“Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.…Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour?” – Matthew 26:36,40.
Matthew 26: 36-46 paints a picture of the difference between Jesus and the rest of us. Jesus is with His disciples. Several times Jesus asks them to be in prayer for what was about to happen, but each time they fell asleep. Jesus wasn’t preparing to die a horrible death for each one of us. Then as now, Jesus is over there and the disciples and each one of us is over here.
The you in five years should bridge some of the gap between here and there; between where we are now and being more Christlike. And that is hard to do if we can not keep watch with Him because we are asleep. Being asleep is when you are going through the motions. Being asleep is when we get alive spiritually only when it is convenient or it fits our schedule or when we are at the end of our rope. Being asleep is staying the same, so our life stays the same.
The Bible talks about life transformation and we have seen evidence of real life change in people. And that is what we want: to be transformed in 2019 and beyond. But real spiritual change will not happen if we are here and Jesus is over there.
We should never be comfortable with any distance between us and God. We are saying, essentially, “I’m close enough. I don’t need to go any further. I’m good right over here. I don’t need more of You at this particular moment. Maybe in the future, but not this moment. Thank you for saving me but I’m good with You over there.”
Don’t settle for God being over there. Ask Him to get close and then closer. Ask Him for more of Him and then more after that. We should make a beeline over there. And if that hunger has waned, we need to rekindle that hunger. We need to revive or increase that spirit that is thankful, and grateful, and awestruck, and in love, and can’t for the life of us get enough of Him.
Will you be the Christian who is comfortable with being close to over there knowing that He is within reach? But definitely an arms length away just in case we need Him for something; the person who wants the relationship with God on our terms. Or will you be the Jesus follower who is passionately pursuing Christ and moving constantly because you can never ever be close enough to Him. We will see God do what only He can do over the next five years if we have the courage to step out and go there. God is there and He is waiting for us.
- How close or how far are you away from being there with God?
- What is keeping you from getting there? What can you do this week to start overcoming those obstacles?