Matthew 26:41 ESV: Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Luke 21:36 NIV: Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
In these scriptures, the Lord Jesus tells us that by watching and praying always, we will always escape or overcome temptation and so perfect obedience.
Paul by the Holy Spirit repeats these same thoughts in:
Colossians 4:2 ESV: Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
Philippians 4:6-7 ESV: do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (7) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Romans 12:12 MKJV: rejoicing in hope, patient in affliction, steadfastly continuing in prayer,
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 MKJV: (16) Rejoice evermore. (17) Pray without ceasing. (18) In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
We gradually perfect obedience by practicing watching and praying in the Holiest of all, in the same way the Lord Jesus did as a daily habit:
Hebrews 5:7-9 MKJV: For Jesus, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong cryings and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared, (8) though being a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. (9) And being perfected, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him,
We follow the pattern of this way Jesus perfected obedience as revealed in the sanctuary (Ex. 25:8) the Tabernacle of Moses (click on this link to see illustration).
John 14:6 MKJV: Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.
Jesus is the way to perfecting obedience; and the way He did it is revealed in the sanctuary:
Psalms 77:13 AMP: Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary [in holiness, away from sin and guilt]. Who is a great God like our God?
Exodus 25:8-9 MKJV: and let them make Me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them. (9) According to all that I show you, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments of it, even so you shall make it.
We follow this way as shown in the sanctuary (Ex. 25-31) as a daily habit:
1. Altar of burnt offering (Ex. 27.1-8):
We confess our sins to cleanse our connection to God from the sin nature that hinders or blocks the flow of God’s life to us.
1 John 1:7-9 MKJV: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (substance caused by deeds of sin blocking our fellowship with God). If we say that we have no sin (nature or substance), we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
2. Brazen Laver (Ex. 30:17-21):
We judge ourselves by looking at our conduct in the light of God’s Word (Jam.1:23-25), like the priests looked into the brazen laver and washed their feet before entering into the Holy Place, to receive more (each day) mercy and grace to help overcome our weaknesses.
To do this, pray like this:
“Father, I confess our (i.e. self, immediate family, household, etc) sins and so we clean with the blood” (to cover the multitude of sins, 1Pet. 4: 7-8, keep the commandment without spot, 1Tim.6:14 and edify ourselves in love, Eph.4:15; 1Jn.5:16).
“In Jesus name we have life” (visualize the flow of life into you as living water Jn. 4:10, 14).
I judge myself (1Cor.11:31) and condemn my wicked actions and attitudes of omission and commission hitherto, I receive mercy unto eternal life (Jude 21) to soften my heart to enable me to repent and be faithful (1 Cor.7:25); receiving wisdom and instruction and have victory and triumph over judgement (Jam.2:13, 2Cor.2:14) in Jesus name.
Meditate: Think for a short while on what you have just said with a determination to practice it.
Pray in tongues for a short while as above and as you pray, say in your heart and determine to practice what you have just confessed, mentally acknowledging with thanksgiving (Col.4:2) the presence of the three Persons of the God-Head in the air around you (Psalms 16:8).
Time: About 1 minute.
In our article next week, we will continue to look at more steps in the way of the perfecting obedience in the sanctuary.