[popup url=”http://blb.org/devotionals/me/view.cfm?Date=03/27&body”]» Today’s reading at Blue Letter Bible[/popup]
“Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.” — Matthew 26:56.
When we read this our thoughts may be something along the lines of, “I would never have forsaken Him.” An honest assessment of our everyday lives, be it in the workplace or socially, should quickly bring this attitude into a realistic perspective. How often do we forsake Him? The answer is…frequently. Spurgeon rightly points out the frailty of believers and goes on to describe us as sheep, at best, which flee when the wolf comes.
He reminds us that, “They had all been warned of the danger, and had promised to die rather than leave their Master; and yet they were seized with sudden panic, and took to their heels.”
One can assume that they did this as an act of self preservation yet, in their state of confusion, the sheep left their shepherd and, in the process of abandoning their Lord, gave up their cover. In the heat of the moment they lost their tactical edge. They panicked, and in the process, they appeared as cowards and fools. How can one reduce being caught off guard when making decisions under stress? The answer: preparation.
Spurgeon goes on to remind us that these apostles, though once timid as hares, grew to be bold as lions. They did so after the Spirit descended upon them.
Ephesians 6:13 exhorts us. “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
God’s word is the armor that gives us the preparation necessary to stand for Christ and stand against the enemy. Spurgeon himself acknowledges his own recreant spirit and that it is the Holy Spirit that can make him brave to confess his Lord and witness for His truth.
Let us not start off our day without properly preparing ourselves for the potential situations that lie before us. When the situation presents itself, it is too late…either you are prepared or you are not. Prayer and God’s word are the preparation that allows the Holy Spirit to work in us and help us make the decisions and choices in life that glorify Him.
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. — Mark 8:38
As I read this devotion I am challenged by Spurgeon to search my heart in reference to my relationship with Christ. Have I taken up His cross? Have I been a partaker with Jesus in His shame? He reminds us that, if so, we will be with Him “when the cross is exchanged for the crown.” I dare not dwell on all the reasons that exist that justify my being removed from His presence for eternity. Through His sovereign will I was drawn to Him and was made perfect in His eyes, only through Christ’s payment for my sins.
Where one may think that dwelling on Spurgeon’s question may bring on a sense of uneasiness, quite the contrary is true. Spurgeon makes a statement that brings home where we ought to be, “Come my soul, if thou art indeed His beloved, thou cannot be far from Him. If we are His beloved then we will tend to our relationship with Him. It is then we can take comfort in the knowledge that we will not be far from Him and that we are with Him in his shame and will in fact have taken up His Cross.