September 26

Text: Matthew 26:42-45

He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Thy will be done."  And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. Then He *came to the disciples, and *said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.Ē  (NASB)

In these verses there are several things that leap out at us and capture our attention.

1.     To pray repeatedly regarding a spiritual crisis arising within us that causes serious concern is not wrong.  In fact it is desirable to take such concerns to God.

2.   Being spiritually mature will not eliminate such concerns.  Spiritual maturity definitely will alter what causes such concern, but spiritual maturity will not eliminate the need to implore God for His help and guidance.

3.  To not wish to do what God wants you to do is not wrong as long as Godís desire is superior.  Jesus even pled repeatedly for God to take an alternate route, but he always surrendered to Godís desire.  Surrender here was not a matter of desiring, but a matter of doingóobeying.

4.  NEVER was there any question of who was superior!  Though Jesus had done no sin, though his course of action was determined by the evil of others, though evil was not his fault, he functioned as God desired, not as he desired.  He endured injustice that Godís justice might prevail (see again Romans 3:25, 26 with Acts 17:30, 31).

The time had come!  The time for sleeping or pleading was past.  The time for responsible action was there.  There is an amazing contrast between the distressed Jesus in prayer and the determined Jesus after prayer.  A determined Jesus did Godís will at enormous personal cost.

Suggestion for reflection: Examine your commitment to do Godís will.  (Read 1 Corinthians 10:13 and 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5.)

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