5-Day Purity Mindset Reading Plan

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Matthew 26: 41 (NIV) “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 


I’m so glad that Jesus isn’t petty like we can sometimes be when we’ve been hurt. Instead, He convicts, forgives, and shows us how to reject sin and abide in His love. 


In today’s passage, Jesus foretells Peter’s betrayal, warns Peter to be spiritually alert, and commands him to pray so that He won’t give into temptation. 


At the outset of Jesus' commentary, we find two very encouraging truths: 


Jesus knows that we will at times fall into temptation. 


Before it even happens, Jesus tells the disciples that they will forsake Him (Matthew 26: 31). Jesus was aware of our past, present, and future sin when He died on the cross (Romans 5:8). He also knew that you and I wouldn’t be perfect once we became his disciples (1 John 1:7-10). 


Jesus is already prepared to forgive us. 


Jesus quickly follows up with the good news that He would forgive Peter and the disciples and later reunite with them after His resurrection (Matthew 26: 32). Jesus extends the same good news to us today. If we turn away from sin and ask God for forgiveness, He’s already prepared to forgive us (1 John 1:9). 


After Jesus prophecies to the disciples, He ends His time with the disciples with a prayer meeting (Matthew 26:36-46). First, He gathers his disciples collectively and then He calls James, John, and Peter to join Him privately (Matthew 26: 37). From Jesus’ final exchange with these three, particularly Peter, we learn three ways to resist temptation: 


1) Be close to Jesus. 


Jesus was always having teachable moments with James, John, and Peter. This final time with them was no different (Matthew 26:37). As Jesus was being tempted to resist God’s will, He wanted Peter especially to learn from His example: When Jesus was tempted, He drew near to God. 


2) Stay spiritually alert. 


Jesus also wanted the three to remain alert and watchful (Matthew 26:38). You can’t follow the leader with your eyes closed, right? If we don’t remain spiritually alert through active obedience and prayer, we’ll be caught off guard by spiritual attacks from the enemy and our own sinful desires (Galatians 5:16). 


3) Pray so that you won’t fall into temptation. 


Jesus’ means of drawing near to God was prayer. Jesus wanted Peter to do the same. “Watch and pray,” Jesus warns, “so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). Through prayer, God can empower us to resist the flesh and its lustful desires that lead us into sin. 


Remember that Jesus knows that you won’t be perfect until you’re with Him in Heaven. That’s why it’s up to us to remain spiritually alert and to pray so that He won’t give into temptation. 


Pray before you’re tempted. 


“God, as I answer my emails I pray that You would keep me far away from the temptation to watch porn.” 


Pray when you’re tempted. 


“God, I feel so lonely right now. It would be easy to take my Ex up on his offer to meet with me right now. Please help me resist temptation and empower me to say ‘no.’” 


Pray in repentance when you’ve fallen into sin. 


God, last night I fell back into masturbation. Please forgive me. 


As you begin the journey to pursuing purity, draw near to God, stay spiritually alert, and pray so that you may not fall into temptation. 


Prayer: God, I’m so grateful that You’re prepared to love me even when I’m a spiritual hot mess. Thank You for the gospel and its timeless significance in my life. When I’m tempted to give into temptation and when I need to repent, please help me connect with You through prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen. 


My Moment: Where do you find yourself being ambushed by temptation? How can you become more spiritually alert and ready to resist that stronghold?