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Willing – The Plan

We’ve been talking about Matthew 26:41…

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41

But if we back up a few verses, we can see that Jesus really sets the stage of His flesh being weak.

“Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.” Matthew 26:38

The New Living Translation puts it this way, “He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matthew 26:38 NLT

The Message version says it like this, “This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me.” Matthew 26:38 MSG

Let me just say this, the reason we give into our flesh so much is because of our weariness and heaviness of this life.

This is nothing new to humanity. It has been this way since the fall of man.

Because life gets so heavy, it is easier to give in than to fight.

Because life has crushed us so much, it is easier to surrender to it than to stay in the battle. 

There have been so many disappointments, we would rather concede and compromise than to pick up our weapons and fight. 

The tunnel is so dark; we cannot even see the light at the end of it.

All of this is certainly real, but it is also a part of the devil’s plan for us to give into our flesh instead of the Spirit. 

The good news is that there are countless scriptures of hope in the midst of weariness. 

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31

“My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.” Psalm 119:28

“Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.” Psalm 105:4

Jesus gives us a great example that we must continually fight to not give into the flesh….

“And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.” Matthew 26:44

It is not that three times is a magical formula, but it is an example that we should not stop just because we tried once.  

My will and God’s will, they will always battle! 

They do not want the same thing – EVER!

Jonah was a good example of this…

 “The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish. 

But the Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart. (God at work trying to get Jonah’s attention)

Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. But all this time Jonah was sound asleep down in the hold. (it is always easier to sleep then to fight when you are running from God)

So the captain went down after him. “How can you sleep at a time like this?” he shouted. “Get up and pray to your god! Maybe he will pay attention to us and spare our lives.” Then the crew cast lots to see which of them had offended the gods and caused the terrible storm. When they did this, the lots identified Jonah as the culprit.

“Why has this awful storm come down on us?” they demanded. “Who are you? What is your line of work? What country are you from? What is your nationality?” Jonah answered, “I am a Hebrew, and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.” The sailors were terrified when they heard this, for he had already told them he was running away from the Lord. “Oh, why did you do it?” they groaned.

And since the storm was getting worse all the time, they asked him, “What should we do to you to stop this storm?”  “Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.” (the storm might have been Jonah’s fault, but it was God’s love that sent it)

Instead, the sailors rowed even harder to get the ship to the land. But the stormy sea was too violent for them, and they couldn’t make it.

Then they cried out to the Lord, Jonah’s God. “O Lord,” they pleaded, “don’t make us die for this man’s sin. And don’t hold us responsible for his death. O Lord, you have sent this storm upon him for your own good reasons.” Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once!

The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him. Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.”

Jonah 1:1-17

God loved Jonah so much, he allowed a great fish to swallow him.

It was in the belly that Jonah finally came to his senses and repented. 

Sometimes God has to take us to some terrible places for us to STOP giving into our flesh!

Whatever you have been fighting God on, can you simply just say today, “NOT MY WILL, but Thine be done?”

When God asks you to do something, STOP running the opposite way.

Stop sleeping away your heaviness and get up and fight. 

You can trust His purpose and His plan! 

Kent Elliott

Senior Pastor | Faith Tabernacle | Manchester, CT

Sr Pastor at Faith Tabernacle / President & Lead Consultant, FAITHWORKS Image Consulting. Husband to Crystal & father to Kaylea, Johnny (SIL) & Chase.

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