I closed my eyes on the airplane ride home and put my head back to reflect on the past week activities. It had been a great week in hindsight. A group of us all together enjoying our beautiful surroundings and spending time with friends and family.
I believe all of us came with the same expectation. We desired to learn and grow from each other’s knowledge and experience in the things of God.
But mostly, we ALL wanted to hear a Word from God. I think we could agree that we were hoping to gain a better understanding of how we could walk closer to God and serve Him more passionately with all of our hearts. I think it’s amazing that we were in one accord. Each of us desiring to draw closer to God and each other.
Well, as much as we hate the process of refining and reshaping. It is necessary to knock off the parts of us that stand in the way of us receiving more from God. We sometimes need to make room in our “thinkers” and take some things out of our heads to allow space for our “new” thoughts, ideas and beliefs.
Most of the time we are not really aware that we have a problem until we are challenged in that area of thought.
For example, It’s always been easy for me to step back and let others go ahead of me. Being last has always easy and okay with me.
I loved to quote the verse in the Bible, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.” So really, I knew by going last I really was being first.
I was winning in the end!!
But God has a way of squeezing us clean and clear of debris that stinks up our soul.
Sometimes by using our closest friends and family to sharpen and challenge our motives and desires. He doesn’t do this to be mean or because He enjoys putting the pressure on His kids!!
It is necessary to prepare us for our future walk with Him and the plans He has set out for us.
We say we want more of His thinking and less of our thinking. So the shifting has to begin somewhere and sometimes it gets messy and ugly!
If we want to walk in more authority and power and think how He thinks there has to be a surrender of our will to make way for His will.
Back to my reflection of the week, I asked God why all these little interruptions among us all kept happening. They were like putting out one little fire after another. Most of them were handled silently and quickly. Others erupted with a big explosion and fiery darts of mad!
His answer to me was simple.
He ever so softly whispered to my “thinker”.
“Are you willing to drink from my cup?”
I thought about how Jesus asked for the cup of suffering which He was about to partake of the cross. He was weak and wanted it to be passed on and not taken.
An angel strengthened Him and of course we know the rest of history. He took the cup of the cross so we could be set free and establish our broken relationship back to God. Sin was the fire that was extinguished out for good. Jesus made a way for us to be forgiven of our sins and seated with Him in Heavenly Places.
Luke 22:41-43New International Version (NIV) 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened .
God was gently asking me if I could look past myself and be willing to drink His cup. Actually, the same cup that set me free from the very things that were trying to creep in and take a hold of me.
Was I willing to take that cup? Or did I want to keep thinking about how my feelings were hurt or not addressed properly by others.
For a week I would keep asking what do you mean by that drinking cup phrase??
I didn’t hear much.
Today, I decided to look in the Bible and see if that phrase is mentioned again.
Of course I knew about about the cup and Jesus in Garden of Gethsemane. I found another place where the cup is brought to the attention of a mother.
Okay bear with me, this is a bit long. I want you to see the whole picture of what is going on here.
20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
21 “What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”
22“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”“We can,” they answered.
23Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”
24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.
25Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.
26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—
28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
A mother was requesting for her sons to sit on both sides of Jesus in the future Kingdom. She wanted affirmation from Jesus that her sons were very important to Him and His ministry. Jesus says the phrase,”Can you drink the cup, I am going to drink?”
Dang, there it was!! Clear as day hitting me smack dab right between my eyes!!
It doesn’t matter where you are seated. What matters is if you are willing to sit at the back or even outside and serve those in line in front of you.
Your position is not based on where you are seated but where you standing.
Are you standing on the promises that God will serve you as you serve others?
Are you standing on the promises that God will honor you as you honor others?
Are you standing on His Word for your identity?
My worth has to come from God and not people or ministries. People and ministries will always disappoint us. God will not! Let’s get real! I have disappointed others. I need to extend that same grace to others that has been extended to me at times.
Sometimes he uses our closest friends and family to remind us of these lessons. We all need each other even if it gets messy at times.
Through it all I am learning to be honest and communicate always in love with respect for one another. God will honor and elevate you in due time for drinking from that cup that isn’t always easy to swallow.
The Cup of Suffering
In my case…….
I am to be like a serving dish or a cup for others to partake of the goodness and mercy of God.