Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Take This Cup From Me; Yet Not

“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.  Luke 22:42-44

Hello readers.  Welcome to my heart.  Let's begin. 

Interesting twist in the story.  For you churched people, you've heard this story several times.  But, just to be thorough, I want to give the context of this scripture. 

Jesus, at this point of the story in Luke, was very aware that the time had come for him to be betrayed and crucified.  And what you find, Jesus who was fully man and fully God, is showing a brief moment of vulnerability.  His fully man side was showing, revealing distress about the upcoming events.  The idea of dealing with the beating, and the accusing  and the nails, and the crown of thorns, seemed to be for a second overwhelming---so much that He needed strengthening to deal with the death headed his way. 

Why am I sharing this?

Well as always, I have a question for you.  How do you respond when your God given calling requires pain?  

Let me ask it this way.  Are you still willing to go through with God's calling even if you have to endure pain?    

Up until this time, lets stretch a little bit and say Jesus had it easy.  Not in the context of His lifestyle was easy, but just actively walking out His God sent calling was easy.  I mean, He was healing people, raising people from the dead, teaching and preaching, walking on water, performing miracles, all with seemingly effortless obedience to the Father. And please hear me, I'm not trying to make light of those beautiful moments in Jesus's ministry at all, but what I am saying is that up until this point, He had never had to pray in this way.   But here we see, Jesus asking for God to reconsider the plan.  I don't know about you, but I like this side of my Savior. 

So what I've learned from this and my recent life experiences is the question, what if God places you in a place that may hurt you for the sake of others?  

With our selfish culture, psh, hard to accept eh?  "If I ain't getting anything out of this, I'm not wasting my time." Says you and me.  

But what if God does it to you?  What if He puts you somewhere that you think is a waste of time because you're not benefiting from it?  

It would be like a guy in a race, being brilliantly talented, laying himself down between two connecting cliffs to allow the slower and less talented runner to finish before him. What's even the proper word for that?  Grace? Love? Selfless?  Stupidity?  

But what I see is Jesus is willing to be obedient to God, no matter what He has to to go through for the sake of us--which is the gospel.  Jesus, already in Heaven, already the Son, already in God's glory, came to die for us...... for....what?  It wasn't for Him, it was for us.  He already was with God, so this wasn't some works based thing Jesus had to do, but He did for the sake of us.  So, maybe there's more to this persecution thing?  

What if God leads us through some suffering in order to help someone else?  That there are somethings in your life right now that you may think sucks, but God has you there to bless someone else.  What if God has you in relationship with someone only to help them, and you get nothing you want in return?  

If I dare to be vulnerable with you.  I feel like I do a lot of pouring out and giving away of myself to others.  And in a lot of cases, always seeing the good in others, giving others the benefit of the doubt, always being sure others needs are being taken care of, always wanting the best for others.  And as of late, I feel a floating question is lingering in the back of my mind that is getting louder, "God, what about me?" I don't necessarily like the question, but I'm very honest and real with my feelings.  

"I mean, God, you seem to be enjoying taking care of everyone else through me, but what about me?" 

And the question I love to even ask myself when I start talking like that is this one, "What am I really after?  God's glory or my own?  Am I doing all of these things for something in return?  Why can't I love first?  Serve first? Lead first?  Grace first?  Forgive first?  Change first? Submit first?  Didn't Jesus do it for me?  Didn't He do it for you?  And I love my Savior's response to distress in His life, "God, I don't want to go through with this, is there anything else we can do? Yet...."  

Come on somebody!!!!!  Jesus said Yet Not -----my will, but yours.  

In that yet not, Jesus was realigning himself with God, saying "Yet not my will, yet not my way, yet not my glory, yet not my emotions, yet not my desires being satisfied.  God, it's all about you! Your will be done!  Your way acknowledged."   He realigned himself with God.   He realigned himself with the cross.  And------as will I.  

My dear, dear friends...

As will I.  

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