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Recognising and Withstanding Jezebel's attack (3 of 3)

Mike Connell

Page 7 of 8
Matthew 26:38 – “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. I am troubled”.

My emotions are in turmoil. Death is gripping Me - all the fears of it are around Me. I'm feeling the sorrows and the pains of what I'm about to face; what I'm in the middle of, and starting to engage.

He shared His feelings and emotions. He shared His struggles with them. How difficult it is, for men to share. How difficult it is to open our heart, and tell others the struggles and pains we're having - and to draw them to stand with us.

Men live in a world that's highly competitive. In a man's world, to show any sign of weakness or vulnerability is to be declared weak and unmanly - so men tend to want to go it alone. You can't go it alone in this kind of battle. You have to walk in unity; walk with someone else; you have to walk with friends.

There are some things we stand in (and we've got to grow up in) - and even with friends, there's a limit to what friends can do - as you see in this story. Nevertheless, Jesus is a man of principle; so he brought James, Peter, James and John (his closer disciples), and He invited them to come with Him, and He shared His heart with them.

A major strategy, when you're in a tremendous spiritual attack, is to: refuse to back down with fear, refuse to isolate; but engage your friends (close friends), and then share your heart with them. Let them know you're strong!

4) He didn't just share - He asked for their support and prayer: I want you to be with Me, I want you to watch and pray - and this is the saviour, knowing the disciples will run eventually, knowing they're going to fall asleep. Even though all those things, He drew them in, shared His heart, and then He asked them and invited them to stand with Him. These are key strategies to beat that spirit.

Don't back down! Don't isolate! Don't give in to fear! Engage support from close friends, share your heart, pains, struggles, grief, concerns - and show them how they can stand with you, and be supportive of you. That’s the key strategy that Elijah failed to do - when Elijah isolated, he left himself open to the spirit of death, and came into agreement with it.

Jesus did not isolate - He overcame the spirit of death; and the fear of death. He poured out His heart – it’s a real difficulty for men to pour out their heart, and to open up their lives, because of fear. Fear keeps everything secret. What's secret is in a place of darkness, and the devil can come in around the things which are secret. Pride is a big issue. We want to look good, want to have our appearance. We don't want anyone to see us weak and vulnerable, yet true humility is quite vulnerable, quite open.

Shame - when Adam and Eve felt shame about their condition, they withdrew and hid from God. Shame will cause you to hide and run away as well, but God's remedy is not to do any of those things. It's to say to close people - I need you to help me, and stand with me at this time.

What did Jesus do? He didn't back down, He didn't isolate, He didn't retreat. Instead, He gathered friends, shared His heart, asked them to stand with Him - and showed them how He wanted them to do that.

5) Then He got into prayer. He did not lean totally on the friends - He got into prayer. Everyone else did a little bit of praying; but He went further, because this is His life, and He needed to personally break through, so He went further.

As He prayed, He “was wrestling”, because everything in Him wanted to back off, to quit, to draw back from dying - so it was a wrestle to stand His ground, and do the will of God, to fulfil His destiny.