“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Matthew 26:41
Jesus gives us a two-pronged approach to temptation—“watch and pray.” But what should you look for? The word “temptation” makes many people think about money, sex, and power. But as we follow the story, we will discover the temptations Peter faced.
When Judas and the chief priests stepped forward to arrest Jesus, Peter’s anger exploded, and he cut off a man’s ear. Then Jesus rebuked Peter and reached out to heal the man. Here’s the difference between the man who prays and the one who does not: Peter, consumed with anger, enters into temptation. But Jesus, filled with love, overcomes temptation. What will happen when you face the moment of conflict?
The greatest temptation the disciples faced was to give up on Jesus. Some of the saddest cases of abandoning Jesus have been people in ministry. Some served as missionaries, pastors, or board members. Some were bright lights during their college years. Some made huge investments in Christ’s cause, but now they have little or nothing to do with Him.
Why? They experienced discouragement and conflict, and suddenly something snapped. They gave up on Jesus. That’s what happened to Peter: “Aren’t you one of those Galileans?” Something snapped: “I never knew him.”
Peter’s hope was tested when the rooster crowed: “the Lord turned and looked at Peter” (Luke 22:61). Peter went out and wept bitterly—everything was lost. How could he ever be forgiven?
Is this where you are today? When Satan tests you, his aim will be to destroy your faith, hope, and love. And if you fail, he will tell you that it’s too late for you. Watch and pray!