Introduction:

I have heard it said and expressed the same sentiments myself. America will either seek God from a place of desperation , or we will find ourselves crying out to Him from a place of devastation.

The reality is . . . without a transformational revival and true spiritual awakening that impacts the culture, our grandchildren will not enjoy the freedoms we have enjoyed. The church will be shackled with regulatory governmental chains and a secularized, atheistic culture that will drive her to her knees.

Here is “An Awakening Assignment” that connects us with Christ’s words to His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Read Matthew 26:36-46  So, couldn’t you stay awake with Me one hour? Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
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The Setting

The setting is after Jesus had been teaching in Jerusalem during His last week.

No doubt, Jesus could relate to Isaiah’s dilemma following the prophet’s gaze into the throne room and his impassioned response to the call of God: “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

The Lord’s instructions for Isaiah were:  Isaiah 6:9-10
“Go, and tell this people:
‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive;
Keep on looking, but do not understand.’ 
“Render the hearts of this people insensitive,
Their ears dull,
And their eyes dim,
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
Understand with their hearts,
And return and be healed.”

Can we relate in our contemporary setting?

The New Testament religious leaders, who also served as national leaders in the Jewish culture, had become dull of heart, hard of hearing, and blind to the very truth they should have been teaching others. (Matthew 23:13-28) Jesus pronounced “woes” upon them. Jesus referred to them as hypocrites. What was their response? They plotted to take Him by trickery and kill Him.

We cannot deny the headlines in both the religious and secular media. The reality is . . . We will always have hypocritical national and religious leaders.

But praise God; He will always have a remnant that is not blinded by the enemy or insensitive to the Spirit of the Lord.
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The Assignment

Jesus urged the disciples to pray so that they would not fall into temptation. One of their greatest trials was on the horizon. Their only hope of resistance and victory over temptation was persistent prayer and watchfulness.

Luke 22:39  And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him.

This was probably not a new thing for them to do, and it was not a new place for them to go. It was in “this place” that He instructed and warned them of the absolute necessity, of praying so that they would not “enter into temptation.” (22:40)

“The place” where some of you may have found yourselves at times is also not by happenstance. God understands what is required to move us to a new level of boldness and trust that will propel us and our ministry forward in a way that we would never achieve if we avoided the Gethsemanes in our lives.

What are some assignments we have been given?
– Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. Matthew 24:42
– And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18
– Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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The Assurance

We want to ask the same question as Isaiah, “How long, LORD?” We may not like His answer.

Isaiah 6:11  Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant, Houses are without people And the land is utterly desolate,

But, we are not without hope! The promise to Isaiah brings us assurance from the Lord today.

Isaiah 6:13  Yet there will be a tenth portion in it, And it will again be subject to burning, Like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains when it is felled. The holy seed is its stump. Cyrus allowed a remnant to return and repopulate the nation in 583 B.C. and another remnant reestablished the nation of Israel in 1948.

We may feel like we are only a remnant, but we have this assurance that still echoes from the lips of Jesus.

Read Matthew 28:18-20  Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Read Luke 10:19

The setting was not ideal then and it isn’t now. The Garden of Gethsemane assignment is still the same. “Pray with me!”

 

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