When Jesus was talking to His disciples at the last supper, He said to Simon, “Simon, Simon, satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that you might not fall away from your faith.” Jesus knew the pressure Peter would face in the hours ahead and had already dispatched God’s power on Peter’s behalf.
The good news is, in our darkest hours, He is still releasing that power for us today. Jesus is praying for us! What incredible joy that should give us as believers. Hebrews 7:25 puts it like this, “[Jesus is] able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
It’s true we live in a fallen world, and none of us has received an easy button. But never forget: you’re saved to the uttermost! Peter looked like a lost cause, denying Jesus three times in the hours after Jesus’ warning. But Jesus restored him to great value in the Kingdom.
Satan would love to sift each of us. It’s his aim to steal the most valuable kernels of our faith and divert us from the call of God on our lives. Chances are, you’ve taken the bait more than once. But Jesus, our High Priest, understands our struggle and continually represents us before the Father. His blood never fails to wash and renew us.
So how can we beat temptation and complete God’s call on our lives? Hebrews 4 has a blueprint: “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
1. Wake up and Pray! Come to the throne in your time of need. Look how Jesus behaved at his most trying time: He asked His disciples to pray in the garden as He did likewise. The crucifixion was soon to occur. They needed to be at the throne receiving strength, yet “He found them sleeping from sorrow.” It’s certainly understandable, given all they had faced and all they were about to face. Satan’s plan is to wear us all down until we are too tired to do the basics. Too tired to worship. Too tired to soak up the Word. Too tired to pray. But Jesus said, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Praying will scare the devil away.
2.Come Boldly. Have you repented of your sin and confessed it to the Father? Then know that you are saved to the uttermost from past sins, and God no longer remembers or holds them against you. To still carry that messy baggage into prayer interrupts your fellowship. Lay it down, and approach God with love and gratitude. Wield his Word with boldness and authority.
3. Hold fast your confession. Proverbs 30:32 says if you think evil, lay your hand on your mouth. Don’t speak about it. Your spirit is listening. Feed it by confessing the Word about your situation. Say, “I’m strong in the Lord and the Power of His might!”
4. Grow spiritually. Jesus said the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Grow your spirit by continually hearing and acting on the Word. Then your spirit will take ascendancy over your flesh. God’s voice will grow stronger and more real to you, and the voice of temptation will grow weaker and fainter.
So thank God, Jesus is praying for us! He’s on your side. He’s calling us to wake up from our spiritual sleep and pray alongside Him. He beat temptation and accomplished His purpose. That’s exactly what we can do, too.