Living in the ‘nevertheless’

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Did you ever think that Jesus might have utilized the Twelve Steps of AA? It’s true. In the Garden of Gethsemane, the night Jesus was betrayed and arrested, He was well into Step Eleven. It’s just that the rest of His group was asleep, so He had to go it alone. But everything He was experiencing that night in the garden is expressed in the eleventh step which reads: “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

Jesus was definitely seeking, through prayer and meditation, to improve His conscious contact with God. Of course there was not a whole lot of improvement necessary, since He and His Father were one, and it had always been His joy to do His Father’s will, but this was the first real bump in that road. Suddenly, Jesus didn’t want to do the will of His Father, even though He was well aware of what it was. We don’t know for sure how long He had known His purpose for being here was to die on a cross for our sins, but it must have been for some time, since He knew so much even at age 12. This was not about the knowledge of God’s will; it was about the power to carry it out.

For one moment in time, He was in conflict. His will was fighting with His Father’s will. Until it came down to that famous “nevertheless.” “Nevertheless … not my will but yours be done.” From there, Jesus was going to be walking in God’s power to carry out that will. Like us, He could not do it on His own. 2 Corinthians 5:19 says that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. That would mean that God was empowering Jesus all along the way. God was willing Jesus to die. It was God’s love that made Him do it. Jesus was, at all times, God-driven.

I need the same thing. I need the power of God today to carry out His will. There are things about the will of God for me today that I do not want to do. If I could have this pass by me, I would. Nevertheless (there’s that “nevertheless” again) … not my will but His be done. I think we live in the “nevertheless” a good deal of the time. We need to pray continually for the power to carry out God’s will. We need to be God-driven.

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6 Responses to Living in the ‘nevertheless’

  1. Jesus Aguilar says:

    John good morning. Am I out line into insist the missing ten step? Please correct me I am willing to follow along, I respect you and you are the leader. Blessings

  2. Carole Oglesbee says:

    All day Thursday I thought about Jesus’s garden prayer and the fact that He DIDN”T HAVE TO DIE for us. I wondered what I would do in such a dilemma, Based on what I’ve actually done (or not done) when there was much less on the line than the salvation of the entire human race (like my pride), it probably wouldn’t have been good. Think about it… one of His closest friends has just sold him out and the rest of them are on the nods and can’t even muster the energy to stay up with Him in His darkest hour. And HE’s suppose to DIE for this bunch? If He looked thru time and saw the rest of us over the next 2000+ years, He’d have realized that for the most part, we only got worse. John, you mentioned that “one moment of conflict” – considering our Lord was sweating blood over it, I imagine that was one very l-o-n-g moment. When I think that Jesus had a choice, and STILL chose me, my sin looks an even deeper shade of black and makes His ransom all the more precious.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Hey are you putting into action something you learned from Boot Camp, changing your screen name from jwfisch to wordmastercommunication? Or maybe you are spreading the wealth and getting another person so contribute to writing the Catch?

    Leaving aside externalities and responding to the message, yes I too need the power of God to carry out God’s will. Thank you for this series, and I’m glad it is continuing.

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