Tuesday, April 26, 2011
The Lord has been speaking to me about something. He may want to speak to you about it too. God's voice became stronger to me, as I reviewed the "Passion of the Christ" last week. I watched as Jesus pleaded, to the point of sweating blood, that God would make another way. Yet, there was silence. The Heavenly Father seemed absent as Jesus resolved to: "nevertheless Your will be done." Then, He "got up." He rose up in faith and continued His journey of God's will for Him.
When He was brutally beaten and asked to carry His cross, it seemed unthinkable that He could be losing so much blood and continue his walk to Golgatha. You can't help but wonder, under such suffering, why He didn't just lie on the ground and die . . . He could have avoided the pain of crucifixion. He didn't. (taking that route would not have fulfilled God's will) He "got up." And He kept "getting up." It seemed impossible that He could carry on . . . His suffering was beyond anything that we can imagine. Yet, it was Jesus who said, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible." (Matthew 19:26) It's because Jesus "got up" that we have eternal life . . . there was no other way. He had to carry the cross . . . He had to fulfill God's will regardless of the price. And we rejoice that He did.
But, here's where God has been speaking to me. I'm spending TOO much time in the Garden (of Gethsemane). He has answered me, He has spoken to me, and my cup will not pass. He has shown me His will. I'm not sure what you're going through in life, but I'm confident that there's something you want God to "take care of" . . . to "remove from your life," so that you can finally have peace and joy. He's told you to walk forward in His will, and like me, you're not getting up. You keep going back to the Garden asking God if there is another way . . . as if He suddenly came up with a better plan from the last time you cried out upon your knees. He wants us to "get up." The "Garden" time is over. It's time to walk forward in His will and carry the Cross. But more than that . . . it's time to start praising Him . . . because He's about to do something amazing, as we obey Him. Not in our strength, but in Christ's, we must keep focused on God . . . through the pain, through the tears, through the struggles of this life . . . God is preparing us for what lies ahead. He's strengthening our faith for the journey. If you haven't noticed it yet, if you're carrying a cross, you're becoming more like Christ than you ever imagined. The sufferings of this life are tools in the hands of God. He's chiseling away at the flesh and bringing forth a spirit that is filled with the character of Christ. God is always at work . . . He never slumbers . . . and He uses ALL things for good. ALL THINGS.
Jesus trusted in God. And if we're following Him, then we must trust God too. Regardless of what our eyes see, we must trust in the unseen. That is where hope is found. True hope.
Seven years ago, I came to a place of asking God to take my life . . . He did . . . just not in the way I had asked Him to. (He had another way!) His exact words in my darkest hour was, "Get up!" I thought it strange that He would be so stern, so seemingly "heartless," as I poured out my soul to Him. But, He knew the right words to say. And I "got up." I cannot tell you what an amazing journey this has been in following Christ. He has walked with me all the way. He's never left my side. My burdens have not been removed, but He has made them lighter. I've grown closer to God than I could ever fathom. Yet, as I've grown so much, I've come to a place of focusing too much on my burden and allowing my soul to be downcast . . . and once again, God is saying, "Get up!"
So, here's the thing . . . whatever your burden . . . God has purpose and reason for it. And He is with you always. He's not asking you to "get up" in your strength, but in His. And His voice is shouting from Heaven to you . . . and the message is clear:
"Get up! What are you doing down on your face?" (Joshua 7:10)
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