“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
This Week’s Meditation:
Jesus In the Garden of Gethsemane
Early in my Christian walk, I was privileged to sit under the spiritual tutelage of Reverend Dr. Roy B. Nabors, who at that time pastored the Community Baptist Church of Greater Milwaukee. I recall Pastor Nabors often putting special emphasis on Gethsemane in his teaching and preaching to drill in his congregants’ minds and hearts that each one of us will encounter our own Gethsemane in life. He wanted us to realize that difficult agonizing times will come but God is near. Pastor Nabors went on to say that instead of fighting against God, we should pray that God’s will be done in the situation. Pastor Nabors’ preaching and teaching on Gethsemane peaked my interest in what really happened at Gethsemane. When I read the story of Jesus’ Gethsemane moment, I prayed that I would never have such a difficult decision that I would need to pray a Gethsemane prayer.
Gethsemane is located on the slope of the Mount of Olives. It was the place where Jesus often went to pray during His earthly ministry. Just prior to Jesus’ betrayal, He went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray with His disciples. Jesus knew His betrayal and crucifixion was just around the corner. At Gethsemane, Jesus took His closest companions Peter, James and John with Him, and asked that they watch and pray because His soul was troubled and sorrowful. The disciples did not understand the magnitude of Jesus’ request, because when Jesus returned, they were asleep. Jesus, looking ahead to the events that were to happen, prayed that His Father would remove the bitter cup that He was to drink; but in obedience and submission to God’s will, Jesus prayed “nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will….” (Matthew 26:36-42.) Luke’s version records an angel from heaven came and strengthened Jesus. (Luke 22:43.)
One day my moment in Gethsemane came. There was no one who could accompany me there because this situation was between God and me. As I prayed for and agonized over the situation, like Jesus, I asked God to allow His will and not mine to be done. At that moment, God’s love and peace comforted me. Pastor Roy Nabors was right. Your Gethsemane moment will come!
Beloved, there will come a time in everyone’s life when they must choose to do God’s will over their own will. The choice you make, like Jesus, will display your level of commitment and obedience to God. Jesus knew what was to come; however, Jesus’ prayer was that God’s will be done regardless of what the future had in store for Him. Even nailed to the Cross, Jesus was still teaching the importance of obedience to God’s Word and the importance of trusting God in every situation.
This Week’s Reflection: As you reflect on the greatness of God’s love for you, ask yourself: Are there any areas of your life you need to rededicate/commit to Him? If so, make a list of those things you want to make a priority and pray for divine strength to rededicate that area(s) of your life to God. End your time of meditation by praying to God to raise your level of commitment to Him so that you grow to accept God’s will over your will at all times, regardless of the situation.
Next Week: Jesus Is Risen!
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