06.04 “Go to Dark Gethsemane”

Go to dark Gethsemane,

Ye that feel the tempter’s power;

Your Redeemer’s conflict see,

Watch with Him one bitter hour.

Turn not from His griefs away;

Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.

This sharing is not the usual excerpt from Then Sings My Soul by Robert J. Morgan, but rather, a personal reflection on this song that pertains to Good Friday. In light of the theme of this newsletter – spiritual lethargy – the writer of this hymn has much to encourage us to put off our fatigue and procrastination. He urges us to consider the agony of Christ as He approached the Cross, and how He suffered greatly for us.

If at this point you still have no idea on how to battle spiritual lethargy, I ask you to picture this in your mind – imagine Christ in Gethsemane, praying, and sweating as it were great drops of blood. Was Christ relaxing? Certainly not! Do you then think that you can get rid of spiritual lethargy without a fight? Certainly not! It is a struggle, a battle, an intense fight against the temptation to be sluggish. If you are determined to get rid of this sin that often besets us, and wastes away the most precious hours of our time, then we must be ready for a fight. We must “watch and pray” – as Christ asked of the disciples to do as He was in great agony.

As though expecting many to do so, the writer of the hymn cautions us “turn not from his griefs away” – so many of us turn away from this fight! We cannot battle with our slothfulness, our lethargy, or laziness simply because we are not ready to fight! And what is the solution to this problem? It is but one – to pray, and to ask God for strength to fight. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7). Here, Christ tells us to ask for what we want, according to His will. So we must ask, and it will certainly be given to us.

The only question remaining is… do you have such a desire? Do you have the desire to rid yourself of spiritual lethargy? We must hate sin, and hate sin so greatly, that nothing will stop us from casting it aside – only with such a heart will we be ready to fight against sin, and fight against spiritual lethargy. Keep praying! 

(Lyrics of Go to Dark Gethsemane by James Montgomery; article written by Joan Loo)

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