Just before His arrest, Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matt 26:41
This morning during one of our small group meetings, I asked one of the members if she was exercising consistently.
Her response was, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” What she meant is that she really wants to exercise, but she is not able to muster up the energy/discipline/motivation or drive to actually do it.
The struggle is real for us too. We WANT to exercise or start eating healthy, but we just can’t seem to get ourselves motivated enough to actually take action.
The ‘flesh’ Jesus referred to in the scripture above is our physical body with its appetites, desires, and weaknesses. It is always looking for the easy way out. Your flesh easily gives in to temptation. Your flesh will always overpower your spirit if you don’t watch and pray as Jesus instructed the disciples to do as was the case with the disciples.
Here are a few strategies that you can use to help make your flesh more willing.
How to Make Your Flesh More Willing
1. Pray – Jesus tried to prepare the disciples by telling them to pray. The struggle was real for Jesus too! He just finished practicing what he preached to the disciples. His flesh was failing him, so he went to God to be strengthened. The Bible says, “And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matt 26:39). The same God that strengthened Jesus is the same God that will strengthen us during our periods of weakness, trials, and temptation.
2. Watch – We give in to temptation when we’re not ‘standing on guard’. We need to guard our minds and our emotions, like a hen taking care of her chicks. If you let anything into your mind, it will wear down your spirit, so be mindful who you talk to, and what you listen to on the TV, radio, or the internet.
Watch your emotions because the enemy will ‘attack’ when your resistance is low. That’s why we use the acronym H.A.L.T. Don’t allow yourself to get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.
Your flesh will be more willing when it is well-rested, well-fed both physically and spiritually, and feeling at peace. That’s when your resistance will be strongest.
3. Understand – Until we can begin to understand the relationship between the body, soul, and spirit, we will continue to beat up and self-sabotage ourselves. We will never be able to make ourselves do what we don’t want to do.
Understand that our flesh will always be unwilling, until we learn how to bring it under submission to our spirit. You can’t do this by trying harder, praying more, or beating up on yourself. Your flesh will become more willing when you teach it how to come under the influence of your spirit.
How do you make yourself more willing to do the things you don’t want to do? Share your strategies below.
Want to learn how to begin this process? Check out our programs at:
21daysgodsway.com – Take our free 21-Day Challenge
Breakthrough – Understand how to get to the root of why you do what you do.
Reference Scriptures to Study on the Topic
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” Prov 22:3
“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Pet 5:8
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Gal 5:16
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Cor 10:13
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Rom 7:15