Every day we choose what we are going to drink. Are we choosing to drink of suffering and trials?
Today’s Manna – Our Daily Bread
“Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Mark 14:36 NLT
We are supposed to be like Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth, the life.
Through the strength of Christ who lives in me once I accept Him as my Savior, I am supposed to walk as “Harold Christ”. As Harold in the flesh, but as Christ who dwells in this flesh suit as a vessel for the Holy Spirit.
And while the flesh suit will desire to chase after the pleasures and temptations of this world, the Holy Spirit of Christ who lives in me is able to overcome.
This is why it is so dangerous for those who say they are Christians, who say they are vessels of the Holy Spirit, to remain in open and rebellious sin in their lives.
Because if they are saying that they have been baptized by the Holy Spirit but they are not seeing sin overcome, then they can come to one of two conclusions (of which only one is true). Either the Spirit within them is not strong enough to overcome sin (which means that it is not the Holy Spirit of the one true God that they are walking in), or their flesh and temptation is stronger than the power of God’s saving grace.
And the truth is that the spirit within them is not the Holy Spirit of God if they are not willing to lay down their lives as a living sacrifice to God. How can we come into the presence of the Almighty Father, how can we sup with the one true God, and then be satisfied eating the delicacies and pleasures and temptations of this world instead of setting our eyes upon the cross that is ours to bear?
How rare it is to see those who call themselves Christians willing to accept the cup of suffering and discipleship that comes at a cost, but how common it is to encounter those who will call out His name in hopes of prosperity, reward, or fear of punishment.
Little children, you cannot remain children forever. You must step out in faith and grow, disciplining yourself with the Word of God, seeking Him diligently in prayer, lifting his name in prayer and worship. For the only child that does not grow in age is one that is dead in the grave. Test yourselves and prove yourselves alive, my beloved – or find yourselves dead in the wages of sin.
And forget not Love, because if we only have knowledge, then we are puffed up and proud. If you misunderstand my own boldness as pride, then understand that I boast only of the Christ who is in me. As foolish as it is for me to cause any of you to stumble by asking you to look at me while I am still in the flesh, lest you see me and not Christ who lives in me – I ask if you cannot yet see even just a glimmer of your beloved Christ pouring out in my renewed life as a child of the most high? But do not see me, do not follow me, set your eyes upon Christ as your one and only goal.
Are you ready to kneel at the foot of the cross, little children? Are you ready to drink of the cup that He has for you? If it means surrendering your life to Him and becoming a disciple of Christ, bearing the burdens of others, and being a servant to your fellow man, and resisting temptation and repenting of your old ways, are you ready to lay it all down at the foot of the cross?
The gift of salvation is free, and you who have hearts like Christ will realize your salvation at the day where those of hardened hearts realize their judgement. So are we seeking His will, which will through trial offer us the opportunity to bear the fruit of Love
You see, with every day, with every decision, we who call upon the name of Christ get to choose whether we are serving ourselves in the flesh, or if we are serving God. And serving God is choosing the thoughts, words, and actions that reflect joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control – because these are the characteristics of true, godly Love. These are the fruit that grow and burst forth from His children, because they are the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
And Christians drink of the bitter cup of suffering, of persecution, of being peacemakers, of praying for our enemies, of helping those in need that cannot repay us – we drink these blessings from God, and in turn, we pour out His love.
This is discipleship – understanding that wealth and prosperity are temptations and burdens, because they include a responsibility for us to be good stewards of what is His, not to squander it on our own pleasures and comfort. And understanding that the blessings are the trials, because He didn’t say those who make it through the trials will then be blessed. No, He said blessed ARE the persecuted.
If we have our eyes set upon the things of the flesh, we are veiled to the truth of what is a blessing and what is a curse. But if we are walking in the Holy Spirit of God, our eyes are open to understand that we have a prose and a calling that goes far beyond the food of the king of this world.
Our cry, young men and women in Christ, should be, “You can have this world, just give me Jesus!”
And do we know what we are asking for? Do we realize that we are saying, “Heavenly Father, I trust that when I drink this bitter cup of suffering, and when I follow in the footsteps of the life and example of Christ, that following in your will is best and right and true. Help me to see the true blessings of serving in your Kingdom. Help me too lay down my life and the desires of the flesh and to follow you, even unto death, because I do not love my life, I long to be in your presence. Take this world, and give me a seat in your presence, singing your praises and giving you honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”