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Carefully Watching Me.

March 24, 2010

Mark 14:32-38  32 They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” 33 He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. 34 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 35 He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. 36 “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 37 Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 38 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”(NLT)

We are back in Western Australia after 6 amazing years in New Zealand.  What will I miss about New Zealand?  Easily my friends, and a close second, the countries love of that great game: rugby union. What I won’t miss is the earthquakes and the weather.. Wellington does windy really well.

Speaking of being blown about, I am just in awe of this reading, stunned into reflection.  It walks up to me, taps me on the shoulder, and tells me what I am doing wrong.  Good.

I want to change, I want to become more of what God wants me to be, more of what He created me to be.  And one part I really need to change is to live more in God’s will, as Christ states in v.36: ‘Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Right now I am exploring my future, working on my doctorate, doing some consulting with my newly formed company, Global Scope Media, and asking, God what next?  Sure I have desires and dreams but are they what God wants of me?  Am I really prepared to take a role, to get involved in something that God is calling me to even if I really don’t think it is me.  It sounds obvious, like yes of course I will do what God is calling me to.. BUT sometimes my desire, my plans are very, very compelling.  And this causes me to struggle.  There is what I want and then there is what God wants.

Verse 38 reads: Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” I totally get this.  My body, my very human thoughts can be very weak, desiring possessions, certain situations to happen, and in the midst of this, yes I totally want to do God’s will, the spirit is willing in me.  So how do I reduce the influence of my human desire?

I keep watch and pray.  And the word watch is stunning, it means to be attentive, vigilant, to be awake.  I have a one year old who in the past week has started walking which changes things completely.  My wife and I need to be aware of him all the time, to know where he is, making sure he is safe.  We are careful, protective parents who want our baby to flourish and grow.  In the same way God is telling me today that I need to give the same sort of careful, protective attention to how I live my life; to make sure I don’t give into temptation.  I need to be thoughtful, always asking, ‘is this the right thing to do?’  Just as I need to constantly be thoughtful about my boys safety, so to I need to be constant and vigilant about how I conduct myself.  This is not an easy road and my desires are very strong at times, but it is a journey I am completely committed to.

And as James 1:12 reads: “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

I praise you God for your Word!

Mark Brown

http://twitter.com/RevMarkB

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47 Comments
  1. Janis Schofield permalink

    This Scripture really ministered to me at a time when I was feeling betrayed by some friends. I searched Scripture for examples of the Lord being in a similar situation and came across this portion of Scripture. I read that his closest friends not only fell asleep, one time, after He told them that they would be coming to crucify Him soon, but they fell asleep three times! I began to cry and cry and cry for our Lord and this lack of caring by his friends. It was a very intense time of sensing His pain. I asked for forgiveness for the times I had not been faithful and for how we as His followers still hurt Him. I had been suffering from severe pain in my neck and head and that night in the shower, I placed my hands on my neck, remembering that the Holy Spirit is in me and perhaps He might heal me. I prayed and asked the Lord for His touch – such strong feelings of love and warmth consumed my body, starting with the head and neck and I was overwhelmed by a sense of such strong love from the Lord to me. It was almost like He knew my tears for Him were real and He was returning the love by His touch. It was amazing! God is so gracious and so good!

  2. Really good to have your posts back! Patience is the word of the day for me. Thanks.

  3. Jay J permalink

    I RELISH the idea of learning and growing WITH you,,, in God’s word!!! Thank you so much for letting me aboard!!!

  4. Lynn Sicard permalink

    last night i listened to an audio blog titled have you talked to Him lately? i talk to Jesus each day,but if i’m honest ,I have to confess that most of the time, it’s a one way conversation. so today i ask not only myself, but all who reads this, did you listen to Him today? i know you know what i mean mark. at times we get so caught up in what’s happening in our lives that we want to tell Jesus all about it, but then we go on our way without ask Jesus, what do you think Lord? is this the path You would have me take? is this Your will? like todays readingm we must follow the example Jesus set for us and say not our will Lord, but Your will be done. cause this isn’t about you and it’s not about me. It’s all about Jesus. Amen

  5. Julie I permalink

    Rev. Mark:
    I am glad to hear that your move from NZ to Aust. went well! What a move! It sounds to me that God is really going to use you in a big way…and just remember, whatever it is that you Think you cannot do, God can do through you;for all things are possible with God. Sometimes I struggle thinking I can ‘do it,’ but I to need to place my trust in the Lord, watch and pray, and allow God’s will to override mine as well. God Bless you as you take the next steps in your journey as God uses you in a mighty way.
    Glad to have your postings back!

  6. lynn Saunders permalink

    This is exactly the stage growth I am at at the moment, this has clarified things for me and given me guidance. “If it is your will Father”. How I love Abba more and more each day as I grow into a deeper relationship with him. God Bless and Thank you. 🙂

  7. njeri permalink

    Thanks its a powerful message..learning to listen and pay attention should not just be a word of mouth but an act.

  8. Sherri permalink

    Thank you for making your ministry available on Facebook, without it I would not have found it. My mother, my son and I have Bible study each evening, and this is an added bonus to my day! Praise Him!! and thank you!

  9. glad to have you back! enjoyed the comments too…

  10. This is so on point with where I am. Thank you for the NOW association with such a familiar passage. I too struggle and don’t always get it right. However the power is in knowing and doing…faltering, but getting up to learn from it and get ‘back in the game’. Being watchful is key because truely satan comes to rob, steal and destroy. Nothing would do him better than for us / me to abort the journey. God has been too good, too faithful to give up on Him. Besides He hasn’t given up on me yet!

  11. Debbie King permalink

    I’m so blessed to have hooked into your blog..this piece of scripture has touched my heart in a different way today, and I want to give myself over to His will and not my own, no matter how painful it might be, Thank you and God bless!!

  12. Karin permalink

    When my daughter was killed in an accident ‘thy will be done, not mine’ gave me so much comfort. When I was in an abusive marriage it was the same. And God gave me peace and – in His time – showed me the way to healing and safety. In the end you will meet many good people, but you can fully trust only in the Lord.
    Thank you so very much for this way through the Bible – I’m glad that in spite of all the bad the web tries to spread in satan’s name, the is the voice of God, loud and clear. Thank you for letting me hear it.

  13. Karen permalink

    We are so valuable because we have BELIEVED and now we must live like that! I sometimes see the Holy Spirit as the General in the sky. He sees all and knows the battle plan. If we don’t man the station He’s called us to, then who will? I’ve just now become a fan of Global and may partake of the “advice” you offer…. thinking of the verse that goes something like, plans succeed in the advice of many counselors.

  14. Name permalink

    Nice! I can relate to that one! I will remember that.Thank you.

  15. Dava Unglesbee permalink

    I am so thankful and joyful that you are sending out your emails again. I praise God that the move is complete and I join you in praying for your future.

  16. Jonathan permalink

    Dear Rev.

    I enjoyed reading your post, thank you. I do however have one concern. And that has to do with Desire.

    Two questions that you ask:
    Sure I have desires and dreams but are they what God wants of me?
    So how do I reduce the influence of my human desire?

    And the general gist of the post seems to be saying that desires are wrong. Seeing this post on facebook prompted me to respond because it would seem that that is also the message people are taking from it. I think some clarification is needed here. I have not found anywhere in the Bible that supports the idea that our desires are wrong. Here are some of the many places where desire is mentioned:

    Ps 145:15-17 (God grants the Desires of those who look to God) Rom1:24 (Talks of sinful desires) Rom 6:12, Col 3:5 (evil desires) 1 Tim 6:9 (harmful desires) Ps 10:17 (God hears the desires of the afflicted) Ps20:4 (prayer for God to give us our desires) Ps 21:2 (Thanksgiving for having desires granted)

    The fact that ‘evil’ and ‘sinful’ and ‘harmful’ is put before the word desire is enough to tell me that there must also be ‘holy’, ‘pure’, ‘good’ desires. We are of course to get rid of evil desires! But we must not squash ALL our desires in the process.

    2 Samuel 23:5b “Will he not bring to fruition my salvation and grant me my every desire?”

    The fruit of our salvation, what is that? A changed heart is one of them, and a changed heart means changed desires.

    Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

    Again here we see that if we are in Christ, if we delight ourselves in the Lord, then he will give us our hearts Desires. Obviously not the ones we may have which are to commit sins, for example a desire to commit adultery. But rather our true hearts desires: maybe to find love or adventure?

    Often as Christians we have many deep desires. An example would be the desire to be loved. Perfect, nothing wrong with that. BUT, what is wrong is how we sometimes try to fulfil those desires…fornication, pornography etc. But that does not mean the desire itself is wrong.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
    Regards,
    Jonathan

  17. Enid permalink

    Wow! This is powerful. I find that this particular Scripture hits very close to home… It is very hard to detour from our own desires and make way for the will of God. This is a daily struggle for those of us who persevere in the Lord. Nevertheless, I have found that when temptation sets in, praying and asking for God”s assistance with the difficult situation; is the best way to go.

    The Evil One will always be there to put his foot out and try to make us stmble but it’s up to us to be vigilante and to stay in communion with the Lord, so that we may be victorious in our battles. And although God has a plan and purpose for our lives, it’s our responsiblity to make sure we steer away from the things that will jeopardize our having God’s plan and purpose fulfilled…

    I am so very happy you are back. Reading your posts is another resource in giving me the opportunity to reflect on the way I am living my life. It convicts me and gives me a clear picture of the things I need to do, to live my life as closely as possible to the way God expects me to.

    May God continue to bless you and your family, and expand your territory…

  18. Neil Price permalink

    Greetings Rev,

    Welcome back. I have to be reminding myself that it is all about Jesus, not me or anything else. Getting my life right with Christ is the ultimate challenge I face daily. It is so easy to slip into temptation, even in the blink of an eye, and not aware of it. His spirit is always with me, and i know this…but i feel low when i slip up. “Dear Lord, forgive my soul, and may Your holy spirit guide me in Your path. I love you Lord, I lift up high praises to you. You make everything glorious…Amen.” Thanks Mark for your inspiring blogs…be blessed!!

  19. KKY-Omaha, Ne permalink

    These scriptures always touch my soul deeply. ‘He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.’ Oh what a wonderful Jesus we have. He did that for all. Suffered through the sin problem for all of us. I am glad the Father (Abba) sent an angel to comfort him during this time and to continue to take that awful cup of suffering so we can be saved through his merits of love. All I can think of is there is Victory in Jesus my Savior forever.

  20. Andie permalink

    Thank you so much for being so open with your walk. I didn’t realize how much I looked forward to reading this each day until you took time off to move. The Scriptures you use, and even your words, are a gently reminder to me each day of what my priorities really should be.

  21. tara permalink

    Mark I’m so glad to see your site up and running again. How I missed reading the daily word. God bless you and your family on your blessings to come.

  22. Your words have moved me so I needed to reach out to you & let you know. I’ve never commented before to any post ever but today I knew I had to. Thank you .

  23. Lisa Kelly permalink

    Thank you for sharing your insight from God……Mark 14:38 is a vivid reminder that we should walk in the spirit “constantly” and not fullfil the desires of the flesh

  24. Shirley permalink

    Wonderful, thanks, missed you!

  25. Jake permalink

    Rev. Brown,

    Thank you for the encouragement!

    Today, I read a part of Revelations and then came across your email with this powerful passage in Mark.

    Both areas of the Bible that I’ve read this morning basically have the same overall message; we’re to be watchful. No one but the Father knows the time of Jesus’ second coming.

    Until His returns, we’re to live for Him and not for ourselves (Luke 9:23-25).

    Yes, be watchful and most importantly share the hope you have in Him with others!

  26. Jill McFaddin permalink

    GREAT WORD TODAY!!!

  27. Connie permalink

    Great reminder of keeping focused on God at all times!

  28. I realy enjoy this scpture, may God almighty be with you. Thanks

  29. Lori permalink

    That made me cry to read that Jesus’ soul was “crushed with grief to the point of death”. How much my Saviour suffered for me. Thank you for your prayers and posts. God Bless you and your family.

  30. Jo Heatley permalink

    Hi mark!
    Thanks for today’s message! Good to have you back!
    This passage used to make me feel so sad. All the Lord wanted the dicicples to do was watch and pray. Surely they could see how distressed He was! Now though I see they were merely human and like us, as humans we do give in to the flesh at times and have been known to let each other down!
    Sometimes i have had to get down on my knees and cry out to the Lord for help in doing His will and not mine. There has been such a battle going on inside me as my spirit bows down and comes in line with God’s. We always have the choice to do the right thing or not and I think praying at the start of the day to die to self and do His will always helps. The gift of free will is precious but needs to be managed as you have said by being watchful of our actions but also mindful of our thoughts because as a man thinks so he is. x x

  31. simona permalink

    thank you so much….

  32. Thank you for your loving and Godly words of wisdom.I am very tired now because i am in alot of pain with my foot(15 mmo. later) and because I am plagued nightly egularly with nightmares ever since my exhusband tried to kill me 14 years ago and most extremely since I quit using drugs for good(actually God delivered me) 13 months ago.The abuse nightmares are not as frequent anymore but the drug nightmares are very intense.Some days I am so worn out.will write more later.Thanks Mark and everyone else.

  33. Nita Swigert permalink

    Thank you, I truly need this today. God bless you.

  34. Joyce Morris permalink

    Welcome back.. Have missed your emails. They are so timely. God bless you in your new journey with Him.

  35. Reading the bible is good for knowledge and reproof and it is good that it is written as it is though not a lot can see this truth. It is like a well(of living water not only,as is often perceived,at its surface.Its words are all three demensional(and more)as well as is the well water.There is layer upon layer upon layer that is all joined in complete uniformity which is what really reflects its divine authority.As no mortal man could possibly create such a writing as this. In your verses of Mark 14 it is not only merely a simple event we may first think as we read it on a surface level,that is just the milk (as Paul spoke of)and will lead even deeper to the bread and meat if one looks and dives into it.There is the olive grove…olives which the bible refers to throughout..the annointing oil,the souls of men,and the things both sacred and desired…And there is the crushing of Jesus soul as were the olives crushed to extract the holy oil it contained. There is not only merely those who fall asleep in body but also in mind and lose sight of the spiritual truths and things of importance. Many of the words we read in our modern bibles can tend to hide these truths from the minds of those who have fallen asleep in the trappings of this world and one would do well to obtain a good concordanance to check the original meanings of scripture against what we may think they are saying.As James also said…”NO SCRIPTURE is of any PRIVATE interpretation”…In essence of the truths of these verses is a simple truth(as such God uses to confound the {worldly} wise) and that is are we too truly ready to die for our own stand in the Truth. Do we imagine that we would not be required of such as were not only Jesus but also thousands upon thousands of his true followers; that we are somehow more privilidged than them in the siging of the same contract written in Jesus blood.Jesus did not say “I am your free ticket”…he said,”I am Truth,Life,and the Way.”Follow me”…Are we?..Will we?..I pray that this cup(drink,for this is my blood)[which you shall taste also] passes before me…but not by my own will but of God’s. When we are truly ready to sacrifice the world and yea,even our own life itself,for God(whom Jesus also gave honor to)then and only then are we truly ready to live for,thru,and with God.All of these things and more are written in even those few verses of Mark 14.Let no man deceive you…if,as Mark 14 records,Jesus was gone away from them for an hour did he really only pray those few words in that whole time(or was there more)or did he walk that far and if so who was it that heard his words to record them(the sleeping ones? Or did he himself tell them afterwards.The scriptures only lead to the truth that is already in your own spirit when you find it as Jesus said also…”All scripture that ye search in hopes of finding salvation speak and teach only of me and how I have shown you. Take up your cross like mine,lay down your life fully,and follow me.

  36. Mark,
    I am glad that you were back. I have such a problem being what God wants in me as teacher. I feel that society looks at it as a thankless job and the way students act today it re-enforces what I just stated. Please everyone pray that I can serve God’s purpose in the classroom and please pray for our children. So many of them are so lost and angry. GBY

  37. I am glad that yo are back Mr. Brown. This post has hit me hard. I am such a weak person when it comes to my own desires and temptations. Thank you for this. 🙂

  38. Hilda permalink

    Its really amazing when I read todays message, It was as if you read my mind because most of these days I have been asking myself whether am awake or not but each time I hear a voice of the Lord asking me to keep praying yet to me I feel my body and soul is week and overwelmed yet I do want to see my ministry moving, anyways your message has awaken me up let God be praised forever. Thanks alot

  39. Alta permalink

    Dear Rev Mark,

    I so relate to what you are currently working on in your Spiritual life about a year ago the Lord challenged me on this TO DO THE WILL OF GOD well it has been the greatest challenge since I became born again 41 yrs ago and it is the best decision I have ever made it has changed my life in all aspects.
    MY GREED FOR EVERY DAY IS THAT I WILL TO DO THE WILL OF GOD

    My son is also in the process of moving as God will’s to Australia, he is a singer and has also given over to do God’s will so yes we are all learning to depend completely on our Father in Heaven.

    Being in the secular world with decisions to be made is difficult if not led by the Will of God.

    Praying for you and your family to find the Perfect will of God in everything you do, as for myself also.
    God Bless

  40. Patty permalink

    Glad your back……

  41. THANK, GOD FOR THE GREAT WORD. ALSO THANKS TOO GOD FOR YOUR SAFE RETURN. TO BRING HIS WORD, TO HIS PEOPLE ONCE AGAIN.IT A BLESSING FOR ME.. GLAD YOU ARE BACK. BLESSING ON YOU & YOUR FAMILY..MARILYN TURNER

  42. Lydia Reyes permalink

    I too, fall short. Todays message hit a cord. Thank you Pastor Mark for taking the time to share and teach us and encourage us in this post. There are times in my life that I am not standing firm with God. Like the disciples, I too fall asleep when I should be on Guard, but I thank Jesus for the spirit of truth that he has given us to give us a jolt and wake us up. Today he use You and I thank him for it. God Bless.

  43. Tracy permalink

    So glad to have your posts back!! I love this one. Do you have any advice or a personal experience that might help me be able to tell the difference between my own will and God’s? How can we tell the difference?

    So glad you’re doing well!

    • Hey Tracy! My suggestion is to test your plans against the Bible, to seek affirmation from those around you and to pray, pray, pray!!

  44. gracie castillo permalink

    {Remember it’s not me, All Him.}Receives an awesomes Revelation from Our God almighty. Here is His Devine messages.”beloveds’ child; Times,Times, will pass; “Don’t let ur minds be blows away, as da winds blows to&fro.”Stand steadfast in ur faith,”4 remember Our Lord Jesus is no longer at da cross!””He has risen,He is alives,He is alives!” He is da Resurrected Holy One! Don’t turn to da right nor da left beloved.Remain in da Light! While the darkness pass away. It won’touch my anoninted ones’. Those whom have receives my words with fire of purity essences within ur bosoms. Press forward,&receive afresh anointing of His Glorious pure stronghold.Psalm 18:2 Da Lord is my Rock & my Fortress & my Deleiverer; my God,my Strength, in whom I will trust, My Shield & da Horn of my salvation, MY StrongHold. Hold on to God words close2ur hearts&minds. Do not depart urselves from it. It shall come out of ur mouths like a flaming sword. 4 da prince of darkness nor rest;norsleep.4 he knows, he has but a little X’s 4 his dark works. Da Son of Man has chosen His warriors.{peoples 4 diz holy tasks.}Get ready with God word in ur mouth,pray w/o ceasing,fast 4 Him,mediated in His word. there is no more darkness in ur souls 2 hinders ur foot steps in Jesus Christ.4 remember man makes plans but, God orders his foot steps 4 His Glorious holy purposes.Get ready,Get ready, u knows who u r;go into ur praying closets & seek His face 4 further instructions.1st go 2, 1 John ch#4-Heb 4:7-10 TESTED!TESTED!TESTED!Heb 10:11-15,Matt 16:18-20,Zech 4:10,Luke 10:10-27,read all of ch#17. In Jesus Holy nmae, Amen

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