Have fear and anxiety ever tried to keep you from fulfilling God’s purpose for your life? If yes, you aren’t alone. Fear and anxiety can drain a person of all their energy and place them in deep distress. They can paralyze a person to the point of idleness and extreme fatigue; all of which makes a person want to give up on their God-given dream.
In this article, I will share with you two anecdotes from the Bible on how certain individuals moved past this situation of deep distress to fulfil their purpose. The first being Jesus.
Not my will but Your will
We are told in the book of Luke 22:40-44 about how Jesus was filled with agony before going to the cross as seen below:
40 When He arrived at the place [called Gethsemane], He said to them, “Pray continually that you may not fall into temptation.” 41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup [of divine wrath] from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done.” 43 [a]Now an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony [deeply distressed and anguished; almost to the point of death], He prayed more intently; and His [b]sweat became like drops of blood, falling down on the ground.Luke 22:40-44 (AMP)
In the verses above, we realize that Jesus with all His authority didn’t rebuke His distress or sorrow, nor did He run away to a foreign city to escape His purpose: going to the cross. He submitted His will to the Father and cast His cares onto God (See 1 Peter 5:7). And in doing that pleased God and fulfilled purpose (See Philippians 2:8-9)
8 After He was found in [terms of His] outward appearance as a man [for a divinely-appointed time], He humbled Himself [still further] by becoming obedient [to the Father] to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also [because He obeyed and so completely humbled Himself], God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,Philippians 2:8-9 (NLT)
Prayers to fulfil purpose with boldness
My second anecdote can be found in the book of Acts 4:21-31. In these chapters we read about the story of the apostles, who after being persecuted, came together as one in prayer before God.
So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.
And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.Acts 4:21-31 (KJV)
This example of the apostles can be likened to a child who goes to tell his father or big brother about the bully in school. The boldness they received was an assurance of God’s presence, His peace, increased faith, divine strength and more. They walked out feeling like they could conquer the world and this is what they did, no matter what came against them.
31 What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us, who can be [successful] against us? 32 He who did not spare [even] His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect (His chosen ones)? It is God who justifies us [declaring us blameless and putting us in a right relationship with Himself]. 34 Who is the one who condemns us? Christ Jesus is the One who died [to pay our penalty], and more than that, who was raised [from the dead], and who is at the right hand of God interceding [with the Father] for us. 35 Who shall ever separate us from the love of [a]Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 Just as it is written and forever remains written,
“For Your sake we are put to death all day long;
We are regarded as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]. 38 For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:31-39 (AMP)
In both anecdotes (Jesus and the apostles) we realize one thing, there was corporate prayer. Jesus asked the Apostles to pray so that they don’t fall into temptation, and went on along to pray for strength alone. Jesus could have gone alone to the garden or simply been arrested in town just as the Pharisees had attempted doing before (See John 10:39); but He chose to go to the garden with select apostles and with specific prayer points.
Those who surround you, would not always grasp your purpose and may be tempted to dissuade you; they may even end up denying you because they fell into temptation at your lowest moment when you needed strength. But as Jesus told Peter, I prayed for you (See Luke 22:31). What we must do when praying for strength and boldness to fulfil our purpose, is also to pray for those who surround us, our family and team members, that they won’t enter into temptation.
When your purpose is connected with others, it’s important to pray in one accord when or before the pressures of life try to hit you.
In the case of the Apostles we realize that when they prayed with one accord, the place shook and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. The boldness they received was a by-product of being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Thanks for reading.
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