Thoughts from the garden of Gethsemane

jesus sadI really like this story in the Bible about Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane, not because I like gloomy stories, but because it brings me close to the heart of God. It acts like a zoom into the heart of God for me and I usually get awfully quiet in my heart as I read it.

Jesus’s heart comes to light about how He feels and would like His disciples whom He called friends, to be. It also reveals what He does in crisis and how important prayer is to Him. And it shows how sad He feels when we don’t join Him in His sufferings, be it in prayer or any other thing He asks. Read on as I expand on these thoughts.

Something that spoke to me from reading the Bible today. Jesus, in the garden of Gethsemane, wanted His disciples, whom He called friends, to be with Him and share in His sufferings. He came back and found them asleep instead. His question really touched me: What? You could not watch WITH ME one hour? When we pray, we are not just there alone mouthing words to a distant God or just fighting demons to get to God. We are communing with Him, we are WITH HIM. Prayer is to be with Him, intercession is to join with Him in His sufferings.

He wants us to be with Him, especially in the things that bring sadness and grief to His heart, the things that break His heart and wants us to join Him in praying about it and fixing it. He wants His friends to be the kind that are there not just when things are going good, the blessings are rolling, the promises are being fulfilled and success knocks at the door, but He wants friends who stay with Him when all other leave and stick with Him when things don’t go so well and when His heart is grieved. Like He said to the 12 disciples when the other 70 left: ‘Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will you also go away? (John 6:67) 

I have made up my mind I want to be one of those disciples who remain, who are happy to hear the grief of His heart, who can stay with Him long enough to hear His deepest burdens and sorrows.

Sometimes He needs us to share in His sufferings, like He needed His disciples to pray with Him. He needs us to share in His sufferings by making sacrifices to pray, or to go and reach others with His message and many other ways. I wonder how many He asks this from and how many He still finds asleep, unwilling to pay the price. It made me search my heart. 

It says that Luke 22:43 ‘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’ – I wonder how many times God looks down from heaven like Jesus did here in the garden with the disciples and checks to see if we will stand with Him in His sufferings He asks of us in order to reach the world He loves. I wonder how many times He checks on us, gets disappointed and walks away alone when he finds us still seeking our own comfort with no one to share His burdens for the world…  Don’t you want to be one of those who brings joy to God’s heart?

For more on this subject, please read here the second part to this message on the subject of hearing God’s heart in prayer, how to react and what to do when God speaks to you.

Another unrelated revelation from the same passage is the following. If you struggle with any kind of temptation, here is the recipe for deliverance from Jesus’ mouth: Watch and pray so you will not fall into temptation. Do you feel tempted in any way, pray straight away and keep on praying while the temptation rages on. The stronger it gets, the stronger you pray. That’s how you prevent falling into the temptation.

It says that Jesus being in more anguish of soul, He prayed more earnestly. That should be our response to temptation, the more intense it is, the more intense our prayers to God must be.  The more the devil hits you, the more you throw yourself in the arms of God for help. The one who persists them most wins. The devil can be very persistent, but you are a child of God so show the devil which family you belong to and what you are made of by being more persistent than he is. And you will most certainly win, it’s Jesus’s word.

The temptation in itself is not sin, but falling into it is. Jesus made it clear there is a way to stop that from happening and we need to apply His instruction to avoid our destruction.

Hope these three revelations have spoken to your heart and you will not just walk away as a deceived hearer but you will be a doer who applies it in practice starting today! For how to take action based on these revelations, please read the follow-on article I wrote today to express how we should react and what we should do when God speaks to us. Click here to read it and please leave your comments below and share with your friends.

I invite you to build a faith community together with me. Join my social media channels and let’s connect, especially if you want freedom or fullness in Christ.

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