Thy Will Be Done
September 19, 2019 by Sean Grossman 0 comments
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about faith and prayer. I think I have, at times, been an individual who has believed that if only I had some more faith then maybe my prayers would be more effective. If only I could have just a bit more, then maybe someone close to me will be healed, or they will be relieved of some burden whether physical, financial, spiritual, or otherwise, will be lifted.
Yes, many times it can appear as though it is all on us, all on me and you. If only we were better, or more equipped, then maybe we would be heard and the burden would be taken away. I know I have felt this way before, and I know in the past I have believed that this was the case.
Yet, as I’ve grown older I’ve come to the conclusion that I was very wrong in this belief. I’ve concluded that it is not so much on me and my faith, but more-so on the grace of God. Because as it is, any faith that I do have in Christ is a gift given by grace, as such what faith I do have is already sufficient for salvation, why shouldn’t it be sufficient for miracles?
But more than this I think of Christ in the garden prior to His crucifixion. It was here this occurs, “36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.” (Matthew 26:36-44, ESV).
I think a lot of times we focus a great deal on the disciples. I think we do this because we easily see ourselves in them. We easily see how we are such abject failures especially in comparison to the perfect Son of God. Thus, we think about them in their sleep and how, if we were there, surely we would have acted differently.
Well, for now we’re going to put them away. Instead, I wanted to focus on the prayer Christ prays. We notice it is, almost, the same every time. “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And finally we are simply told, “So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.”
Now, I consider this moment in the life of Jesus. Again, the perfect Son of God. Completely faithful and obedient in all things. His faith was the epitome of faith, as He Himself is the author of faith. My question is, does Christ somehow have not enough faith? He clearly would prefer another way to go other than what is before Him. What do find, however? “Not my will, but your will be done.”
It is my estimation, and humble opinion, that the greatest faith is not the one which necessarily believes that mountains can move by faith, but the ones which say, “Lord, if it is your will for this mountain to move, then so be it. If it is Your will for this mountain to stay, then so be it.” It’s the faith which trusts not in God’s ability to necessarily move things, but in God Himself, His character, His ability to move mountains, but also His ability to give us strength to walk over them too.
Christ sets the example. While we can certainly pray for our burdens to be taken away, just as Christ did, He reminds us the greatest faith is that God’s will be done, and that in the end His will is far greater than ours, and as we learn in Romans 12 that the will of God is good, pleasing, and perfect.
I guess my final thought is that I simply wanted to encourage you. Continue to pray, continue to ask, and continue to make petitions to God. He is perfectly capable of changing our circumstances and the circumstances of those around us. However, let’s not forget that this is His world, and His purposes for our burdens may be lead to greater things than we can possibly imagine.
Christ reminds us of this. His suffering led to the greatest act of redemption in history, an act so significant that the dead are given life. If He has already given us faith to believe by His grace, then stand on His grace rather than on your own abilities. Pray like Christ in the garden then, knowing the greatest of faith will say, “Thy will be done.”
Soli Deo Glora,
Shifting Sand by Caedmon’s Call
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