A wise writer once said, “The ship is safe in the ocean as long as the ocean is not in the ship.” Or the Christian is safe in the world as long as the world is not in the Christian. We see how important it is to keep the world, the flesh and the devil out of our Christian ship to the best of our ability. It is a minute-by-minute, day by day battle – one that we can never give up or let our guard down. Once our guard is down then spiritual sickness, weariness, doubts, fears come rushing in like a flood. (Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful). What is our antidote?
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Mat 26:41
The necessity for watching as well as praying lies in the fact that we have an adversary, an invisible foe, who seeks to trip us up. The devil is seeking whom he may devour.
(I Pet. 5:8) He knows your weak points and is ready to take advantage of them!
Prayer puts us in line with future hope so that we can deal with the present better.
Prayer is strength to the strong;
Prayer is praise to the cheerful;
Prayer is healing to the fallen;
Prayer is daily encouragement as we go thru our lives.
We can never stop sinning in this life time because we are imperfect beings. (Jas 3:2 ) But we do have the ability to avoid things that “trigger” sin or temptation in our life whether they be thoughts or actions. We’ve all heard the adage that “you can’t stop a flock of birds from flying over your head but you can stop them from making a nest.” When a wrong thought comes into your head don’t entertain it, don’t give it a home, get rid of it as quickly as possible. Any hesitancy on our part is a segue for Satan get his foot in the door.
The matter reminds us of one of Aesop's fables which many of us have read. On a cold, frosty morning, a donkey pushed his nose in at the door of a blacksmith shop, where it was warm from a glowing fire. The blacksmith said to the donkey, "Get out!" The donkey replied, "You are stingy! I am only getting my nose warm." Presently the blacksmith looked around and perceived that the donkey had his whole head in. The blacksmith said, "Now get out, will you?" But the donkey pleaded that he was only getting a little breath of warm air, that his head surely would not trouble the blacksmith. After awhile the blacksmith looked again and saw that the donkey was half-way into the shop. Then he shouted, "Get out! get out!" But the donkey still insisted that he was only getting a little warm. So the blacksmith yielded. By and by he looked again and saw that the donkey was altogether in the shop. Then he sprang forward shouting excitedly, "Get out!" But the donkey said triumphantly, "Which of us will get out?" And thereupon he turned around and began to kick at the blacksmith. The donkey was in full control.
So kill temptation quickly. Don’t walk thru the door of temptation if you know what’s on the other side will harm you. Resolve to close it, lock it and not let Satan in. Keep the prayer-line open and study the scriptures daily for our guidebook to keeping the “ocean out of the ship”.