Gethsemane Feb 2015
Florida is a great place to minister in March. There is still snow in New England while temps in the 80’s here. I try to come back to Florida once a year. We lived here 30 years and raised our daughters in the Sunshine State. Now that we live in North Carolina it is great to renew our relationships with the Florida family. After Melbourne, Brandon and Dunedin, I look forward to Gulf Coast Church Wednesday night in Indian Rocks. I finish my Florida swing next Sunday in my home church, Flowing River Church, formerly Maranatha Chapel.
Our recent Israel tour has been one topic, along with the Israeli election and other MidEast events. However, the word the Lord has given me is from Jesus’ temptation in the Garden of Gethsemane. Most folks don’t understand that Jesus was really tempted to refuse the Cross.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15
This is a critical point. He was tempted but did not give in to the temptation. Contrast this with the nature of Lucifer (Satan) that God reveals in Isaiah.
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.” Isaiah 14:12-15
Five times he exalts his own will against God. So when Jesus was faced with His greatest temptation, He reversed the curse of self-will. Jesus asked the Father for “any other way”, but each time concluded: Not my will but Your will be done!
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39
Three times Jesus resisted self-will and triumphed with self-denial and submission to the Father’s will. That is our charge. That is our challenge. You, too, can refuse self and submit to our loving Heavenly Father.
Help us Lord Jesus to follow in your steps!