By Dr. Harold Sala

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.  Luke 22:42

Of all the sites in Israel which are significant, none touches my emotions more than the Garden of Gethsemane on the gentle slopes of the Mount of Olives across from the walled city where the golden dome of the Mosque of Omar glistens in the sun and glows in the moonlight.

What is so touching about Gethsemane?  Well, for one thing, we are relatively certain that it was here where Jesus, burdened with the tremendous load of what was happening, poured out His anguish before God.  The gnarled olive trees in the garden are old, very old.  Botanists believe that either they grew from tender shoots of trees which were there at the time of Jesus’ sojourn on earth or else they were already growing as actual trees.

Frankly, God does not always deliver you from the evil or the need that drives you to go one on one with God, but He does give you the strength and the grace to endure and to do so joyfully.

The word Gethsemane means “olive press,” and today you still see the great mill stones that pressed the olives producing the oil used for cooking, for lamps, and for healing.  As the cross loomed before Him, Jesus took the disciples and went to Gethsemane where He went one on one with the Father.  Luke tells us that a short distance from the disciples, Jesus knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

There was no crowd, not even the Twelve, who had fallen asleep—only Jesus, who knelt and prayed as a shroud of loneliness covered the spot, something which more than a few have experienced when they were at the point of absolute desperation and they knelt in humility before God and poured out their anguish in fervent prayer, sealed with burning tears.  Nothing can be deeper, more serious or meaningful.

In Jesus’ example and prayer, I see several guidelines which form a pattern when we face the Gethsemane of our lives.   First, Jesus prayed to the Father.  This speaks of a relationship. He knew He was the Son of God.  Nothing is more fundamental when it comes to answered prayer than knowing you have become a son of God through faith in Jesus Christ, adopted into the great family of God.  It is because you are sons that God hears your prayer.

Then Jesus prayed personally.  It was something He had to do, and it is something that you must do as you, too: go one on one with God.  Jesus also prayed persistently.  Matthew tells us that three times, Jesus poured out His soul in deep, fervent prayer.  This was God’s Son.  Doesn’t God hear my prayer the first time I pray?  Yes, but there are times when we must prevail in prayer, holding to the promises of God, bringing our thoughts to focus on what we are asking God to do.

Jesus also prayed according to the will of God.  The traditional text says Jesus prayed, saying, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42, KJV).  The highest form of faith is praying “nevertheless” as you yield to the will of the Father, trusting Him for His grace and strength to do what He wants.  It always leaves the door open for God to answer your prayer differently from what you think He should.

And what happened?  God delivered Him so that He would not have to drink of the cup?  No, God sent an angel, who strengthened Him as He prayed even more earnestly.

Frankly, God does not always deliver you from the evil or the need that drives you to go one on one with God, but He does give you the strength and the grace to endure and to do so joyfully.

Never, never be afraid to go one on one with God in the hour of need, for only then will you discover His grace.

Resource reading: Luke 22:39-46

Speaker, author and Bible teacher, Dr. Harold Sala founded Guidelines in 1963. Pioneering the five-minute commentary in Christian radio, Dr. Sala’s daily “Guidelines-A Five Minute Commentary on Living” is broadcast in 49 of the 50 states and is heard the world over in a variety of languages.

Sala, who holds a Ph.D. in biblical text, has authored over 60 books published in19 languages. He speaks and teaches frequently at conferences, seminars, and churches worldwide. Residing in Mission Viejo, California, Harold and his wife, Darlene, have three adult children and eight well-loved grandchildren.

HELP JACOB’S FOUNTAIN KEEP THE ARTICLES FLOWING. This website is not sponsored in any way by any organization. If God is leading you to send some help, you can do so via credit card or Paypal using the DONATE button below



Designed by Freepik