In this verse the word “Watch” means to give strict attention, to be cautious. It almost sounds like temptation is a place we can stumble into by accident, if accident you call it. It’s not necessarily a physical place, but a place just before an action.
I was at the California State Fair a few days ago with my family. After a couple hours of seeing the sights, I headed for the rest room. Ahead of me were two young ladies who were staggering (not in a flattering way) because they were drunk. As they approached the rest room, one turned left towards the women’s side while the other approached the men’s side. She was almost all the way in before the warning bells went off in her pickled brain. Looking about she suddenly realized she was in a crowd of the opposite gender. She did an abrupt about-face and headed straight out to find the women’s side. The State Fair never disappoints with endless opportunities for entertainment.
Still, who among us hasn’t, through inattention, nearly walked into the wrong rest room? Temptation and sin are like that. If we are not constantly on guard we will end up in the wrong place. It’s often a place where we, strangely enough, already know temptation has a strong influence over us. That’s why Jesus instructs us to also pray. When we pray, God gives us knowledge and wisdom to identify and avoid the steps that lead to temptation. Sometimes he even intervenes by giving us the sudden strength to reject temptation and walk away from a sin. With God’s help we can chisel away at the power of sin in our lives. This is what the theologians call the process of sanctification.
Why fight temptation and sin? To be free!