March 12, 2014
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Back on April 29 of last year, I wrote a blog entitled The Most Important Prayer A Christian Can Pray, based on Jesus’ prayer in Luke 22:42, “…nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Yes, it is still The Most Important Prayer A Christian Can Pray, but I would like to revisit that scripture in Luke, and look at it in a little bit different way. Here it is from Luke 22:40 though 45 – the parts that we will consider:
…[Jesus] said… “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And…He knelt
down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, remove this cup from Me;
nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him
from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more
earnestly. And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the
ground. When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He
found them sleeping from sorrow. Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep?
Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”
A couple of weeks ago, I had trouble with my computer. Now I can operate the computer pretty well. I have been doing that – and learning by doing – since 1995 when I purchased my first Radio Shack computer! But to try to fix the darn thing when it acquires a virus, or crashes, or gets bogged down from trying to store too many bits, bytes or whatever – then it is out of my league! I need the help of someone who really knows what they are doing! So last year I contracted through my antivirus program for trained experts to fix and restore my computer to proper working order. It is an online program, so I have to agree to give over control of the computer to whomever is going to repair it.
It turned out that this contraption called a computer had a virus and a couple of other things wrong with it. Now it is working great! Thank God for those technicians who are properly trained to do their job! But before the tech could work on my computer, he had to take me to a couple of screens in which I agreed to give him entire control of the system. Then I sat back – or did other tasks – for the next two hours while diagnosis, surgery and recovery took place! Having never met this expert technician who was to work on my computer, I had to trust him to be able to accomplish what he claimed he was able to do!
Isn’t that the same concerning the Lord Jesus Christ? We have to trust Him to know the best for us. If we are to sincerely tell God, “…not my will, but Yours, be done…,” then we have to rely on that will of God to be the best direction for our lives in all things! That’s not easy – and sometimes its very hard and painful! It says that Jesus was “…in agony…” over this decision to totally seek the will of the Father. Don’t’ expect an easy go of making Him Lord of your life!
Twice in this scripture Jesus tells His followers, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Since temptations come in continual assault upon us, then it stands to reason that the prayer mentioned above needs to be continually and sincerely offered to the Father. When the disciples slept and did not pray, they entered into such temptation that they forsook their Lord – Peter even denying Him three times. May their negative example be a solemn warning to us.
Notice that when Jesus was praying – so intensely that He was sweating blood – “…an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.” Nothing that God calls us to do is beyond our capabilities! The fact that God wants us to trust Him enough to give Him control over our lives – that’s a tall order! It’s much greater than trusting a technician to take complete control over my computer! And if it calls for more that we have in our own human resources, heavenly help will be ours to make it happen!
Note also that it says Jesus “…rose up from prayer….” When he arose in the garden, He stood in victory! It was not on the cross that the Savior won the greatest battle of all – as much as it was when He prayed, “…nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Yes, His offering of Himself on Calvary was the culmination of victory over sin, Satan, death and hell! But the courageous decision was made as He knelt in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane!
It takes courage and trust to turn all things over to the Lord! You are putting your whole life in the hands of Another! But that One has shown by the record of the written Word, the testimony of the Holy Spirit and the examples of changed lives through the ages that He can be trusted! So give Jesus Christ control! He will give back your life full and running over. In the end, you will not regret it!