but then we fail to make the connection to how we live on a daily basis.
Christ knew that it was the flesh that was weak and would cause problems for the disciples — and for you and me. There are so many stumbling blocks which can occur, our physical weakness that needs to be brought before the Lord. But our physical weaknesses may also need to be infused with some self-discipline. If we are too tired, we will be tempted. If we are not eating healthy foods, we will be tempted. If we are not putting the right things into our minds, we will be tempted. If we are watching bad stuff, we will be tempted. And the list goes on.
We all have weaknesses that the enemy would like to use to become our stumbling block. Jesus knew this and was warning the disciples. Prayer and self-discipline would go a long way in helping them in their spiritual journey and to overcome temptations. The same us true for us today as we are encouraged to remain alert and pray so that we don’t stumble over our weaknesses.
Lord, thank you for sweet rest and a time with you. Amen.
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