Slumber of Jezebel
I've had my gift shut down at one season of my life, and terrible thing when your gift shuts down, because what
happens is you're shut down, that's why your gift shuts down. You are shut down. You are the one who's the subject
of the attack, and when you surrender to that thing then you are shut down, and you can't flourish and flow. If God is
raising the church to become powerful and to flow in the supernatural, you've got to be able to withstand this kind of
stuff. You've got to get the kind of grunt inside you to step up, stand up, be what God called you to be. We're not to
be afraid of this because Jesus has gone ahead, and shown us how to beat the thing - and if He's gone ahead and
shown us how to beat it, we can beat it. He said: I have o vercome! Same spirit in me, is in you! Be of good cheer. I've
overcome the world, I can show you what to do - so it pays to have a look. Have a look in Matthew, Chapter 26.
We're going to have a look how Jesus handled the same thing.
It's also found not just in Matthew 26, it's also found in Luke 22. Luke adds a few more details to it - so in Verse 36,
Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples: sit here while I go and pray. And He
took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He
said to them: My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me. He went a little farther
and fell on His face, and prayed, saying Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will,
but as You will. Then He came to His disciples and found them sleeping, and said what? Could you not watch with
Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. A second
time He prayed; O My Father, if this cup cannot pass from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done. Then He came and
He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
They're under a spiritual attack. They slept, when they should have watched and prayed. Now he left them and went
away again, he prayed the third time, saying the same words. Now I want you to pick up just some simple things.
Jesus faced an immense spiritual attack. He faced an immense attack by spiritual powers seeking to remove Him. He
faced in His mind the prospect of death the following day, the most horrible death that is known or devised by man,
death on the cross, long, lingering pain. So as He went, the Bible says He went to the garden. Luke 22 says it was
His habit. He'd formed a habit of prayer, so when He's under pressure, His first response, go back to the place of
prayer. You need a habit of prayer, or you'll never survive spiritual pressure. You'll remain weak and ineffective,
loving God, but not being able to bring forth fruit, that abounds to the glory of God.
God wants fruit in our lives. Just admire Bill and Glenda and even the face of accidents, the pressure in their work
and everything, just continue to do what God called them to do - great courage to do that. And so here's the thing that
Jesus did, and I want you to see how Jesus responded. The first thing is, He refused to draw back from what was in
front of Him. He refused to draw back in fear. He refused to yield to fear. You have to face what i t is that's there, not
run from it. The second thing is, He refused to isolate. Notice what it says: He called His disciples to come with Him
into the place of prayer, not all of them but three of them. He refused to isolate. What did Elijah do? Elijah iso lated
when he needed to have men standing with him. Now you've got to understand this. Jesus knew that these disciples
were immature, He knew that they would run away, He knew they would not be up to the task. Nevertheless, He still
drew them in at this moment He needed them. That means it's a principle, when under spiritual pressure, under
spiritual attack, don't isolate. Engage close relationships to stand with you.
You notice the next thing He did, He opened His heart. He refused to isolate, He opened His heart. Notice what He
said to them in Verse 38: My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. I am troubled. He said: 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, and what I'm just 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. For men, men live in a world that's highly
competitive, so in a man's world what happens is, 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, have to walk with someone else, have to walk with friends.
There's some things we stand in, and we've got to grow up in, and even with friends there's a limit to what frie nds can
do, as you see in this story. But nevertheless, Jesus is a man of principle, 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, and notice what else He did. 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.