We are living in a world where the word of God is being challenged, twisted and disregarded on every hand. The disrespect shown for God is having an effect on every soul. Just as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah vexed the righteous soul of Lot everyday by their ungodly ways and blatant opposition to the principles of God, so are we vexed by the spirit that is in the world. But we must battle. We are called to be soldiers in the army of Jesus Christ. We fight a spiritual battle against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)
To fight and win we must be on our knees before God often. Daniel openly prayed three times a day while in captivity in a heathen land. Christ prayed often before his disciples and alone. He prayed before his greatest trial- the crucifixion, with such earnestness that great drops of blood fell like sweat from his brow. (Luke 22:44)
Shortly after this prayer, he was taken captive and led away by a band of soldiers. All of his close friends, the disciples, forsook him. Only Peter was brave enough to follow afar off. But when recognized as one of his disciples, fear took hold and faith gave way and he denied that he even knew Christ, cursing as he did.
Yet Christ warned all of his disciples afore time. In the garden before he went off to pray he told them, “Pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” (Luke 22:40)
Christ could not have endured the cross, if he had forsaken those hours of prayer. The disciples may have stood in his defense if they had listened to the commandment of Christ and prayed earnestly with him.
Immediately following his prayer in Gethsemane, Christ was led away by soldiers and taken and mocked, ridiculed and severley abused. They smote him, laughed at him, spit upon him. All of his closest friends left him alone to deal with is all. What a horrible trial to face. But as I read this morning of this account in Luke 22, I am struck by some of the first words Christ gives in answer to their mockings:
“And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.“ (Luke 22:66-69)
Christ was completely alone and multitudes were against him, even Kings and religious authorities. Yet His faith did not fail him. He knew that he had a place prepared of His Father for Him, and no matter what all the world accused Him of, He did not back down on who He was nor the authority He held. He fought the battle on His knees in Gethsemane and won! Now it was just a matter of going through.
Sometimes it is easy to just read through the scriptures and gather a little comfort from years passed. But lets bring this home- today.
How the world is mocking the people of God. Religious hypocrites abound and at times are the worse persecutors of a true Christian.
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (1Peter 3:3-4)
Is not this just how it is today? People are mocking God and disregarding Christ as just another prophet of old, and they are challenging our faith and belief in Christ on every hand. This is the majority of the world around us. When we witness that we are a child of God, we hear such things as, “Well everyone is a child of God.” When we say that we have been saved from sin and changed to a saint we are told, “You think you are the only ones going to heaven. You think you are holier than anyone else.” No desire to understand and know Christ, but, instead, a mockery, trying to breakdown our faith. These are “swine-spirits”, trampling our testimony under their feet and then turning again to tear us apart. (Matt. 7:6)
And like Christ, our only desire for them, is that they would be saved and make heaven their home. That they would partake with us of the beautiful Lamb of God.
In John 14 Christ has a very special message for us in these very unstable and troubling times;
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
He wanted us to know, as He also knew, that there is a place prepared for us, beyond this world. He wanted us to know, that he is going to prepare that place for us. It took Him dying on the cross to prepare a place for us. It took the cruel mockings, beatings and horrible torcher that He suffered on the cross, to prepare that place for us. And he was telling His disciples and all who follow Him, “If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Isn’t that so precious? Christ has prepared a place for us. Let us lift up our voice to Him in praise. Let us see with our spiritual eyes, that wonderful home prepared for us by the LORD JESUS CHRIST himself, and let us pray always, that we would be kept from the hour of temptation. It is so needful that we keep this vision in view. This world is not our home. We are just passing through.
The battle is won on our knees. Christ was our perfect example of that. And He stood, confident, though forsaken by all, that he had a place prepared for him. We too, though forsaken by all, can stand confident in our position before God and that we have a place prepared with our personal name on it. If we just keep praying, today and always, “Lord, not my will, but thine be done . . . keep me this day from all evil . . . let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight . . .”
May God bless you!