by: Gary L. Hutchens
On the evening of His betrayal Jesus went to Gethsemane to pray, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me;” (Lk. 22:42). It is rather incredible to contemplate what would have been the spiritual state of mankind had God the Father answered “Yes” to the prayer of our Lord that evening. But Jesus made His request conditional: “if it is Your will, take this cup from Me.” He further emphasized His submission to the will of the Father by saying, “not My will, but Yours, be done.” The prayer seems to indicate a personal desire on the part of Jesus- perhaps an expression of His human nature- to not have to go to the cross. But His greater desire to do God’s will echoes in those words “not My will, but Yours, be done."
This was not the only time that Jesus declared His submission to God’s will. He told the apostles, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me…” (Jn. 4:34). He further stated, “For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (Jn. 6:38).
The way we live our lives should demonstrate the same standard of dedication to God expressed in those words of Jesus in Gethsemane, “not My will, but Yours, be done.” But do we consistently live by that standard?
God’s will is that His followers assemble together as the church on the first day of the week in order to formally offer their worship to Him (Heb. 10:23-25). Our worship should be “in spirit and truth” (Jn. 4:23-24). We should not substitute the doctrines of men over God’s teachings (Matt. 15:9). In these matters does your life demonstrate the standard proclaimed by Jesus, “not My will, but Yours, be done”?
Do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ as Christ has loved you? Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn. 13:34-35). Paul instructed that our love is to be “without hypocrisy” and that we are to be “kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love” (Rom. 12:9-10). Remember the standard: “not My will, but Yours, be done.”
In your marriage relationship do you love your wife “as Christ also loved the church” (Eph. 5:25). Do you submit to your own husband “as to the Lord” (Eph. 5:22). Remember what Jesus said in Gethsemane: “not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Are you living obediently to the teachings of God and Christ? Jesus stated that if you truly love Him you will obey Him (Jn. 14:15, 21, 23). Jesus set the standard by actually going through process of learning obedience Himself and thereby became “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:8-9). Are you living by the teachings of God’s word, or do you put your will over God’s will? “not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Have you surrendered your life to your Savior through baptism for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:37-38)? That is central to the gospel message of salvation that Jesus sent His apostles to teach throughout the world (Matt. 28:19-20; Mk. 16:15-16). By whose will are you living your life- by your will, or by God’s will? There is only one standard that is acceptable, the one enunciated by our Savior on the night of His betrayal in Gethsemane: “not My will, but Yours, be done”…
Gary L. Hutchens