We know that we really need the mind of Christ to be able to gain the highest prize, which is God’s Son. There were many temptations that fell upon Jesus but He prayed that His disciples wouldn’t fall into temptation. He said to them there in Luke’s Gospel; in the 22nd chapter. [Lk22:31] The Lord said, “Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have thee that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not. When thou art converted strengthen thy brethren.” Jesus knew what was going to befall them; He knew they were going to be tempted; He knew their faith was going to be tested and He was praying for them; no doubt praying very earnestly for them that they wouldn’t fall in the temptation and that their faith wouldn’t fail. He went a little further with them and told them that they should pray that they might not enter into temptation.
Jesus was praying but there was something that they needed to do also. Jesus’ prayer alone wasn’t going to save them; they needed to pray; pray for their own need; pray that God would help them. Jesus was interceding for them that they might be delivered from the power of the temptation. There was one thing that Jesus also mentioned in that example prayer when He was telling them how to pray and the different things that they were going to need to pray for. Praying to the Father; praying that He would lead them; that He would help them, and then, “Lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil.” It was something they needed to pray for and it is something that we need to be praying for that God would not lead us into temptation, we can’t take it for granted that we are not going to fall into temptation because that is what the enemy of our soul just wants to do. He wants to lead us into a trap; he wants to lead us into that which would snare our soul.
Jesus has asked us to pray that we wouldn’t be led into that temptation. Jesus told Peter that because of the temptation Satan wanted to sift him as wheat. The sifting causes that which is coarse to be separated from that which is finer, and God allows that which is a sifting so that which is only as dross can be separated from our lives, we need to be looking to God and praying for His help to have the mind of Christ; to have the strength that He wants to give us to face what lies ahead. Jesus said to Peter, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Peter had said, “I am ready to go with Thee both to prison and to death.” There was a purpose in Peter’s heart and he was ready to go to prison and to death, but he still fell into temptation even with that purpose, we could have a purpose and even though we have that kind of purpose we still need to pray; we still need to be praying earnestly that God will not allow us to fall into temptation, because it’s right there. I noticed that Jesus didn’t tell Peter what that temptation was going to be; He didn’t tell him that he was going to use the sword to defend Jesus; He didn’t show him what the trap was, but He asked him to pray.
God’s not wanting to get our focus on the traps; to go and look for all the traps and to say, “I won’t do this or that because it might be a trap,” but He is just wanting us to have the leading of His Spirit; to be praying that He would keep us and that He wouldn’t lead us into temptations. We can be praying for the leading of His Spirit so that we wouldn’t find ourselves in a trap. We don’t have to be thinking about traps, but we can get through them if we just pray that God will direct us in the words that we say and the path that we take, and that we would completely give ourselves to God without any reservations, then we will be able to keep away from the traps; we’ll not become attracted and be there; not walking in a path that would be a trap for ourselves or anyone else.
Jesus prayed again after He had asked the disciples to pray. He prayed very earnestly and it says that there came an Angel from Heaven strengthening Him and being in agony He prayed more earnestly and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground. We may feel that when we find ourselves in a situation where there is nothing we can do; nothing we can say to help it; find ourselves in a desperate situation; feeling exhausted in praying, but there was Jesus in agony just praying even more earnestly. He knew what they were going to face; He knew the power of the enemy and what He was going to face Himself But He proved and showed to us the power of Heaven, when He returned to His disciples and found them sleeping He said, “Why sleep ye, rise and pray that ye enter not into temptation.” The temptation was just upon them but they hadn’t seen it, and we read of what happened.
There was Judas coming who had betrayed Jesus and when they who were around Jesus saw what would follow they said, “Shall we smite with the sword?” and one of them took a sword and cut off the servant of the High Priest’s ear. Jesus said, “Suffer ye thus far,” and He touched his ear and healed him. Jesus had already told them about taking the sword; about taking their scrip; about taking their purse and He said “For I say unto you, that this which is written must yet be accomplished in Me – And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning Me have an end.” Jesus told them about those things, but when He told them to take the sword, it was that He was to be numbered among the transgressors. Jesus wasn’t changing the conditions for His disciples to go forth and preach the Gospel, but that which was written of Him was accomplished – that He was numbered among the transgressors and it was all because they had a sword, which they shouldn’t have had, and Peter had used it. Jesus was showing them clearly that He didn’t want that and Jesus healed that man’s ear.
We read of Peter a little later, that he denied Jesus even though he had said that he wouldn’t, we read that Jesus just turned and looked at him after he had been denying Him, and Peter went out and wept bitterly. There are many experiences that cause us to be found weeping but God is wanting to lift us up again. There is the need for us to be found praying again; praying earnestly like before so that we can have the mind of Christ; that we could have words directly from Him; that our way could be directed; the path that we would take would be directed by the God of Heaven, we would be praying so that we wouldn’t find ourselves in a trap and that we wouldn’t be doing anything that would be a trap to others, but because of praying, and praying earnestly we could know a safe path; we could prove His strength so we can walk faithfully, for Jesus’ sake.