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May 6, 2018

In the Garden of Ambiguity

Sunday Morning Podcast May 6, 2018. Bro. Dave Goble.

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TEXT: MATTHEW 26:36-46 

36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.

44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

A lot of uncertain and emotional conflict happened with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, as He faced death.  Ambiguous or uncertain emotions. He had the choice to go back, or press on to the cross.   As God’s children, we also face those choices.  To go back on what God has given us, or to “take up our cross” to serve Christ.  All the things that we face in our “personal” garden, can cast us down, to turn back.   But by being pressed out as if in an olive press, we can discard things that could cause us to quit.  We can learn of, and lean on Christ to go on to the cross.  There’s only one way of victory in the garden: the right direction to the cross is through humility and vulnerability.  The other way is fear, doubt, and hopelessness.  Uncertainty.

“For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” I Corinthians 13:12  We’re not even close to comprehending God.  We try to clearly see that which is there because of God’s goodness, but not until we die will we clearly see.  For all on this side of life, is ambiguous.  Uncertainty.  And the unknown often brings fear.  Then doubt.  But God always provides us with at least a mustard seed of faith.  He wants us to latch on to it.  Only then, in our personal garden of ambiguity, can we have the victory, taking up our cross to follow into Jesus’s footsteps.  We will have the same challenges partnered with fear, and doubts.   For there had to be also somewhere in Christ’s mind, those fears, doubts, and uncertainty like there would be with anyone.  For Jesus was also human flesh. 

Fear gives our doubts life. When fear gets into the equation, it messes us up, bringing or collapsing ambiguities or uncertainties into doubts.  Fear brings our doubts out of a dormant stage, and brings it to life.  With our eyes then on doubts, we then follow the flesh. For fear is also the precursor to pride,  from things we deal with, on a daily basis.  We need to latch onto any minute amount of faith we have.  “I believe,  Help my unbelief!”   And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Mark 9:24   Our solution in our garden of ambiguity or uncertainty will then be God’s perfect love.  “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.  He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18  

In the hardest places of life, in our uncertainty or ambiguity, we need to learn to let go of our baggage of chaff, …or of self.   To help us victoriously choose the path of the cross, and not retreat back to all God saved us out of. 

In the Garden of Ambiguity