And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
While I might say that I cannot decide whether I was overconfident or naive, the truth is more likely that I was both. I walked those streets with excitement and optimism. It was the chance of a lifetime to be there, and I felt at home. There were crowds of people going here and there, and there was a beauty to the apparent chaos. I might not have noticed that I was out of place, but someone did. I was so distracted by the wonder around me that it never occurred to me that perhaps I might have a target on my back. I was the wide-eyed tourist, and the wolves always have their sights on people like me. They had a plan of attack, and they executed it well. I might have been able to save that wallet had I been aware that their plan was in place.
Temptation is not a matter of happenstance. We must be cognizant of the fact that both our sin within us and our enemy outside us have plans to make us fall. We might think that we stumble into these times of temptation, but there are designs behind them. Sometimes we even blindly lead ourselves there by taking the tiniest taste of something we should have passed by. The fact of the matter is that we must have a plan of defense in place at all times. Jesus is telling his disciples that there is a plan of temptation against them in that moment, and they must pray to the Father for help to defeat that plan. This is every day for a Christian in this world. There are plans of temptation against us, and we must be prepared for those battles or we will not be equipped when called to fight.
We might not invite the warfare of temptation into our lives, but it will come to us. When that happens, we have no choice but to fight. We must shore up our defenses, spot the enemy and take strong action. We cannot afford to be distracted by less critical things. We cannot become complacent during periods of peace and tranquility, thinking that somehow temptation can reach us no more. Even our Savior was tempted in every way possible such that He can relate to every evil trap set before us. If we take this seriously, we will pray as Jesus Christ told us, to ask the Father to deliver us before the moment deliverance is necessary. Father, make us warriors who are daily prepared and equipped in prayer to defeat the temptations that come against us.