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Willing – The Flesh

“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” Matthew 26:41

I love the words that go along with being willing: eager, ready, enthusiastic, prepared, agreeable….

That is our spirit. always positive, always ready, always eager, always prepared, always agreeable, always enthusiastic, and always willing.

Our spirit does not see what cannot be done, it sees what can be done. 

Our spirit drives us to excellence, drives us to be doers, drives us to never quit, drives us to never to throw in the towel, drives us not to hit the snooze button, and drives us to fulfill what we set out to accomplish.

Our spirit pushes through the obstacles and makes us soar through the pain.

When our spirit is in control, there is no valley to low and no mountain that is too high.

Our spirit is what pushes us past the mundane, past the average, past the normal, and past the common.

Every champion, every prosperous person, every achiever had the willingness to overcome. No pain, no suffering, not lack of skill ever withheld them from what they were willing to do. 

But there is an enemy to our spirit, and it is our flesh.

As exciting as the spirit sounds, the outcome of the flesh is the direct opposite. The flesh is weak! It is feeble, it is frail, it is fragile, and it is tired. 

Our flesh is addicted to itself and indulges only in what feels good now. The flesh does not care about the long-term damage it is doing as long as it is pacified by the short-term feeling of comfort. 

Your flesh and my flesh care nothing about our future, it only cares about the moment. 

If you only care about soothing yourself, and you constantly give into the addiction of your flesh, you will soon be defeated.

“But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.” Proverbs 6:9-11 NLT

If you let your flesh win, it will be more then poverty, you will miss the will of God in your life.

Before Jesus went to the cross, He had time in the garden to pray. It was a battle of His willingness to submit to the Spirit or submit to His flesh.

Remember, Jesus had a dual nature…He was 100% man, and He was also 100% God.

As God, He performed many miracles we see throughout the New Testament. As man, we see Him tired, hungry, homeless, tempted, and rejected. 

When He started His earthly ministry, the devil attacked His flesh. It was offered to Him–food, power, and fame. All things that are temporary. Everything we accomplish in the flesh is ONLY temporary!

Don’t allow the enemy to defeat you for something that is so passing.

That is what was happening in the garden. The enemy wanted Jesus’ flesh to prevail.

Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Matthew 26:38-39


“And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weakHe went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” Matthew 26:40-41

Don’t stop praying until you have defeated your flesh. 

And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.” Matthew 26:43-44

Your natural spirit can only drive you so much.

But the same Spirit that dwelled in Jesus can dwell in us.

Our own spirit can drive us to excellence, and we can achieve good things.

But the Spirit of God drives us to do His WILL, not ours.

Other words, His Spirit inside of us allows us to do exceeding, abundantly, above all that we can ask or think. 

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14

If our own spirit can drive us for things where moth and rust doth corrupt and thieves break in and steal, how much more can the Spirit of God drive us for things that will be for all of eternity? 

The question is for today… ARE YOU WILLING?

Kent Elliott

Senior Pastor | Faith Tabernacle | Manchester, CT

Sr Pastor at Faith Tabernacle / President & Lead Consultant, FAITHWORKS Image Consulting. Husband to Crystal & father to Kaylea, Johnny (SIL) & Chase.

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