Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 112

                          Image result for Book of Matthew
Day 112: God's Will Be Done

Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 26:36-46


36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” (Matthew 26:36-38)
"In this hour of agony He clung to the companionship of His closest friends, to whom also, as spectators of the glory of the Transfiguration..." (The One Volume Bible Commentary). I never really thought about how Peter, James and John were the three that Jesus pulled out from the disciples and did things with over the three years of His ministry. How these three were very dear to His heart. So many times I have called a friend to pray for me as I am going through tough times or to pray for me as I hear news from my doctor, how very real it is to see Jesus take His three closest friends with Him to pray in His darkest hours. His words are so strong..." My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” (Matthew 26:38) Jesus knew that He was not only going to be arrested, but beaten, flogged, crucified and take on the sin of the whole earth. Every vile sin that was and will be ever committed He took on His body for the love of us. 
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)
Jesus was both man and God. The man in Jesus did not want this 'cup of suffering,' but being God He was surrendered to the will of the Father to do whatever He asked. What an incredible prayer we all need to pray. To pray that God's will be done in our lives because His will is best. To trust God with our very lives, even to the point of death. 
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:40-41) 
Jesus already told Peter that he would betray Jesus. The temptation to do so is near and Peter needs to prayer to resist it. But Jesus in all of His beauty sees Peter's spirit- his spirit is willing to pray, but his flesh is too weak to stay awake. Jesus is merciful. He would love to have His friends awake, aware of what is happening and pray, but He is forgiving in the midst of His own agony. How I pray that I will be forgiving and full of mercy for all those in my life. 
42 He went away a second time and prayed, My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42) 
The prayer is different. The first prayer was: "If it is possible..." The second and third prayer says, "If it is not possible...may your will be done." Jesus knows it is not possible. He is no longer hoping for this 'cup' to be taken from Him, He is praying for God the Father's will to be done. Jesus' will is aligned with the Father's will. This is the most powerful prayer I have ever heard. Jesus knew, because He is God, all that was going to happen to Him to conform to the Father's will and He said yes. When I pray for God's will to be done in my life, I have no idea what it will entail, but I desire everything the Lord has for me. I blindly pray these words, but Jesus wasn't blind- He knew and still He welcomed the Lord's will for His life. Could I pray the will of the Father if it meant a martyr's death? 
43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” Matthew 26:43-46)
The disciples were completely clueless, as I would have been. With all of Jesus' warnings and trying to prepare them for this particular night, they were not ready. They were sleeping- sleeping in body, but also, sleeping in the spirit. They did not understand the gravity of what was going to happen. I believe Jesus was trying to protect them from the shock of all that was going to happen and the guilt they would feel for betraying Him, but with all of His efforts they did not get it. 
I feel like I have gone through this so many times with the Lord. For years my family was abusive towards me. For years I would hear the Lord say, "A time is coming where they will no longer be in your life." I would completely ignore this terrible thought and do all I could to fit in and be accepted by my family. The abuse continued for fifteen more years. Finally, the day came when my mother told me that I was dead to her and my father. The words were more difficult to hear than I can say. During my mourning, I remembered how the Lord tried to prepare me, but I had refused to listen. He knew. He tried to help me see it coming. But I feared and dreaded it and would not submit my will to His will. I wish I had. I wish I had built more faith and trust in Jesus before I went through this trial. I cried many tears. It has been eleven years since I have seen or heard from my parents, four sisters and fourteen nieces and nephews. 
Pray with me:
Jesus, thank you for being so real. Thank you for taking friends with you as you were going through the worst hours on this earth. Thank you for showing me that it is okay to have friends journey with me in my time of need. Thank you too for showing me how to pray a prayer of surrender. Help me to always desire your will above my own. Help me to trust you. Grow my faith that I may stand strong through trials. Help me to hear your voice and welcome your will for my life no matter how hard it may be. Jesus, I want to hear your voice. I want to have visions and dream dreams of you! I desire your will for my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

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