God the Father is always there at the ultimates of your life. Finally, you deal with Him, but only after you push through the issues within you, the separation layers between you and His final word on the subject.
Hebrews 5 says, “In the days of His flesh, He had offered up prayers and petitions with intense weeping and tears to the One with the capacity to rescue Him from death, and was heard in that he feared.”
These words speak to the pregnancies of personal prayer, the Gethsemane oil press of personal experience, the crucible of mundane life and living in which we learn the obedience of surrender decisions. A tension exists at the ultimates of our destinies and purposes that we face every day in preparation for crisis times.
We think we will be prepared for great things when we do them. We think we will be ready for massive moments because they are destiny-set events. We think “man, when I get my chance to shine, then it will become obvious that I am that person my prophetic words say I am.” We think.
In truth, “in the days of our flesh” we face the ultimates rising from particulars of life, from the days of our living, from the mundane stuff of relationships, the myriad decisions we make daily that define who we are more than spotlight moments of performance.
The difference is like comparing stage set actor performing scripts and reality TV of what we do when presented with stress and strain of living the days of our flesh. There was no difference between Jesus in the spotlight before thousands and the Jesus of His reality TV. He was never a performer “getting into character” for a performance. He was that Man – Son of Man, Son of God.
Mundane and Ultimate Decisions
Character is built in the mundane of life, not the ultimates. However, mundane life decisions push us toward ultimates. Every day we live, walking in the Light of the Father, we have fellowship with Father, and the Blood of His Son, Jesus, cleanses us from all sin. The consistent, stable life and living of a saint surfaces sin to be cleansed.
However, the ultimates are deeper. They deal with destiny and purpose. They deal with ownership and obedience. They require a deeper surrender of trust that touches us where ownership issues are filed away. The crisis the oil press releases reveals the real juice within us, what the neighbors hear when they listen at the door of our apartment, what the people who knows us best and still love us anyway are aware of.
Jesus experienced the ultimate of these issues at Gethsemane’ oil press, in prayer, in surrender, and He reached the end point of surrender. The end point of a process of surrender, a life of surrender decisions consistent with the “I delight to do Your will, O God” prophesied of Him. Jesus didn’t just fall on a big rock in a garden and suddenly decide to surrender; He had surrendered a thousand times a week for years to get to that moment of ultimates.
He prayed to pass His Resurrection. He prayed to pass an overcoming grace for the effort of hell to kill Him before He got to the Cross. He prayed to pass a restoration of kingdom purposes that could and would stand without Him being present to establish them.
Every Day Oil Press
The questions of ultimate destiny are enormous. The destiny questions answered each day are simpler: is Jesus Lord of my time, tongue, tithe, and temperament? Is Jesus Lord of my family, finances, physical body, and friendships? Is Jesus Lord? Every day decisions about what I say and do reflect the surrender decisions that include what I value and how I behave.
In these daily grinds, Jesus was perfect. Tested by life, He maintained a moral and ethical purity consistent with a person totally surrendered to Father. He walked in the Light and needed no cleansing. He couldn’t die a redeeming death without having lived a redeeming life. He couldn’t establish eternally what was not perfect. He could not reset God’s will for humans without being the perfect human.
For me and you, the process is different. We are flawed and receiving our fullest restoration. We cannot become someone without living as that someone should live. We cannot walk into destiny apart from living in destiny every day we live. We must become who we were created to be in the thousand different decisions we make “in the days of flesh.”
Father is always revealing something in Light that requires the Blood application. It is not covering. It is cleansing. Get that worked into your life and living right now, saint of God! It is not covering. It is cleansing. The Blood doesn’t excuse something away and act like it isn’t really there (even though we know it is) as if redemption is perfect avoidance behavior on God’s part and our consciousness!
There is destruction in redemption. Removal. Sin is forgiven. Sin is broken. Sin is removed. We are cleansed, free, without something that we previous had.
Stop the merry-go-round of religious excuses for your bad behavior, the shallow justifications you make for your poor decisions, and stop walking by flesh in the days of your flesh! Get the cleansing you need by surrendering these issues to the power of the Cross and Spirit. Repent.
The questions of life, destiny, and purpose were tested in Jesus’ temptation experiences with satan and in challenges with his closest friends and family. Each time the issues spoken about were fundamental to purpose. The hissing whisper of the liar says, “you can alter your identity in tiny ways without that affecting the ultimates.” Liar!
The questions of destiny and purpose aren’t about whether or not I should watch something wicked on TV, have I put something ahead of Jesus and His kingdom Lordship, or should I prostitute myself this way to get something I want by sacrificing my friends on the altar of ambition. I reach these levels of betrayal by altering ‘who I really am in God’ in smaller things, demanding that I get what I want in the wrong way, at the wrong time, and doing this at the expense of destiny and purpose because I want to be ‘someone I am not’ and do ‘things I am not assigned to do.’
Destiny decisions always come back to ownership. Are my spirit, soul, and body owned by God? Or, do I maintain a clause in the contract that allows me to opt out of certain demands? Do I get to take over when things aren’t going the way I believe they should?
Character is built in mundane daily surrender. Crisis reveals what’s really in us. When God asks for your Isaac. When your son is diagnosed with cancer. When you want to do ministry your own way just so you can be in control. When you can either walk out your calling by leaving all or stay comfortable in your little American dream life. When you cry out, ‘Why do I have to do this when others don’t?” When you say, “God wouldn’t ask me to give up that, would He?” You will find someone to tell you God would never ask you to do that if you keep looking long enough – plenty of words for itching ears out there.
What will you do when you get the deeper tests? The days when you want to know why God isn’t doing a better job of being God. This is when the book of Job becomes collateral reading for your life. This is when you want to know why Jesus doesn’t just destroy all the religious people of His day and take over the world instead of spending all His time hanging out with a bunch of guys who will turn their backs on Him in the moment of His greatest challenge.
Welcome to the realities of God! It won’t be easy, but it is your destiny! It will drive you to your knees. And, you will so glad someone taught you how to pray. The flowing stream of a million surrender decisions will beach you where you can reach fulfillment and purpose! In that moment, you say “It is worth it all!”
You can’t learn a son’s obedience without learning intercession with your Father. You can’t learn obedience and intercession without doing it consistently in mundane seasons. Stable, consistent, every day, every week, every assignment. “Though He was a Son, still He learned obedience by what He suffered…”
Jesus is no stranger to Gethsemane. He’s been there many times before. We have few glimpses of His intimate moments with Father – oh wait! we actually have a treasure trove of glimpses! Behind every Gospel story moment is a silent movie of personal surrender in the place of oil press intercession.
Example: Hear Jesus’ words to the disciples, “satan has demanded permission to sift all of you disciples like wheat; Peter, I have prayed for you…” [Luke 22]
Prayed for Peter? When? Where? Why? Wow! The indistinguishable background of these startling statements reveals previous surrender decisions with His Father. Jesus surrendered a lot before He surrendered all. Gethsemane must be understood as a culmination of obedient decisions, not a moment of desperate avoidance: Jesus isn’t praying ‘not My will but Yours’ to escape something He was destined to do before He created the worlds! The point is that He has to do the stuff, make the surrender decision. The surrender decision is the stuff of obedience.
Jesus reveals that satan has been demanding permission, and the permission has been granted. By Father! Has Jesus appealed for a different outcome? Interceding that satan not be allowed to touch His friends? Of course! That’s the whole point of surrender: we don’t want this to happen this way, this time, to this person, in our lives—whatever. The struggle must birth surrender, however, for us to learn obedience.
Father says, I have given permission for a strategic reason. Jesus, the Leader, Discipler, and Friend has cried out, “Please, no! Please, Father, is there another way?” Jesus surrenders all His ministry, friends, disciples, strategies successfully fulfilled. Like Abraham’s faith in offering Isaac: “By faith, Abraham, tested, offered Isaac to God. Acting in faith and faithfully, he was as prepared to give back his promised son, his only heir, as he had been to receive him—and this after he had already been told, “Your offspring shall come through Isaac.” Abraham accounted that God would raise the offered sacrifice. In a sense, that’s what happened when he received Isaac back, alive from off the altar.” [Hebrews 11]
Jesus realizing the strategy of Father was to raise a restoring leader among His disciples, a leader to whom they would turn after the Resurrection, surrendered the ministry strategy He had lived, the only strategy there was for kingdom to be established on earth. Peter would become a voice heard among the disciples. They would all be sifted, and Peter would restore them. “Father, I trust You with that.”
Oh the risk when everything is on the line! Surrender at a new level occurs for Jesus at Gethsemane, but surrender at deeper levels has been occurring for a long time. Remember, He learned obedience. Prophets prophesied for centuries but Jesus had to do the stuff before the Word was full and fulfilled. “The Source was perfect.” Destiny has to happen! Purpose has to be established! That’s real for you today, here and now, where you live, work, workout, talk, read, watch, walk, and sleep. Then, when the ultimates arrive, you cash in what you’ve earned.
Settle it with God every moment so you will be settle with God when the ultimates arrive.