Tag Archives: garden of gethsamane

I Had Peace But My Relationship Still Fell To Pieces!

“You know how the pastor said not to do anything without peace? Well, I kept myself pure, got the consent of my parents, went through marriage counseling, and had great peace about the man I was marrying. Yet he turned out to be the wrong one. Emmanuel, I had peace but my marriage fell to pieces.”

It was clear that my friend’s previous experience was challenging the truth that had been preached. Choosing not to open a can of worms, I stuck to the topic of peace! To her comment, I replied:

Peace does not reveal the will of God for your life (the word from God does that); Peace confirms that you are moving in faith as you follow the will of God for your life. Moreover, there is a difference between the peace from God and the peace from man

PEACE OF GOD

Consider the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus’ sweat became as droplets of blood as he resisted sin. The passage of scripture in Luke 22 tells us that Jesus was in anguish. In other words, peace was the last word we can use to describe what Jesus felt in the garden as he asked the Father if there was any other way to bring salvation to men besides going to the cross. If Jesus had simply said “I do not have peace about going to the cross”, he would have missed the will of God. But Jesus already knew the will of God, so he prayed to the father for help. In turn, the Lord sent  an angel to strengthen him and he left the garden in peace.

Thus, just because we do not have peace about something does not mean it is not the will of God for our lives. It may very well mean that we have not surrendered to the will of God for our lives. Once we know the will of God and surrender to it will the peace of God come over us.

 Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus – Philippians 4:6

The pre-requisite to the peace of God is prayer, petition, and a heart of thanksgiving as we move by faith in the will of God.

No faith equals no peace; only anxiety ensues!

PEACE OF MAN

Conversely, the peace of man can be very dangerous because it is based on previous experience, comfort, and can be tainted by our own will. Consider the children of Israel who decided not to go into the Promised Land. They had no peace about it because they saw the giant opposition they had to face. Yet, it was the will of God to go into the land to possess it. The giants they saw in the land dissuaded them so much that they forgot all about the promise of God. In other words, they walked by sight and not by faith.

Though they had peace about their decision to stay put in the wilderness, it was the wrong decision. You know the end of the story. All of them except two that had no peace about staying in the wilderness died in the wilderness. In other words, the peace of God would have taken them to their destiny but the peace of man led them to destruction. So next time you have peace, make sure the source of your peace is from God.

The peace of God follows the will of God, but the peace of man follows the will of man.

Consider the wicked. The peace that comes from God does not go with them (Isaiah 57:21) but they certainly experience the peace that comes from doing their own will (see Proverbs 4:14-16 below).

Don’t set foot on the path of the wicked;
don’t proceed in the way of evil ones.
Avoid it; don’t travel on it.
Turn away from it, and pass it by.
 For they can’t sleep
unless they have done what is evil;
they are robbed of sleep
unless they make someone stumble – Proverbs 4:14 – 16

Some people do not have peace unless they do what is justified in their own eyes but not necessarily justified in the eyes of the Lord. If you have ever felt great peace only after taking justice into your own hands and repaying evil for evil – saying to yourself that the person got what they deserved – then you know what it is to have the peace of man.

Friend, jut because you have peace does not mean you are in the will of God. Only let the peace that comes from God be your umpire.

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How to stay in the will of God for your life when struggling

If we are honest with ourselves, following the instruction of God and staying in the will of God for our lives can be very difficult. If this is you, then do not worry – you are not alone. Even Jesus had the most difficult time staying in the will of God for His life.

The thought of having to endure all that pain, suffering, and being separated from God left Jesus sorrowful and deeply distressed (Matthew 26:37). Here is how Jesus put it Himself: “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death” – Matthew 26:38

Talk about dreading what you know is the will of God for your life. But instead of giving up and saying ‘I can’t do this, it is just too difficult…I give up’, Jesus took another route.

If you are finding it difficult to stay in the will of God for your life or you are dreading what God is asking of you, try doing the following things that Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane. If it worked for Jesus, it will work for you!

Do Not Deny Your Struggle

We see that Jesus did not keep the fact that he was deeply distressed to himself but told his disciples. Although He was their Lord, he did not worry about what they would think about him if he showed weakness. The lesson is that we should not fool ourselves if we are struggling to keep in the will of God. Furthermore, we should not be too prideful to tell other people that we are struggling.

See, Satan loves to convince us that we are the only one’s struggling. That way, he can murmur all sort of lies into our heads that lead us down the path of loss of transparency with our loved ones. Since there is no true fellowship without transparency, we see that what he is trying to do is isolate us. Just like the lion who tries to isolate the gazelle from the rest of the pack, he wants to isolate us so he can mess up our lives. Do not let him!

Light-bulb moment: Admitting you have struggles is the first step towards opening the door of opportunity to getting them fixed.

Ask Mature People for Help

Jesus not only admitted his struggle but called His top disciples (Peter, James, and John) to help him battle the sorrow that he was experiencing (see Matthew 26:36 -38). It is important to note here that He did not tell every disciple but only the ones that were mature enough to handle what he had to say. Just think about the kind of ‘help’ Judas would have offered?

So, who are the ‘prayer warriors’ that you need to ask for help today? Is there a very wise person that you should call to help your through your situation? If you can think of no one, it is time to develop those relationships and keep those people close to you. If Jesus needed help, so will you!

Light-bulb moment: Saying ‘I need help’ is a sign of maturity.

Shut the door to distractions

In dealing with His struggle, Jesus tells his disciples to stay while he went a little farther (see Matthew 26:39). See, Jesus did not need any distractions but decided to go a place that was quiet so He could do battle with the anxiety that was attempting to overtake Him. Moreover, I believe He did not want His disciples to be distracted by Him either. He wanted to give them time and solitude to seek the Lord without worrying about whether He was okay physically – for Jesus was sweating profusely!

This tells us that we must give the people that know our struggles time to seek the Lord on our behalf so that their solution is from God and not their own opinions or life experiences. Furthermore, we have to be willing to shut the door to whatever may be a source of distraction to tackle our fears, doubts and whatever else is trying to cause us to falter.

Light-bulb moment: You open the door of clear communication with God when you shut the door to your distractions.

Be persistent in Prayer

The last thing that Jesus did was pray. He not only prayed once but prayed three times! If the Son of God needs to pray multiple times before experiencing victory in His mind, then who are we to give up just because we do not see the result immediately.

If Elijah had to pray seven times to see the rain, then we need to be persistent in prayer if we want to experience the goodness of God in our lives. Prayer will not only bring you peace (see Philippians 4:6-7) but it will also bring you a solution (James 5:16). Prayer magnifies who God is and keeps you calm in the storm.

Remember, He who has promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23)

Light-bulb moment: A prayerful person is a person who has victory over Satan and experiences the peace of God in their life.

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