Matthew 26:47-56

Matthew 26:47-56

I don't like this uncomfortable feeling of being in God's hands and not knowing what He's going to do with me, but I have become convinced...there is no safer place to be.These are the same choices we make every day. Life is laid before us, and we can do our best to make things work. We can stand up in our strength and prove to everyone around us how great we are and make it work. Or, we can look to the Father and, regardless of how tough that road may seem, trust that He is going to make it right…

You know, the problem I have in my life is sometimes I talk about prayer, but I don’t always desire to be in that place, in that time, to make the effort… Sometimes my pillow looks very tempting even when God has gone out of His way to wake me up and not let me feel tired. I’ll lay there and wrestle with my pillow rather than get up and wrestle in prayer… [Jesus] told Peter, “Watch and pray just one hour with Me so that you can overcome, so that when you’re tempted, you can stand firm.” I think this is why we struggle so much in our life with temptation, why we fall so easily, is because we do not take that time to watch and pray…

Sometimes it is God’s will and God’s desire for us to be challenged, and not only challenged, but threatened. And not only threatened, but sacrificed… And that is the hard thing for us. Do we believe that the God Who created us truly knows us? Does the God, Who claims through His Word to love you, truly love you? And the God Who says that all things work together for the good to those that love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose — all things. “Will my suffering, will my hardship, work together for good? Lord, how can this be? How can You allow for me to be uncomfortable, to be uninformed, not knowing the next step? Lord, how can You allow for this to happen?” And I know many of us through our lives have found ourselves in those times of struggle and trouble, and just like Jesus, we have the opportunity to either trust and believe, or to be like Peter and to pull out the sword and start lopping off ears. You know, before you use your sword, though, you should know your enemy…

But what if God wants you to suffer? What if God wants you to be in that hard place? What if God chooses for you to be standing in the fire? We don’t often think that way, do we? What if it is God’s will for me to lose all that I have in this flesh? What if it’s His will? Do I have the strength and the intestinal fortitude to stand up and say, “If He wanted to deliver me, He could.” Him delivering me is not the issue here, but am I willing to be sacrificed? That’s the issue. Am I willing to be used in the hand of the God Who created all there is? That is the issue. You know what? Sometimes, God has to create instruments that go into the fire in order to stir up the fire. What if you’re one of those instruments? None of us like going into the fire. None of us like being used for those hard, unbearable tasks that we believe are going to take our very life from us… The point isn’t to be delivered. The next time you find yourself in a crisis, the next time you find yourself standing in a place of hardship, stop and think for a minute. Do we want to cry out, “My God, my God, deliver me” or do we cry out, “Father, have Your way with me. Do as You will, not as I will.” It’s a hard place to be. It’s a hard concept to understand…

The enemy to this world is still sin. Jesus conquered over death and took sin upon Himself, so that men do not have to die and be separated from His Father, but yet, we are still faced with the choice of sin each and every day, and we have friends around us who are living separated from God because of their sin, and they don’t have to. The enemy can be defeated. Jesus has defeated. All we need to do is stand up and proclaim it, and let people know that there is victory over the life that they are stuck in. We don’t have to go beat them up. We don’t have to battle with them. We just simply step out and say, “Lord, You use me. Use me as You will… How about me being at Your disposal.” Imagine that… That’s what the Holy Spirit says to us, “Let Me use you as I will,” and sometimes that’s uncomfortable. Sometimes that means having to step up and talk to people you don’t want to talk to. Being blunt and honest, even with yourself. Addressing issues in your own life as you address issues in other people’s lives…

I don’t like this uncomfortable feeling of being in God’s hands and not knowing what He’s going to do with me, but I have become convinced, I am in His hands, and you know what? There is no safer place to be, no better place to be, because if there’s a fire out there that He wants to stick me into, it’s by His hand that I’m going there. If rough times are going to face us, it’s going to face us because God has desired that for us, and are we at a place where we can say, “Your will be done, not mine”? That we could set aside our comfort?…

Watch and pray. I can’t come back to that enough. Watch and pray. Always be about praying for what God is going to have for you to do next, and be watching for the enemy that’s out there. Watch for life as it comes your way. If your eyes are open and you see the disaster coming, at least you can brace yourself for it. You may not have an escape. There may be no where for you to go, but at least then you can brace yourself and say, “Father, I know You can, if You desire, deliver me from this, but if it is not Your will, then let me meet this head on and honor You as I go through it. That’s what Jesus was about…

It’s not about whether I live, but it’s about how I live to that moment that my life is required. Guess what? We’ll all die. Even if we’re raptured, the flesh has to die. God isn’t going to receive this flesh into heaven. It’s going to fall away. All of us will lose what we’re familiar with. One day we will be challenged with the ultimate end. For some of us, it could be tomorrow, for others it could be seventy years, but we’ve been given a message to watch and to pray, to be prepared, to stand firm, and to understand that when the Father’s desire is being fulfilled, that we can trust Him. We can trust Him to bring us through even the hard times rather than delivering us from it. It’s not about being delivered from the hardship, but it’s about standing with God through the hardship and seeing what He does with it in the other side as we go through it.

Pastor Dave Elkins