Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Words of Encouragement

The rocks on the shore are beat continually with the waves of the water. Yet as much as the water hits them, they continue to stand in the same place. It must be the same with you and I. The waves of life my try to come and over take us, but we must continue to stand. We must ask God to help us fulfill his will for our lives so that we do not turn around and drift away from the weight of the waves.

Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." - Mark 13:45

Take My Life. Take My Will...Conform it. Jesus is facing a most difficult time, preparing himself for the cross. To prepare himself for the cross he goes away to pray. As he is praying, he ask God to remove this requirement of sacrifice. It is not because he is disobedient or does not love the Father. It is because his flesh must go through more than you and I can even image. Not his flesh only. His emotions will also have to go through this process. If you recall the scripture Jesus calls out "Father why have you forsaken me?"

This cry out was from the agony Jesus suffered at the separation he felt from the Father because of the sins upon him. He felt isolated. The Father was still there, yet his connection felt broken. It is because of that which he knew was to come that he asked God to remove it. Yet, he says, not my will but yours.

In essence what Jesus was saying is, conform my will to yours. Take my will and shape it into yours. If we are to walk like Jesus, we too will be called to release our wills into the hand of the Father.

Jesus shows us something very important. When we are required to release our will we need to step aside and pray that God would conform us to his will. We will need the strength of the Father for what we are going to face. We will face giving up our lives for His purpose and will. In that time we will even wonder, Father why have you forsaken me? We will face the isolation we feel as if the Father is not speaking and has left us alone.

We will face the agony that will rip our flesh. It may not be the cross, yet the agony of betrayal, hurt, disease, lost of loved ones all rip at our flesh and makes us want to say please remove this cup.

Yet, we submit our wills to God and say, not our will but yours. We can take the encouragement that even in the midst of whatever situation we face, God is still our Father. He has not left us alone to handle our situations. He has only allowed the pressure of it, to mold our wills into his.

Today I pray, Lord take our wills and conform them to yours. Help us love to do your will, even when it calls for us to sacrifice ourselves for the process. Give us the strength and continue to direct our paths. Help us in those times when we feel that you have left us alone. Reassure us of your presence and your love for us. This I ask, in Jesus name.