I WANT TO welcome everybody watching The Feast at Home today.
Thank you so much for joining us. You are going to be blessed with today’s talk.
It’s called CRUSHED.
Today, I want to preach the simple message, “Want what God wants.”
I got a question for you: What does God want? Have you ever asked that question? What does God want?
I know that you know what you want. For instance, you want a career as a culinary chef, or maybe some of you want to be a lawyer, or a pilot, or a banker. You want a house with a great view where your wife and your two beautiful daughters and your amazing son and your golden retriever can enjoy. Am I right? Or maybe you want to be President? Some of you?
But the more important question is this: How do I know if what I want is what God wants for me too? That’s the billion-dollar question, right? But really, what does God want? Have you ever asked that? You want my most honest answer? Okay, here it is. Get ready for this: It depends. Okay, I wish I had a better answer than that. But let me explain first.
For example, if you want God to give you a step-by-step blueprint of what He wants you to do, I’m a sorry to say, but there’s no such thing. Because life is not like it’s a Lego toy where there’s a diagram on how you build your life. NO. Ever notice that God doesn’t like unveiling the details? You know, it would be so much easier if God would just give us a clue on what will happen tomorrow, right? But you know, He doesn’t. Why?
Because God is not into the details.
I remember the story of Jesus walking on water that night and He asked Peter, if Peter could go to Him. But then Jesus gives this instruction that, to me, it was so crazy.
Jesus Walks on Water
22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning[a] Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here![b]”28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong[c] wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed. — Matthew 14:22-33 NLT
Note what Jesus says: He says, “Come.”
That’s it. No manual, no diagram, no YouTube tutorial on how Peter could miraculously walk on water. You know, just “Come.”
No wonder Peter sank, right?
You know, I know we all could wish that God would just be clear on the details sometimes. But that’s just not how God works. Here’s what God will do. God will give you the destination. Destination is Heaven. But because of free will you have the freedom to choose the details of your journey. Whoo!
Okay, let me put it this way: God will give you the destination but you get to decide the details. Hallelujah!
So, that’s why don’t bother asking God the blow-by-blow details. You know, if you want to know what God wants, here’s what you need to do:
You first have to know His heart. Because when you know His heart, you’ll know His plan for your life.
That’s why Christianity
So, by the end of our session today, here is our lofty goal: I want you to wantis essentially a relationship with Jesus. The more you discover the heart of Jesus, the more you understand what He wants for you. That’s the end goal of this beautiful relationship with Jesus: To want to know what He wants. what God wants. That’s actually our big message today: You need to want what God wants. Write that down.
The Agony in the Garden
Let’s turn to our assigned passage for today: Matthew 26: 36.
We’re going to dive into the inspiration behind the First Sorrowful Mystery. It’s called the Agony in the Garden.
Gethsemane means olive press.
If you fly to Israel today and you go to that same spot called Gethsemane, you’ll still see the olive trees and they’re more than centuries old.
The way that the ancient Jews produced olive oil was to take a giant stone and then press the olives and voila—out comes olive oil.
I remember, one time, I asked my son Ethan what’s the Tagalog word for banana.
He pauses for a moment and starts thinking and then his eyes light up and he shouts the answer:
“The Tagalog word for banana is ketchup!”
Apparently, when you squeeze bananas, out comes banana ketchup. I’m telling you my son is a genius. While you and I are still living in the year 2022, Ethan is already living in the year 2052.
Jesus Won’t Be Crushed
Okay let’s get serious.
I want you to know that it’s not a coincidence that Jesus was being pressed in the same place where people pressed olives. Because more than anything, this was a loud statement. It was a statement that said Jesus would be pressed on all sides. But hey, He won’t be crushed.
And, you know, that’s my declaration to somebody right now.
If you are surrounded by all sorts of pressure in your life, Saint Paul says this, and this is my declaration today: We might be pressed on every side by trouble but we are not crushed. We are perplexed but not driven to despair. We are down but we are not destroyed.
Come on, give me a loud “Amen,” somebody.
I know you don’t like pressure. I don’t like
pressure, either. My arms, my palms, my feet, and my armpits sweat whenever I’m pressured. I can’t get a good night sleep whenever I’m pressured. I choke when
But you know what? Pressure can sometimes be a good thing. Because pressure brings out who you really are. When you apply pressure on anything, whatever’s locked inside is released.
You know how diamonds are formed. Deep in the earth’s core is a substance called crystalline carbon and on its own, you know, carbon is nothing special.
But when you apply extreme heat and pressure on that thing, you know what happens— it turns into a beautiful diamond. One of the hardest and most precious materials in this world.
Here is the truth: Pressure releases the potency that’s trapped inside of you. So, whether you know it or not, there is potential in you that only pressure can release. So, the next time you experience pressure, my friend, I want you to remember this: It’s not what’s happening to you. But it’s about what God is trying to release from you. Amen. Pressure is not meant to crush you. It’s meant to release something of value in you. It’s meant to release the oil that’s inside of you.
Now, what did Jesus do when He experienced intense pressure? You know what He did? Scripture says that He prayed. That’s what we need to do.
If you’re going through a difficult time right now, do what Jesus did in the garden. Pray.
Let’s go to Verse 37:
I want you to take a special note of who Jesus brought with Him. Because this was not the first time that Jesus took the same cast of characters with Him—Peter, James, and John.
Remember in Matthew Chapter 7– when Jesus was up on the mountain and then He transfigured. Let’s go back to that verse. I want to prove a point to you.
I want you to think long and hard about this. Because Matthew was making a deep and profound connection between these two stories and I need you to listen to this. It’s a really, really good point and I pray that this gives you deep encouragement this year.
Matthew says that on the mountain, Jesus’ face shone like the sun.
But then he also says that in the garden, Jesus bowed with His face to the ground– Verse26: 39. It was as if Matthew is saying that on the mountain, Jesus showed His Divinity and, in the garden, Jesus showed His Humanity.
Question: How can I make this practical in my life,
How is this applicable to my situation right now?
Okay, may I preach this to you:
See, Life is a series of ups and downs. We all know that. In the different stages of your life, sometimes you are up, sometimes you are down. Sometimes you are on top of the world, sometimes you are down in the dumps. Sometimes you are winning, but sometimes you are losing.
Here’s my message: Don’t ever get too cocky. Don’t ever get too proud when you are on top because nobody stays on the mountain forever.
But you know on that same note, don’t ever lose hope. If you are in anguish– especially right now. Why? Because nobody weeps in the garden forever. But here’s the best part: Whether you are up on the mountain or you are down in the garden, it doesn’t really matter when or where you are. Because where you are is not as important as who you are with. Your companion is more important than your location.
Here’s what I need you to do: I want you to put your hand over your chest and say this: I can be anywhere as long as Jesus is with me. Amen.
The Two Gardens
May I invite you to go deeper?
In a previous talk, I shared with you how Jews use Genesis as a lens when they read the Bible– specifically Genesis Chapters 1, 2, and 3. Because Biblical authors hyperlink their stories back to the original story, the story of all stories— the story of Adam and Eve.
So, when Matthew wrote about Gethsemane, my guess is he wanted his readers to recall the garden of all gardens.
Because in this first garden, Adam and Eve gave in to the pressure.
But in Gethsemane, Jesus didn’t.
Adam and Eve followed their feelings, but Jesus followed His faith.
My friend, you are in a garden right now.
There is intense pressure all around you.
You’re faced with the same choice.
Will you be like Adam and Eve who chose godhead? That is, to be all-knowing, divine like God.
Or will you be like Jesus who chose death for others?
I’ve been married for 23 years, and believe me, marriage is a garden. Yesterday, Marowe and I were arguing about some tiny thing, but the way we were arguing, you’d think the issue was a matter of life and death. Thankfully, I realized what was happening. And I told myself, “I have a choice to make right now. Do I pursue my godhead? Or do I choose to die to myself for my wife?” I chose the latter and in the middle of our heated discussion, smiled and kissed her. End of discussion.
The Purpose of Prayer
In Gethsemane, Jesus prayed three times.
And Matthew shared the first two prayers of Jesus. If you compare them, you’ll discover something beautiful.
The first prayer:
The second prayer:
You can argue that both prayers are exactly the same.
But they’re not. Even if the same words were used, the phrasing shifted, hinting at a subtle movement.
If you notice, the second prayer is more detached. I’ll tell you why.
Because the end goal of prayer is total surrender. My friend, how surrendered are you? Are you?
Two Steps of the Gethsemane Prayer
First Step: You Tell God
What Is in Your Heart
Don’t skip this. Don’t jump to step two.
Some people, they skip to Step 2 right away, saying, “Lord God, you know what, whatever you want!”
No, no. God gave you a brain. God gave you a mind.
God gave you emotions. God gave you your heart.
God wants you to open up and be real before Him.
Be honest with Him.
Feel your feelings before the Lord.
For example, I still teach people to make a Dream List. Even after I authored the book Find Your Surrendered Place.
I teach people surrender. That’s the only way to find peace.
But to this day, I still tell people, “Write down your dreams.”
I also teach people to create a
Dream Board, with cutout photos of what they want for their future.
Each year, I also personally write down the blessings I need for the coming year. I love doing that. Because I know God loves listening to my heart too.
There’s a second step…
Step Two: You Let God
Tell You What Is in His Heart
Dear friend, this is the purpose of prayer:
It’s not to get what we want, but to want what God wants.
Entrain with God
Yes, — Entertainment the biological phenomenon that happens to you all the time.
Example? You’re walking with a friend, chatting away. After some time, when you look down, you realize you and your friend have synchronized your steps. His pace and your pace exactly match. When your friend moves her right foot, you move your right foot too. Without you thinking about it, your steps are perfectly coordinated.
That’s not all. Studies show that when
a mother and a child spend time together, that the breathing of the child entrains with the breathing of the mother. They start breathing in the same rhythm.
And pretty soon, even the child’s heartbeat follows the heartbeat of the mother.
It’s so fascinating.
When I heard about this, I said to myself, “Man, I want that in my relationship with God.”
The real miracle is not when God answers your prayer– but when God’s heartbeat is beating inside your chest.