Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. Mark 14:38.
Temptations may be all around you, yet you are safe as long as you do not enter into them. Many of us are overcome by Satan because we walk right into temptation…. It is your business to keep aloof from everyone and everything which will have a tendency to lead you away from duty and divert your mind from God…. If compelled to be in the society of those who are evil, you are not compelled to enter into or engage in their evil. You can, by prayer and watching, remain unsullied by the evil manifested about you.11Letter 16, 1867.
“Watch and pray” is an injunction often repeated in the Scriptures. In the lives of those who obey this injunction there will be an undercurrent of happiness that will bless all with whom they are brought in contact. Those who are sour and cross in disposition will become sweet and gentle; those who are proud will become meek and lowly.12Manuscript 42, 1904.
A man cannot be a happy Christian unless he is a watchful Christian. He who overcomes must watch; for with worldly entanglements, error, and superstition, Satan strives to win Christ’s followers from Him, and to keep their minds employed with his devices. It is not enough that we avoid glaring dangers and perilous, inconsistent moves. We are to keep close to the side of Christ, walking in the path of self-denial and self-sacrifice. We are not to allow our spiritual perceptions to be blinded, as they often are, by a strong, determined will. And in order to detect the artifices of Satan and to withstand his unexpected attacks, we must have the grace of Christ and the impartation of His Spirit….
God’s Word warns us that we have manifold enemies, not open and avowed, but enemies who come with smooth words and fair speeches, and who would deceive if possible the very elect. Thus Satan comes. And again, when it suits his purpose, he goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Man’s will, unless kept in subjection to the will of God, is as often on the enemy’s side as on the Lord’s side. Therefore watch unto prayer; watch and pray always.13Letter 5, 1903.