Scripture Reading: Luke 22:39-46
Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. There he told them, “Pray that you will not be overcome by temptation.” He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.” (Lk. 22:39-42 NLT)
Many years ago I heard a sermon entitled, “Whatever it takes.” I no longer remember any of the details of the message, but I do vividly recall the title. In fact, I have adopted the sermon title as my life’s motto for serving the Lord.
In my mind, I can imagine the Heavenly Father and Jesus discussing the Son’s coming to earth and putting on human flesh. The Father explained the purpose of his Son’s pilgrimage to earth. His created human beings were separated from him because of their sin of disobedience and needed redemption. The Holy demands of his wrath against sin had to be satisfied. Justice had to prevail. Atonement was necessary. An innocent lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus was that lamb. Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane can be summed up by saying, “Whatever it takes.”
As we study the events surrounding Jesus’ life here on earth, we see his departing prayer being fulfilled. We see the plan of God unfolding in the preaching of John the Baptist. We see it when Jesus dealt with the woman at the well, and the feeding of the five thousand. We see it in his raising Lazarus from the dead. We see it in the upper room discourse and on the Mount of Olives when Jesus was crucified. We see it finalized when he cried out to his Father, “It is finished.” (John 19:30 NLT)
When it boils down to our service for the Lord, we need to be willing to say to our Heavenly Father, I am willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill your will for my life. God promises to supply whatever is needed to get the job done. God was certainly with us when we went to Yaounde, Cameroon for a month at a time during the years 2009-2011 to serve as pre-school teachers for Bible translator’s children. The Lord kept us safe and healthy even when storms came through and electricity failed or the city shut off the water supply. Any inconvenience can be tolerated as long as you know that God is present and overshadowing you. God used this time to deepen our trust in him, and to mold our lives in closer conformity to his Son, Jesus Christ.
Where do you stand on the issue of whatever it takes? Are you willing to say with Isaiah, “Lord, here am I, send me?”
Prayer: Dear Lord, as we count the cost, help us to be willing to do whatever it takes.