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.” (Matthew 26:39)
If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword”; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken (Isaiah 1:19-20).
Jesus prayed the prayer of consecration in the garden of Gethsemane before He faced crucifixion, died, and then was raised from the dead. The word Gethsemane means the place of crushing. There in that olive tree orchard olives were harvested and crushed in order to provide the rich and healthful oils that benefit humanity. And in that same olive orchard Jesus was faced with giving up His human desires to a higher cause, the redemption of all humanity from the penalty of sin.
Jesus had to experience the place of crushing and then He had to face the physical agony of death by crucifixion before He could attain His stature in heaven of being seated at the right hand of the Father. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:8-11).
Before His exaltation, Jesus faced personal humiliation. There is a pattern here that we must see. If we are going to occupy that place of being seated with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) and of being heirs of God and equal heirs with Jesus (Romans 8:17), then we’re going to have to be willing to experience our personal Gethsemane. This is the place when we take all of our personal human ambition and desire and lay it down before the Father. Then we willingly submit to whatever plan the Father has purposed for our lives from the foundation of the world. Unless you’re willing to bow in humility before the sovereign purposes of God for your life, you will never attain to the best that God has for you right now.
Isaiah stated tersely that only those who are willing and obedient will eat the good of the land. Willingness and obedience go hand in hand. The Father wants you to be willing to do anything He asks you to do and to go anywhere He asks you to go. That kind of personal consecration takes life out of the sphere of self-centered living, and places us into the abundant stream of God’s will.
When I attended his school, Kenneth Hagin used to mention the Lord speaking to him in a time of personal consecration while he pastored a church in Texas in the 1940’s. He said that the Lord told him that at that time he had only entered into the first phase of the ministry that God had for Him, and at the time he had already been in ministry for 12 years! Kenneth mentioned that the Lord said to him that many ministers live and die and never enter the full will of God for their lives. He then noted that God did not speak to Him further about his own ministry until he took extra time to seek him and make personal consecrations.
Then Kenneth mentioned something that may shock you. He said the Lord told him that this lack of consecrating to do the will of God is the reason that many die before their time, and die in mid life! That’s quite shocking, but the truth is that we don’t qualify for God’s best unless we give him our best, our ultimate consecration of our now and our future to the Father.
To be seated in that position of authority and blessing with Jesus your Lord, you must pass through your own Gethsemane and your own crucifixion of fleshly desire and will. To receive the best that God has for you, you must seek Him with your whole heart!
This prayer of consecration should be a regular part of your personal prayer life. Take some time today and commit yourself afresh to do the will of God, whatever it may be for your life. If you do, you’ll qualify to eat the good of the land. If you refuse, it could cost you dearly!