Day 7: Do

Do

Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. Hebrews 5:8

The natural result of a life devoted to prayer is loving obedience. This was the case for Jesus, no question. At the center of Jesus’ prayer life was Him seeking after God’s will. Jesus sought Father’s heart not just for information but also for personal direction. In fact, He became so dependent upon this direction from Father that He was unable to do anything until He received it:

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19

For Jesus, obedience was not optional; it was an absolute that came out of His love for the Father:

“And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.John 8:29

Once Jesus heard from the Father in prayer, He then “rose up from prayer” (Luke 22:45) and lived His life with such determination to obey everything God had given Him to do. However, it is important for us to understand that was not something just automated in Jesus. He, like us, had to willingly adjust His life to the Father’s plans.

This willingness came out of something we looked at yesterday: Jesus’ constant, abiding fellowship with His Father. He stayed in constant communication and fellowship with the Father until He knew what God wanted Him to do and His will aligned with His Father’s heart. That is why Jesus protected His prayer time above all else. Devotion to prayer kept our Savior completely dependent and in a continual posture of learning from His Father:

Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. Hebrews 5:8

Jesus learned obedience…wow. And He learned it from the same things we go through here on earth: suffering, hardships, and adversity. You don’t have to look far in Scripture to see that Jesus endured constant hardships. It was through these moments of nonstop demands, rejection, disbelief, opposition, false accusations, tiredness, heartbreak, and anguish that not only drove Jesus into prayer but also how He learned to obey what His Father gave Him to do.

Jesus learned obedience, and He did so through the things He suffered. But no matter how difficult it got, Jesus never quit praying, and He never quit obeying. Praying and obeying was LIFE to Jesus – to stop would be disconnecting Himself from the life He needed. Praying was Jesus’ opportunity for heart-to-heart connection with His Father. Obedience was His opportunity to bring the life and love of the Father in Him into action. That action is what allowed people to experience heaven on earth.

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10

This is not some kind of external prayer that God accomplishes outside of us. We are to be the fulfillment of this prayer through our loving, absolute obedience to the Father’s will.

This is how Jesus viewed obedience to His Father’s will for His life:

For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2b

What are your feelings about obedience to the Father’s will? How similar or different is it to Jesus’ view of obedience?

When suffering gets bad, do you tend to pray more or pray less? What might this reveal to you about your beliefs about prayer?

What is God teaching you about the connection between obedience and suffering?

Take some of these reflections into your time of prayer today.

Fasting Tips

How to come off the fast

Don’t plan to go out for a huge celebration meal on the last night of the fast to mark the end of your fast! You may suffer! Gradually introduce the meals you have been fasting to give your body time to re-adjust.

It is always a good time to assess your diet and determine if there are any foods you could actually benefit from not eating. This is a good time to make these adjustments.

Be sure to join us TONIGHT from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in classroom #312 at GSIS to pray and process together as a church all that God has stirred in our hearts in this week of prayer and fasting. See you there!

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