Temptation- Disobedience to God
From the Sistine Chapel-Creation of Adam
Matthew 26:38, 39, 42 Then saith He unto them, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death”: tarry ye here, and watch with Me, And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it, thy will be done.”
Mark 14:35, 36 And He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father……”
Luke 22 44 And being in agony He prayed earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Have you ever been asked to do something you just did not want to do and you fought doing it with every ounce of your being? I certainly have! We procrastinate, we scheme, we avoid, and at times we just plain refuse to do what has been asked or required of us. It has a word for all these activities: DISOBEDIENCE. It is the opposite of obedience. Obedience is just doing what we are asked to do without backtalk, justification, or procrastination.
In the movie, The Young Messiah, I was struck by the ability of the young actor who played the character of Jesus to portray obedience and yet convey the temptation to be disobedient to those in authority over Him. Why? In the movie, (which is fiction based on historical records of the times) the young Jesus is discovering WHO He is and asking questions His earthly parents are unprepared to answer or did not feel He was quite ready to hear and understand. As a parent, I have seen those expressions of disgust, frustration, questioning, and dismay cross the faces of my own children when asked to do something they did not want to do or they did not feel was necessary or they had asked a question and the only answer they were given was, “Because I said so,” or “We will talk about it later.” Oh the eye rolling and clenched jaws.
Obedience in our flesh is difficult. We want things to go our way. We are selfish. We want answers to our questions, right now! Sometimes, we just plain do not agree or want to do what has been asked of us. The very real temptation is to be disobedient. Obedience will cost us our independence.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer is quoted as saying, “one act of obedience is worth one hundred sermons.”
Obedience is reflective of love, respect, and devotion. “Only he who believes is obedient and only he who is obedient believes,” writes Bonhoeffer who gave his life for the cause of Christ in Nazi Germany.
Jesus as He faces Golgatha’s horrible hill is tempted with disobedience. He gives us an example of how to wrestle this temptation to the ground. He falls down in prayer not a temper tantrum. He goes to the Father and says He is willing to do what the Father is asking, despite the difficulty of the task. The struggle was REAL! He is sweating blood! He had a choice. He chose God’s way and in the process saved my soul (and yours). He did God’s bidding the for “joy set before Him.” (Hebrews 12:2)
Abraham was called a “friend of God” because he was obedient to the point of being willing to sacrifice his son of the promise on an altar! (Genesis 15:6, James 2:23) Do you desire this kind of relationship with the Father? It will require obedience. Immediate. Determined. No questions asked. Just do it! (Nike slogan for the athlete in us.) Yes, there may be pain, difficulty, struggle, loss, and possibly even death. I will not sugar coat this fact. It may be very hard. It was for Jesus. We have a High Priest who understands and He goes before the Father Himself to intercede for us. (Hebrews 4:15, Hebrews 7:25)
David was called a “man after God’s heart,” even in disobedience because he did not blame another for his disobedience. He accepted the consequences and continued to serve God believing He is just. (I Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22)
What name will God call you? Ponder this today. He has called you to something. Have you responded in obedience or disobedience? Follow the example of Christ and wrestle the temptation of disobedience to the ground by falling on your knees in prayer. He will raise you up in strength for the task, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8)
Lift My Life Up by Unspoken
Treading in good company