Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray that you would not fall into temptation, the spirit is willing but the body is weak.
1 Peter 5:8-9 "Be sober and alert for your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking those whom he may devour. Resist him steadfast in the faith knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world."
Chambers writes "that we must beware of is not damage to our belief in God but damage to our Christian disposition or state of mind. “Take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously” (Malachi 2:16). Our state of mind is powerful in its effects. It can be the enemy that penetrates right into our soul and distracts our mind from God. There are certain attitudes we should never dare to indulge. If we do, we will find they have distracted us from faith in God. Until we get back into a quiet mood before Him, our faith is of no value, and our confidence in the flesh and in human ingenuity is what rules our lives.
Beware of “the cares of this world…” (Mark 4:19). They are the very things that produce the wrong attitudes in our soul. It is incredible what enormous power there is in simple things to distract our attention away from God. Refuse to be swamped by “the cares of this world.” (http://utmost.org/the-distraction-of-contempt/)
Truly the walk with God is a walk that requires discipline and self-surrender. As followers of Christ, we cannot afford to miss a single day equipping ourselves with the Word of God or the Devil will attack us right when we are weakest. The walk with God is a constant battle between the spiritual things and the things of flesh. Indeed there will be times when we feel like we are overcome. Yet when we feel that darkness is upon us and we are unworthy of coming back to God, these are the times we need God the most. We must pray regardless of our feelings, read our Bibles despite what our brain tells us, and stay faithful to the end. When we mess up, we must pray for the Lord's forgiveness and believe that He is faithful.
For me, I find that with my walk with God it is the little things that make the biggest difference. When I am disciplined with the food I eat, I find it easier to spend time with God and be peaceful with my neighbor. When I fast from evil social media (any magazine, movie, or song that does not edify Jesus' name) then I find the peace of knowing the Father's quiet presence in my life. When I find my joy in Christ and nature instead of Facebook and social media, texting with friends, that's when I feel God closest to me. Now we can't follow God or run our spiritual life based on feelings but we can learn to understand God's wrath against sin and His strict directions for us to live a life of purity. Is what we are thinking and putting into our mind Christ glorifying or self-seeking?
Discouraged? Feeling guilty? I understand, but this is not something we can do on our own. Truly only by God's grace we are set free from our old selfish natures and transformed into a free and beautiful, loving creation.
Father, give us the courage to overcome battles of the flesh. Help us not to lust after things of this world but instead to use your power and the Holy Spirit to overcome. Thank you for working in us even though we do nothing to deserve it. Amen.