O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will. Matthew 26:39
The above prayer is one of the most popular prayers of Jesus Christ. It expresses His agony as His will (his humanity) struggled with the will of God, hoping that the ‘cup’ of the cross would pass over Him. However, He eventually submitted to God’s will and not the inclinations of His own flesh. This occurred in the garden of Gethsemane.
‘Gethsemane’ in its original sense means ‘an oil press,’ a place where olives were crushed to make oil. It is the place of submission; it is a place where our ‘flesh’ is crushed that the oil of God’s grace and anointing may flow in our lives; it is a place where our will yields to the will of God. Every Christian must go there at some point. That is where true submission – obedience, begins. To be in submission is to accept or yield to a superior force, or to the will or authority of another person. God calls for our submission to His will. It is the hallmark of Christian maturity.
‘Submission’ is not a word or concept we like as 21st century believers; we don’t feel we have to do what is required of us – we believe in the freedom of speech and the freedom to do whatever we want. But really, freedom without boundaries is disaster in the making. God is not a democrat; He is a theocrat. However, God is not a tyrant who commands our compliance to His Word in order to control us; but He is our tutor who seeks our obedience to His Word, in order to guide us.
God said to Saul through Samuel, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” That is so because obedience makes you crucify your flesh. Your obedience to His instructions is more important to God than anything you give Him. Thus, a sound Christian life is measured by how yielded you are to God; not doing what you wish but what He wills – turning the other cheek, when you feel like revenging, not traveling just when you want to, not getting even, not abusing or insulting, forgiving and reaching out in love and mercy – that is true submission, that is telling God, “Not my will, but YOUR will be done.”
I Samuel 15:17-23, Philippians 2:5-9, & John 14:15
Lord, I ask and receive grace to not let my wish, but YOUR will be done in my life especially when it is so hard to accept it. And as I allow YOUR will to be done in my life, may I receive the blessing that comes with obedience in Jesus’ name.