DayBreaks for 9/15/17: Your Garden of Gethsemane
From the DayBreaks archive, 9/2007:
Have you ever stopped to think how many decisions you will make in any given day? We make decisions all the time without even thinking about it. When we think of decisions, we tend to think of the weightier matters of life – and that’s a good thing. Weighty matters deserve lots of thought as we try to decide what to do. Hopefully, if you are a Christian, the very first thing you contemplate is whether or not the thing you are doing is in God’s will. Regardless of whatever other factors you choose to apply to decisions you are facing and making, that one should be the most prominent.
How do you know His will? I’m not going to try to provide an exhaustive list here, but certainly His revealed and written Word is our primary tool for discerning his will. If we cavalierly throw that out the window, we have no solid basis for a decision. God expects us to follow the Word when we are facing decisions. That means we have to accept it as truth, not try to explain it away or rationalize why it doesn’t apply to us.
One of my favorite stories about the life of Jesus has to do with his night in the garden of Gethsemane, my favorite place in the Holy Land. I am moved by that story – even more, I think, that by the story of the crucifixion itself. Physical pain is one thing, but spiritual pain can be far worse. It was in the garden that we’re told Jesus was in agony – not on the cross. (I’m not minimizing what happened upon those old timbers – I am sure there was incredible agony there, too.) It was in the garden that he wrestled with both flesh and blood and principalities and powers in the heavenly places. Why? Because in the garden he was faced with the decision that would form the crux of his life. It all culminated there, in the shadows of the olive trees, as the Son of God knelt down in the dirt and made the most crucial decision in all of history: would he do things his way, or God’s way?
There are times and decisions in our lives that are seemingly insignificant (although I’d like to argue that one with you – notice I said “seemingly insignificant”), but then there are moments that clearly rise into the stratosphere in terms of importance. At those times we are faced with our own garden of Gethsemane. We must decide whether our prayer will be, “Nevertheless, my will not Thine be done,” or if we’ll echo Jesus’ words: “Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done.”
You may be wrestling with a decision today that has life-altering potential, that once made may not be able to be undone ever. Have you considered what God’s Word would say about it? If you know how God feels about it, what will you do about it? You may be facing your own garden of Gethsemane right now. What will your prayer be?
PRAYER: Spirit, help us not to fail the test in moments of crisis. Strip away Satan’s deceptions from our eyes so that we can see what is at stake in the decisions of life! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>