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Ceases to pray

 

Do you remember Jesus’ three-fold warning to His disciples as they entered the Garden of Gethsemane? “Pray that you enter not into temptation.” Jesus didn’t say temptation could be avoided. He said they should pray to not enter into the temptation which was coming. What temptation? Luke doesn’t record the disciple’s failure. Everybody knows what it is… it was prophesied in the O.T. and recorded in Matthew 26 and Mark 16.

The disciples all scattered and fled the Lord when He was arrested. It was sin to them because they each, to a man, pledged to go to death for Jesus. For the first time in over three years, they were no longer following Jesus, the Lord of their life. Each man exited his process with God and lost hope.

This story is not just about denying the Lord. Yes, denying the Lord is big, but the larger problem is what exiting our process does to our inner man.

  • When we exit God’s process we lose hope.
  • When we exit God’s process all our words from the Lord come crashing to the ground —- all dreams, visions, hopes, and promises.
  • Everything abruptly ends.

It is like committing spiritual suicide. This is Satan’s ultimate goal when he tempts us. He desires to crush us and to snatch away our hope right before our words are birthed. Satan loves performing spiritual abortions.

I believe this is why all except one disciple died a martyr’s death. Look at Matthew 26:31-35 and Mark 14:31 & 50. All the disciples vowed the previous evening to die for the Lord.  They all failed to fulfill that promise. Their boasting wasn’t just empty platitudes. They meant what they proudly stated. Later in life when the same temptation came to deny the Lord and run, they each fulfilled their promise. Early church history confirms it. Jesus had other plans for John. (John 21:18-23)

According to scripture the Lord always provides for us a way of escape and to bear temptation’s grasp.

 

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. I Corinthians 10:13

 

Jesus made it out of the garden of Gethsemane with His process intact.  From a fleshly perspective, it appeared as though Jesus was trapped and the disciples escaped. In reality, the disciples were ensnared and Jesus alone escaped temptation.  Outward circumstances are not a reliable indicator of spiritual realities. Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane was not a prayer of hopelessness and defeat. It was a prayer of surrender to His Father’s will.  In surrender, Jesus found the strength to continue in His process and overcome.

The truth is the Lord always wants His children to walk in victory. Three times the Lord warned His disciples about being in caught in temptation’s snare. This warning went unheeded. Most of us operate just like the disciples… we believe we can handle it…only to find we can’t. The good news is the Lord provides a way of escape. This doesn’t mean the road automatically turns into Easy Street. It does mean we will be able to bear what is about to transpire…with God’s help.  The key is being able to discern God’s path. This is why Jesus exhorted His disciple’s to pray.

God is not trying to keep His will from you today. He is trying to get you to understand and walk in truth. Take the time to get to know His best for you this week. Temptations are coming… wouldn’t it be great if you avoided those old pitfalls instead of falling head forward into Satan’s snares?

 

Blessings – From God’s Incubator,

Pastor