SETTING YOUR HEART ARIGHT 3
Why is the setting of your heart so important?
In this world, all men, and especially Christians are being buffeted by tribulations, temptations and afflictions, so there is always a tendency for the will you set, to become upset!
John 16:33 KJV: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
This is a fact. We are all constantly being buffeted by wrong thoughts and wrong feelings. Feelings in the emotions, and in the body. Thoughts and circumstances are what trigger what you feel about something. The combination of hearing something adverse, or a thought about a happening in the circumstances will make one feel bad, or sorrowful, or, conversely, joyful! Positivity or negativity always comes from thoughts and circumstances.
Satan is the prince of the power of the air (Eph.2:2); bombarding the minds of men with negative thought patterns is his specialty. It is good to understand this and to resist the enemy Satan! Not resisting him means he can ‘blindside’ you: but when I know where he is coming from, my guard is up.
When things happen, don’t blame human beings, they are just Satan’s tools, pawns in a chess game! The Bible says, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood” (Eph.6:12). When a person says this or does that, or breaks something in the house and it makes you angry, remember that it is the devil trying to set you up! He has just found the person to achieve his purpose. We must learn to correct and address the transgression, but not yield to anger and sin. To get angry or become sorrowful will upset your will!
It is amazing to realize that this sorrow of the heart that affects the will also happened to none other than the Lord Jesus:
Matthew 26:38-41 KJV: Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 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]. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.
This is the account of the Lord Jesus Himself in the garden of Gethsemane. The Lord Jesus was less than 24 hours away from being crucified. He had known it all these years; He’d been talking about it and saying that He would be arrested and crucified in Jerusalem by the Gentiles, and arise on the third day. But now He was faced with the grim reality!
The Passover dinner had been observed, Judas had gone out to meet the Pharisees and the high priest and they were on the way to arrest Him in the garden of Gethsemane. The Lord Jesus knew that all this was going on around Him by the power of the Spirit, and that He was going to be killed. He knew the scripture must be fulfilled. But because He was like us, a man while on the earth, His soul was sorrowful!
We must never forget that the Lord Jesus operated as a man anointed by the Holy Spirit when He was here upon the earth, and so was touched with the feelings of our infirmities. It is one of the things that makes Him a merciful and faithful High Priest! He was a faithful in that He was tempted in every way as we are, yet without committing sin (Heb.4:15). The Lord Jesus felt the same emotions; He felt the anger, the disappointment, the pain. The only difference between Him and us is that He never yielded to them and never allowed them to overcome Him to sin. But He certainly felt all the emotions we feel and experience daily!
As the hour of His passion began to draw near, the Lord went to Gethsemane with eleven disciples excluding Judas Iscariot. He left eight of them at a distance, took Peter, James and John further. He left them too at a distance to go on alone. There is a place where you have to pray alone! The Lord told His disciples what was happening on the inside, at the soul level.
To the apostles Peter, James and John, He said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful.”
There is an important fact here; it was not just a little sorrow the Lord felt. He was being bombarded by satanic thoughts and feelings that normal human beings would have in a similar situation preceeding certain death, particularly the gruesome death of crucifixion!
Our modern world does not know what a crucifixion is like. The only depiction of the reality of crucifixion that comes close to revealing what it was is the movie, ‘Passion of Christ’. I recommend that anytime you feel you are suffering for Jesus, go and watch the ‘Passion of Christ!’
We modern day Christians know very little about tribulation. Every little inconvenience; for example, if it rains, we use it as an excuse not to attend Church! There’s a traffic jam and we get upset with God! Little things that are totally inconsequential cause today’s Christians great concern! What if you are arrested, and like the Lord Jesus, they tie you to the stake and whip the skin off your back? Will you still love Jesus?
The imminent crucifixion of the Lord Jesus brought about two trials which the Lord Jesus was anticipating and Satan was reminding Him of through His thoughts and His feelings. The first was the physical torture, which was terrible! The Romans were brutal in crucifying robbers. The Lord Jesus was stripped naked. It was the height of disgrace! As if that was not bad enough, after stripping Him, they were going to nail Him to a cross! Forget the religious pictures; it was a two pound nail which created a gaping hole in His hands that you could see daylight through!
When the Lord Jesus appeared to Kenneth Hagin in one of the visions, many years ago, he could see daylight through them, when the Lord Jesus stretched forth His hands! Kenneth Hagin wrote all of this. That is what Thomas saw when the Lord said;
John 20:27 KJV: Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
Even though it was a glorified body, the disciple saw those holes that remained there as a testimony throughout eternity.
He was thinking of all these things when He said. “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful”. So His emotions were in distress! And that was only the physical aspect of the Lord’s suffering! He also knew that when He does die and leaves His body, He is going to be ushered into hell because He knew the scripture in Ps.16: 10 that says: “Thou will not leave My soul in hell.” The Lord Jesus had to go there! If He did not go to hell, you and I are not going to heaven! The only reason why men are going to heaven is because the Lord Jesus went to hell in our stead! This is not religion; this is not tradition, this is reality! It was the Lord Jesus’ going to hell that paid the price so that mankind will not have to go to there!
As the Lord was being bombarded with all of these thoughts, Satan would have been taunting Him: telling Him, “You know You are going to hell. They will beat You, they will disgrace You and I gave You the chance, I told You in the wilderness that if You just bowed to me, I would have given You all the kingdoms of the earth”. The Lord Jesus did not fall for all of Satan’s taunts, but it certainly affected Him!
The Bible is an honest book. It was not a walk over for the Lord Jesus! He said, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful”, and that sorrow in the emotions shifted His will. That’s why He pleaded: “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but Thine, be done”. His will was to not go through the agony, the torture! His will had shifted! The sorrow in the soul had shifted His will!
The same thing happens to all of us everyday! You leave the house in the morning with a determination to do the will of God, having prayed. Then, suddenly, someone comes up, or some circumstance or situation comes up, causing your soul to be exceedingly grieved! Perhaps somebody says something that they should not say, or does something they should not do. Before you know it, your will has shifted. This happens to all of us: but we are not, many times, conscious of it!
When our will has shifted because of the upset in our emotions, we must do what the Lord Jesus did, and go back to God! The Lord Jesus, because He had an understanding of spiritual realities, knew His will had shifted, so He went back to God. There is a reason why He prayed for three hours! It takes a tremendous amount of spiritual power to attenuate or reduce the sorrow, and replace it with joy and peace so that the spiritual forces of joy and peace will reduce and over-ride the sorrow. The Lord had to pray these things through!
So in the first hour, He said to His disciples, “Watch and pray here with Me”, then He went and prayed; but the job was not done and so He came back looking for prayer support. The disciples were all sleeping.
Those of us who have joined the ‘Good Morning Jesus’ Cyber Upper Room prayer platform must not sleep at any time; we need the prayer support! Your brethren that are weaker than you need that prayer support! Even though they were not physically together; the Lord Jesus was physically separated from them; what the disciples were doing or not doing, was affecting the result of the Lord Jesus’ prayers. In similar fashion, the ‘Cyber Upper Room’ prayer works because it is not based on physical location but on spiritual connection.
So the Lord Jesus prays the first hour and has reduced the exceeding sorrow somewhat, but His will was not yet fully aligned to the will of the Father. So He returns to the disciples for prayer support, but they were weak, tired and sleeping. The Lord didn’t get angry; He just said, “Couldn’t you watch with Me for an hour?” and went back to pray for another hour, before going back again to check for their support. Sadly the disciples were still sleeping! In fact, they were sleeping now more deeply than they were at the beginning!
Whenever we desire and determine to pray, the demonic power in the air works upon your mind, emotions and flesh to try and make you sleep. You must fight it! So many times the same person who is feeling sleepy in time of prayer can read a magazine or newspaper, or watch a show on the television and the sleepiness will disappear! That is when you realize that an enemy has done this! Although sometimes, sleepiness during prayer can be because one is tired and has not slept enough; most times, however, it is because of demonic activity in the air.
The power of the prince of the air (Eph.2: 2), is constantly working on your emotions and body to try to make you sleep when you should pray. We must understand this conflict and learn to bind the devil in the air and take over the air by the power of the Holy Spirit! So instead of the devil being the prince of the power of the air, the saints, through the power of the Holy Spirit now become the prince of the power of the air in that area or region!
As the Lord prayed for two successive hours, His prayers attenuated the sorrow and He was able to say; “Nevertheless not My will, but as Thou wilt”. The Lord reset and realigned His will back to the will of God! Then, having reset His will, the Lord established His will in the will of the Father with another ‘phase’, another hour, of prayer! It is one thing to set a satellite dish in the right direction to receive signals, but then you must bolt and then tighten it so it remains set, so nothing can move it! After the three hours of prayer were over, He told the disciples to sleep on! When He was ready, He said, “Rise up, let us go; Lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand”.