A Little Farther
And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. ~Matthew 26:39
As a kid growing up, I remember the long road trips that my family would take to a chosen vacation destination. In my anxiousness, I would ask every thirty minutes, “Are we there yet?” My dad or other relative would respond by saying, “Just a little farther.” The Bible says that during Jesus' time in the Garden of Gethsemane, “he went a little further.” Contextually, this means He went a short distance away from where He had Peter, James, and John sit. However, as a phrase by itself, it is a stirring thought about persevering in the Christian life.
We see the problems.
Jesus was in His greatest hour of trial before going to the cross. He felt the pressure of knowing that within a few hours, He would die for the sins of the world. There was the anticipation of being separated from the Father while on the cross. Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ There was the anticipation of the unbearable suffering: blasphemy, bruising, piercing, wounds, humiliation, disfigurement, torture, and excruciating pain. All that Jesus endured encourages us to go a little farther during our time of difficulty and suffering. Don’t quit: go a little farther!
We see the praying.
In our moments of heaviness in our heart, there is a struggle between praying and just groveling in our misery. Jesus prayed in great earnestness. The intensity in which He prayed resulted in drops of sweat that resembled great drops of blood. For three one-hour intervals, He poured His heart out to God the Father. He ended each prayer that God’s will would be done. Most Christians struggle when it comes to praying. They struggle just to pray. They struggle to pray for a lengthy period of time. Let us go farther when it comes to praying. Let us go farther in the people and needs we pray for. Let us go farther in the duration of time that we pray.
We see the practical.
After His season of prayer, Jesus found the three disciples sleeping. They might have started praying, but they quickly succumbed to drowsiness and weariness. Many of us quit when we need to stay at something. As a practical exhortation, we must go farther in everything we do. Longevity is the key to being steadfast and getting things done. Go a little farther in your giving to God. Go a little farther in your grace towards others. Go a little farther in pursuing gospel presentation opportunities. Go a little farther in your growth as a Christian. Don’t let weariness, negative influences, details, or annoyances keep you from getting something important done. Go a little farther in your efforts.
We see the prevention.
Jesus told the disciples, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” Going a little farther is preventive help. It prevents us from succumbing to temptation. It prevents us from leaving the church or our marriage. It prevents us from going in a direction that could hurt us. On the other hand, it helps us to stay focused. It helps us to set a good example. It helps us to finish successfully. Go a little farther! Don’t allow your flesh or weakness to make you quit or give up. Go a little farther!
Have a persevering God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 21-22