Avoiding Failure - Part 3
March 24, 2004 • By Ed Wrather
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there." And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me." He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done." And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? - Matthew 26:36-44.
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. - 1 Corinthians 9:27.
The Russian air force is facing difficult times with a large number of crashes, which have resulted in injuries and deaths. Part of the problem is a lack of resources for sufficient airtime and training for the flight crews. Around 70 percent of the accidents have been due to human error. A report in the Ministry of Defence newspaper, Krasnaya Zvezda states, “Negligence, carelessness, and a lack of discipline in some are causing concern among commanders, and a general decline in skills and professionalism.”
While in the Garden of Gethsemane, the disciples experienced a lack of physical discipline. Jesus urged them to stay awake and pray during this critical time just prior to His arrest. However, three times when Jesus came back from praying he found them asleep. Were the disciples simply worn out from a grueling physical schedule? Possibly, but I think it was more likely that Jesus was pushing them to a new level in their prayer life which challenged their physical capabilities. It is obvious they were not used to praying when they were so tired.
When we are undisciplined, we increase the opportunity for failure to occur in our lives. The Russian air force is seeing the tragic result of a lack of training and continuous practice of the skills needed to fly modern aircraft. There will always be times when we are called upon to do what is right even when we do not feel like it. That is when our past training helps us to do what is right because we have been continuously doing what is right every day.
The fact is that there will be many times that, we do not “feel” like doing what we ought to do. Sometimes it is easy to pray, read our Bibles, go to church, live a holy life and sometimes it is not. To be prepared for those times when it is not so easy to do what is right we must continuously practice, train ourselves by doing what we know we should every day.