Dear brothers and sisters, I pointed out in a previous post that the five virgins who went in, were those who were found to be ready. What does it really mean to get ready. For the purposes of what i am writing, first of all you would have to accept that there is a coming storm. If you lived in Florida and you knew there was a hurricane coming, would you go about business as usual? If for whatever reason, the President was coming to visit your house next week, would your house look the way it typically looks? Would you not prepare? If you knew your master was returning, would you not prepare? Of course you would have to believe that He was coming and coming soon.
And there would be many voices who would say Oh, they have been saying that for centuries and He still has not come. Everything is as it was and tomorrow will be the same as today because today was the same as yesterday. Oh how foolish is the man or woman who is lulled to sleep. Not knowing that something is coming can have dire consequences. I remember watching on the news shortly after the tsunami that killed over 200,000 people, a video of a man taken from a nearby cliff. Because the man with the video was a mile away and up on a cliff, his lens could see the who panorama of what was about to unfold. On the beach a very strange thing was happening, the sea had disappeared.
There were many on the beach just gazing at this phenomena. Some walked out toward where the water should be to get a closer look. As the camera panned back, one could see in the distance, the wave that was coming with a fury. Even although this was recorded I was shouting at the TV screen to the people on the beach to run, even although I knew what happened to every one of them, they all died. They died because they did not know what was coming. It is vital to be ready. Tozer writes in The dangers of a Shallow faith,
On that night in the garden, the Lord Jesus Christ was about to be betrayed into the hands of sinners.He was about to offer His holy soul and have poured out upon that soul the accumulated putrification and moral filth of the whole race of men; and He would carry it to the tree and die there in agony and blood. I think there can be no doubt that this is the record of the most critical event in the history of the world. It had about it and upon it more mighty historic significance, greater human weight of weal and woe than any other even or series of events in the history of mankind.
Only the most vitally concerned anticipated this crisis and prepared for it. That man of course was Jesus, and He prepared for it by the most effective preparations known in heaven or on earth; namely prayer. Our Lord prayed in the garden.
Let us not pity our Lord as some are inclined to do, but let us thank Him that He foresaw the crisis and that He went to the place of power and the source of energy and readied HImself for that event.Because He did this , He triumphantly passed the cosmic crisis before Him. I say cosmic crisis because it had to do with more than the world;it had to do with more than the human race; it had to do with the entire cosmos, the whole wide universe.
The Lord was dying that all things might be united in Him. That the heavens as well as the earth might be purged and that new heavens and a new earth might be established that could never pass away. All of this rested upon the shoulders of the Son of God on that night in the garden. He prepared for the cosmic in the most effective way known under the sun, and that is by going to God in prayer
Over against this were His disciples. They approached the crisis without anticipation;partly because they did not know and partly because they did not care, and partly because they were too unspiritual to be concerned, and partly because they were sleepy. So, carelessly and prayerlessly and sleepily, they allowed themselves to be carried by the rolling of the wheel of time into a crisis so vital, so significant, so portentous that nothing like it has ever happened in the world and never will happen again.
They were bogged down in spiritual lethargy and were unconscious of the importance of that hour. They did not anticipate any crisis and therefore were completely unprepared for it. The result of their failure to anticipate was that one betrayed our Lord; one denied our Lord; and all forsook our Lord and fled away. Then Christ gave them these words as a sort of a little diamond set in the great ring. He said Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit is indeed willing, but your flesh is weak (Matt 26:41)
I want to point out that this prayer Jesus made that night in the garden was an anticipatory prayer; that is, He prayed in anticipation of something He knew was coming in the will of God, and He prepared for it. I want to emphasize and lay upon your conscience to practice anticipatory prayer because battle are lost before they are fought. (Tozer)
And by the same token brothers, battles are won before they are fought. And so brothers and sisters, where are you. Do you anticipate the coming of the Lord? Do you see the great storm of persecution that is coming? Do you know? Do you care ? Are you too unspiritual? Are you sleepy? And so we see that in the end days as in the day of Jesus crucifixion that there will be those who deny Jesus. Will you deny Jesus under fear o death or great loss? Will you betray Jesus under fear of death or great loss? Will you forsake Him and flee away under fear of death or great loss? Perhaps you will say no man can tell. I disagree. For if the battles is won or lost prior to the battle itself then we can know. If Jesus deny His will and bow to the will of the Father prior to the crisis and He won the battle of Calvary and Gethsemane, then we too will follow the Lord and overcome as He overcame. Once the disciples learned this lesson, then they laid down their own lives in their own Gethsemanes and were prepared and did die. They were prepared. are you?
Before the crown were called to wear
There is a cross that we must bear
Before He struggled up the Hill
He had to choose His Fathers will
Before the victory was won
He had to say Thy will be done.
And on the cross He did atone
But not before He prayed alone
If we desire to climb that hill
We must desire to do His will
For victory will not be won
Until we say Thy will be done.
So if you will take up your cross
Itd serve you well to count the cost
For before He died to set you free
He died alone at Gethsemane