When Jesus Enters…The Garden

“Not my will, but yours be done.”

So powerful. So profound. So inspiring.

And I have turned it into a copout.

When Jesus prayed this prayer, He was not saying, “Well, God, let’s just see what happens.” He was not saying, “I’ll just sit back, do nothing, and let you direct everything.”

Jesus prayed fervently. He prayed for hours. His life was a life of prayer. He spent time with the word of God. He knew God’s will for His life. But still He prayed, “Father, I don’t want to do this.” It was not a simple statement of something He would like to do or not do. It was not like it was a coin-flip decision.

Jesus said, “God I know what your will is for my life. I know what you want me to do. I know what you have been preparing me for my entire life. And I still do not want to do it. I want you to find some other way. I want you to take this cup away from me. I want to be spared of the pain and suffering that awaits me. But…

“Not my will, but yours be done.”

Then He did God’s will and He went to the cross.

When I repeat that prayer, I too often use it as a way for me to avoid struggling with the will of God. I use it to shield myself from when I don’t get what I want: “Oh, it must not have been God’s will.”

I say I want God’s will to be done, but instead I am avoiding actually seeking out what God’s will is.

But Jesus teaches me something different. He knew God’s will. He studied to learn more about God’s will. He followed God’s will relentlessly. Yet He was still able to ask that God be willing to change His will. Jesus did not passively accept something to be done to Him. He studied, He knew, He followed, He asked, and He followed some more.

Instead of avoiding it, I need to be seeking God’s will for my life. I need to study it, pray about it, know it, follow it. And it’s okay if I tell Him I don’t like it. I need to know His will, tell Him my fears, worries, and concerns. And then I need to say:

“Not my will, but yours be done.”

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