(Luke 22:39-46) Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”God has a plan. You've heard that a million times and yet still somehow its meaning is lost. Somehow what takes place in your day to day life is disconnected from that. Somehow you have lost sight of the fact that every detail of your day has already been worked over in the heart of God. Even those moments we swear are a full fledged attack by Satan are allowed by a mighty God that has a plan bigger than your life.
That might hurt a little but it is truth.
Nothing happens outside of the will of God. Our self will is not bigger than God's. In a moment he could put a end to it all, but he chooses not to. Why?
That is where Jesus comes into the story. He chooses not to because he has a plan. He has a vision which includes a restored* people. A people that have been made whole again and a kingdom that shines with his glory night and day. He sees us not as inhabitants of a sin filled world, but as future inhabitants of a glorious place where he rules. A glorious kingdom that starts in our hearts.
Yet great visions are only accomplished by surrendered leaders who are willing to die for those they lead. They succeed only with tender lambs who are willing to suffer the trials and ultimately sacrifice themselves for the vision.
Jesus saw this vision very clearly, He had a bigger picture in mind. Despite all his human frailities he was able to surrender his life for this vision of restoration that God had planted within him. He was willing!!
For the sake of his vision God, himself, had to stand back and watch his son die because in the end he wanted to save all his children, not just one. He saw what was to come and he knew it was worth it. We were worth it.
Today there are many people who have a vision of what could be and willingly sacrifice themselves for that vision. They willingly take the risk, make the tough choices and commit to a vision which is greater than them. They see with the eyes of the Father. They see people as they could be and not as they are. They become the tender lambs that are willing to suffer the trials and ultimately sacrifice themselves to the vision. They realize that God's will is the only way and on bended, bloody knees they cry out, "Not my will, but your will be done."
They sacrifice their wants and needs because they know that God has a plan.
Take it deeper....
- Do you have a vision of what could be?
- Have you seen life through the eyes of God? Do you view your life as part of a bigger picture or is it limited to just what you experience?
- What about your current circumstances could be used to bring glory to God?
- Oftentimes, especially during the holidays, we want to keep our minds on positive things. We want to make sure that nothing negative interrupts our celebrations. Make a point this season to open your heart to the things that break the heart of Jesus. Be willing to face the difficult things head on with the strength that Christ offers.
- Think big!!
*restored- to bring something back to an earlier and better condition