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Friday, November 7, 2014

Times Of Refreshing

Matthew 26 : 40 - 45, Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done." And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. NKJV
Today I would like to use relationship terms to convey what salvation is and what it isn’t. Salvation isn’t a date where you meet someone and make a connection, but then later move on to someone else. Instead, salvation is much like entering a marriage covenant, which is to last until death. Salvation is only the beginning of our relationship and walk with Jesus. After accepting Jesus and His love into our hearts, we begin the process of being made complete in Christ and of furthering our journey toward heaven. Nevertheless, just as in other relationships, salvation requires commitment, determination, and endurance.
One of the greatest depictions of salvation in the Bible is the story of the Israelites when they were delivered from Egypt (sin) and given the promise of God’s rest in their own land. Even so, the only thing that God asked of the Jews when He brought them to His holy hill (Mount Sinai) is that they hear His commands and obey His voice. Nonetheless, in order for them to accomplish God’s demands, they had to live and walk by faith.
You see; salvation is more than just eternal life; we must also live it out daily. As we all know, salvation is by promise. Consequently, we must fulfill our part of the covenant, as did the Jews... if they wanted to inherit the promise of salvation when they were delivered from the land of bondage. There’s much more I could say regarding the subject of salvation being a promise; however, that isn’t the reason for today’s word. The Holy Spirit prompted me to write this special devotion for His people today to expose the weariness that is so prevalent in the church.
The weariness that the Lord wants to address doesn’t necessarily come from manual labor. Instead, it comes from being spiritually exhausted. How is it possible for believers to become weary without physical labor? Did you notice in today’s scripture that it was because the disciples were exhausted that they didn’t obey Jesus’ command to pray so that they wouldn’t enter into temptation?
Spiritual fatigue can prevent believers from fulfilling the things that are NEEDFUL in order to maintain their spiritual strength, so that they can endure the rigors of being righteous in a fallen world. Weariness in believers is mainly attributed to being exhausted of patience, tolerance, and pleasure, thus we become tired. You will know that you are spiritually weary when you can’t muster the strength to pray, fast, praise, or obey God’s voice.
Weariness will also zap your joy, which is a fruit of the Spirit and comes from simply taking the time to be in the presence of the Lord. The word of God tells us plainly that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Therefore, if we’re too tired to receive joy from being in the presence of the Lord, as the disciples were that night with Jesus, then, just like them, we will grow weary in well doing and could possibly faint. Faint simply means that we stop moving forward; it could also mean that we have fallen away from the Lord and gone back to our old ways. Thus, our relationship with Christ requires much time and attention so that we are able to grow in our faith and overcome anything that might try to stand in our way and keep us from successfully completing the race.
In conclusion, Jesus repeatedly tried to get the disciples to pray, but they allowed their weariness in the flesh to overrule the desire of the Spirit. As a result of the disciples’ unwillingness to pray, every one of them entered into temptation and denied Christ. So if you’re weary to the point of backing off any of the aforementioned items that help to keep us spiritually strong, then begin praying today; ask the Lord to give you a desire to pray so that you will overcome temptation. Restoration of all things begins with prayer. Let us pray!
Encouraging You in the Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery 

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