Genesis 2, 8, 9 and 15-17.
8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
We all want what we can’t have; whatever it is that we can’t have. Chocolate cake, when we are dieting. A new car, when ours is on its last leg, and we can’t afford another one. The attention of someone who we shouldn’t want attention from. It’s a tale as old as time itself. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, wanting the ONE FRUIT God said they couldn’t have. David and Bathsheba; well, really, is there any need to say any more? Example after example is given; not just throughout the Bible, but throughout history itself. It’s a basic flaw in us; we want what we can’t have. A friend recently told me that I am a “have your cake and eat it kind of girl”. Yes, I am, and it gets me in trouble. It’s why I am overweight now, and dieting; because I WANT to eat that cake, whether or not I NEED to. Whether of not I am actually hungry; I WANT it!! Wanting things we can’t, or shouldn’t have, though, can get us in trouble; over our heads. In waters that we are not accustomed to traveling. In areas we are not familiar with. This is how Satan works in my life. He shows me something I don’t have, something I want, and tempts me with it. And it is VERY difficult, at times, to not fall into temptation. For, as it says, not only in Matthew 26:41, but also Mark 14:38, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”. Yes, it is.
But, God gives us the formula for success. In the first part of both verses: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” Watch. And Pray. Both. not just one or the other. BOTH. Sometimes I remember to do one, and not the other. I must do BOTH. Satan can use a nice thing; a wonderful thing, to our downfall. For, as Eve said, the fruit was “beautiful to look at”. God made it beautiful. God also made it unavailable. Sometimes, when God says “No” it means no forever. Sometimes, it only means, “not right now”. It’s not up to us to know whether God means no forever, or no right now; it’s only up to us to obey. Because regardless, no means no.
“Lord, help me to both WATCH and also to PRAY. Help me to have discernment about things that look good; things that can be tempting. Help me see that, whatever your plan is, it is right for me. Help me to follow that plan, and to remember that no means no. Thank you, Lord, for your many blessings in my life. Amen.”