It is so very easy to do something when you want to do it. Our very nature — that of free will — dictates that our efforts are assisted by our attitude. I have told my sons all the time to build their ambition around something they love — and they will never work a day in their lives. This is not to say that you will not have struggles or trials; just that you will have more desire for accomplishment.
But what about when you don’t want to? What about when your spirit is so low that you don’t feel like living, much less working? What do you do when your body is so racked with pain that you’d sooner die than do what needs to be done? What do you do when the task seems so difficult that even though you love it, you can’t seem to get motivated?
This is where people get all super-spiritual and say “just pray or praise your way through it.” And I’m here to tell you that sometimes that helps. But sometimes you need a little more motivation.
Let’s let Jesus be our example.
Luke 22:41-44 (ESV Strong’s) 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Now, before I get to Jesus, let’s take a look at a couple of pre-Jesus examples.
Jonah got a memo from God to go preach a message of repentance to Nineveh. But because of his fear and prejudice, he decided to run from his assignment. Unfortunately for Jonah — but fortunate for us — Jonah’s work caught up with him and swallowed him and spit him out. This experience became a type and shadow of Jesus as he was three days and nights in the belly of the fish. Eventually, Jonah got out of his feelings and went to do what he was called to do and, as a result, the Ninevites were spared.
David — yep that David — conceived a child with a woman who was not his wife. And this child — his firstborn — died. In 2 Samuel 12:20, it says that when David realized his child had died, he got up, washed himself and changed his clothes and went to worship. David had to get out of his feelings to encourage himself in the Lord.
Now, back to Jesus. Here’s the deal, Jesus came to earth to teach and exemplify God’s unconditional Love and His unlimited Grace. He came to redeem and restore us unto God. He came to make us free.
But in order to do that, He had to die a horrible, agonizing death.
Jesus was fully God but He was also fully man. He was a man fully aware of His divine assignment. His humanity was always in tune with His divinity. Jesus went into the Garden to pray because He knew His humanity needed help. But before he was delivered up to be killed, Jesus had to go through an agonizing preparation. Sweating drops of blood is called hematohidrosis; it is a very painful condition brought on by stress.
Jesus didn’t want to die!
Jesus was a man who knew exactly what He had to do. He was so focused in His purpose and assignment that He spoke with the confidence of heaven. He exemplified speaking those things that were not as though they were. Most of all, Jesus was a man who worked precisely in the capacity He wanted:
Hebrews 12:2 (ESV) looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
It was for His joy that Jesus went to the cross. We say the joy of the Lord is our strength but the Joy of Jesus is in us! He loves us so much that he was willing — as a man — to subject Himself to a torturous death to save us.
And it’s right here that the shouting moment comes: every miracle Jesus did — every healing, every cleansing, every forgiving, every raising — He did as a man, not as God! He did these things as a man to demonstrate to us what we can do when we are plugged into our purpose and walking out our assignment.
It’s no big deal for God to do these kinds of things. In fact, the disciples even asked “what manner of man is this…” (Mark 4:41)
See, Jesus is showing us how to deal with stuff. Isaiah 53:3 tells us He is a Savior who is acquainted with our sorrows. That means God has empathy for you. In fact, He has so much empathy that He essentially sent Himself to live among us — so He could see thing through our eyes!
I’m not saying it’s gonna be easy. But Jesus has shown us the way.
© 2017 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)