Okay so I usually don’t do this, like a blog series, but that is kind of what happened. If you haven’t read my past 2 blogs, Where Life Lies, and Where Life Lies: The Sacrifice, God has been showing me a lot about the precious blood of Jesus, His sacrifice, and now His promise.
Has God ever made you a promise? Has it ever felt like God is taking forever in providing that promise to you? Has He promised you a husband? A child? What has He promised you, and what promise are you still waiting for? What promise has He made that you have questioned time and time again? What promise has made you stagnant in your faith? The promises you have spoken about, and the promises in your heart that you knew to be true?
And what promise have you clung to more than you have clung to the One who made the promise? (Yup I got there quick)
I am going to reference again where Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. I am not going to put the full verses in this post, but you can find them in Matthew 26: 36-46, Mark 14: 32-42, Luke 22: 39-46. Each Gospel includes different details of this event, so I encourage you to read them all as it paints a bigger picture of the reality of what was happening.
Jesus knew the promise. Death wasn’t the end of the story. Resurrection. But when He was praying in the garden, He wasn’t clinging to it. He was praying for the will of His Father. He knew the resurrection was coming, but he was living in the moment. And the moment was painful. It was emotionally painful, it was spiritually painful, and it was physically painful. It was so painful that an angel had to come to strengthen Him.
And I think this really shows the true humanness of Jesus. That His strength had to come from the heavenly realm.
What promise have you clung to more than you have clung to the One who made the promise?
Waiting on a promise can be painful, and here is a tough truth. We can get so hung up on what God promises us that we forget the One who made the promise in the first place. And we forget that the promises that He makes to us aren’t about us. They affect us, but we forget that the promise is not for our benefit, but His glory.
Today, I don’t want to focus on the promise. I want to focus on today. The here and now.
If you knew what He promised you was coming tomorrow, how would that effect how you live your life today? Jesus knew the promise with every step He took on this earth. He spoke of it. He spoke of all of it. But He didn’t just speak of the promises, He lived knowing the promise was coming.
Let me go one step further, if you knew that Jesus was coming back tomorrow, how would that effect how you lived today? Would you live stagnantly waiting the promise, or wholeheartedly doing His will?
“Sit here while I go over there and pray” Matthew 26: 36
Can I tell you what some of His disciples were doing as Jesus was praying in the garden? They were sleeping.
Here is Jesus, knowing He is about to go to the cross, praying earnestly with tears like drops of blood falling to the ground, and so distraught that He needs an angel from heaven to come to give Him strength, and His followers are sleeping. And Jesus calls them out for it. He instructs them to keep watch while He prays, so they don’t fall into temptation. And they don’t just fall asleep once. They fall asleep 3 times.
These were His followers. The ones who walked with him, and first handedly watched Him perform miracle after miracle. Feeding the 5000, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind…
And one of these disciples was Peter! The one who Jesus called to walk on water, yet the one would who deny Him 3 times very shortly after.
“Get up and pray so that you do not fall into temptation.” Luke 22: 46
I want to go back to the questions that I asked above, because I think these are questions that we need to be constantly asking ourselves.
If you knew what He promised you was coming tomorrow, how would that effect how you live your life today? If you knew that Jesus was coming back tomorrow, how would that effect how you lived today?
Would you be like the disciples who fell asleep as Jesus asked them to stay awake so they would not fall into temptation? Would you live stagnantly waiting the promise, or wholeheartedly doing His will? Would you only be asking God to provide the promise, or would you be asking Him to use you according to His will today? Would you be asking Him to help you be aware of all that He has for you in these moments?
Truth. If His ultimate promise came and Jesus was going to return tomorrow, there is a fallen world that needs to know of His love. There are broken people who need to know that He can make beauty of their ashes. There are people who cannot see, who need to know that there is One who can give sight to the blind.
I want to leave you with a hard truth. I said last week that the resurrection may be coming, but it might not feel that way. Jesus told His Father to take this cup from Him if at all possible, but nevertheless, His will be done. And then He carried His cross.
The resurrection couldn’t come unless Jesus carried His cross.
The resurrection couldn’t come unless Jesus carried His cross. Him rising from the dead couldn’t come without every step of obedience to the Father’s will, even if every step was painful. The promise doesn’t come while you are sleeping, temptation does.
Beautiful one, your resurrection, His promise doesn’t come without every step of obedience to the Father.
Do you know what I want? I want His promise in my life to be about Him, because it is. I don’t want to focus so much on His promise that my focus is taken away from Him, and from today. I want my strength to come from Christ alone. A strength that I can only claim came from heaven. I want to be obedient, to the point where when the promise happens (and you know what even if it doesn’t), I can look straight in His eyes and through tears of gratitude say I believed You. I believed what You said was true, even when I couldn’t see. I followed as You called even when it didn’t make sense. And even when my faith was shaken, You were faithful.
And my friends, I want the same for you.