Not My Will, But Thine Be Done!

And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.  And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.”         – Luke 22:41-43

The text that is before us this week paints a portrait of Jesus and the final segment of his road to being captured in order to be brought before Pontius Pilate for judgement and ultimately crucifixion.  However, I would like to focus on three specific points that are planted in this text as a way of providing some of us with some foresight as to why we as believers have to go through and face the things that we face on the road to Destiny. Those points are separation, supplication, and subjectification.

Separation.  Many times when God has spoken or revealed his plan for our lives there is a tendency for us to begin to reveal this plan to others.  It may not be everyone that is in your circle, but there are one or two that we usually think are ride or die, stuck for life, glued at the hips, and ace-boon-goons that qualifies them to come along for the ride.  We hardly ever realize that there are some things and some places that God is taking us to where nobody can tell you how to get there, show you how to get there, and nobody can come through except you.  This could not have been portrayed any better than by Jesus himself.  The first part of the scripture says that he withdraw from them.  We all know the story of how he went away to pray and came back several times to find them sleeping, but why did he withdraw?

My first suggestion is this:  He understood that the task that was set before him was for him and him alone.  What leads me to believe this?  As Jesus was going to pray he told his disciples to stay here and watch with me.  He comes back and finds them sleeping and says are you not able to watch with me for one hour, then he tells them that their spirit is willing but their flesh is weak.  Now, I had to ask God a question about this, because Jesus is the man that would have surely been able to help them overcome their flesh.  Watch this.  Just because you ask someone to take part in your journey doesn’t mean that he or she is equipped to do so.  Jesus came to understand that the fight that he was fighting was not their fight but his alone.  That’s why when he returned and found them sleeping yet again he just turned back and continued to pray.   Question:  Who are you getting mad at because they don’t have the ability to tarry, labor, and watch with you on your behalf for your glory or Destiny?  Is it your spouse?  Is it your family or friends?  You are mad at people who are not equipped to drink from the cup that you drink, and you haven’t learned that the reason they cannot labor and watch with you is because the fight that you are in is not theirs but yours and yours alone.  I came to say stop wasting energy trying to build up an army of people to watch and labor with you. Instead, separate yourself or withdraw from them and go at it alone.  Make it plain Kean.  The trial that is set before you is for you and you alone.  Stop trying to bring an entourage or gather a support system to help you reach your Destiny.

Supplication.  The act of making supplication is to make a humble plea or petition.  Thus, we arrive at my second suggestion:  Jesus understood that humility is not just a verbal expression but also a physical and outward expression.  How do I know this?  The next part of the text says he kneeled down.  In other words, he first demonstrated to God that he not only understood His (God) position but he also subjected himself unto full submission to His (God) position by kneeling before him.  Jesus didn’t kneel out of fear or being scared; rather he kneeled out of reverence and respect for God’s position.  What is his position?  The Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, Creator of the universe, and the only I AM that I AM.   Question:  If Jesus, the Son of God, knew and subjected himself to kneeling as a sign of humility, respect, and submission what makes you or I so special to the point where we think we can stand toe to toe with God and make demands of him?  I am convinced that this is what is meant when the author writes in Hebrews 11:6 that “…he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarded of those who diligently seek him.”  In other words, if you want to see God move on your behalf the first thing you must do is demonstrate or yield yourself as one with humility.

Next, we arrive at the part where it says he prayed to God saying if it be your will remove this cup from me.  Here we see the humble plea being made.  He didn’t come saying God I need you to do this or do that.  He didn’t come using fancy words or his most educated approach.  No!  Jesus first knew that if God willed for anything to be done then so shall it be.  How many times have we actually stopped and analyzed this scripture?  Why did Jesus go and pray three times to God concerning the road that was set before him?  Can I make another suggestion to you?  Jesus understood the principles of God and was demonstrating how to operate in them.  Watch this.  The text says that he prayed if it be your will remove this cup from me three times.  Why keep praying the same prayer three times?  Everything that we see around Jesus happened with three.  He began his ministry when He was 30, his ministry lasted 3 years, he was crucified at the third hour, and was resurrected 3 day later.  Matthew 18 says that every matter must be proved by two or three witnesses.  Three also represents the trinity; Father, Son, Holy Ghost.  Immediately, I am reminded of someone else who prayed three times for God to remove an unpleasant and painful yet needed thing from him.  Come here Paul.  After Paul prayed to God three times to remove the thorn in his side Paul got a response.  My grace is sufficient for you and my strength is made perfect in weakness.  There it is.  Could it be that the number three signifies God’s sovereignty and strengthening over, in and through situations? We’ll come back to this one in a minute.

Subjectification.  Subjectification is the process of making oneself subject to the control or authority of another.  This is to basically say I submit myself to another’s rule, control, or leadership.  After Jesus prayed if it be God’s will to remove the cup from him, the next part shows him subjecting himself to God’s way.  He says, nevertheless not my will but yours be done.  Jesus demonstrated how to earnestly pray and make a humble plea to God in hopes that God will take away the pain that is causing his weakness, but ultimately he demonstrated how to still say “Yes” to God in the face of adversity.  Jesus prayed for convenience and when God did not budge or grant his request he still demonstrated that I’m going all the way.  I am convinced that this mindset is what we need in today’s Faith Walk.  We need the “not my will but thine be done God” mindset.  The mindset that says, “If I got to fight, suffer, be hard pressed, and perplexed I’m still going to submit to your will and to your way.  Why? It is your will that enables me to tap into a level of strength that I didn’t have before.  It is your will God, that enables me to stand in the midst of afflictions and convictions and continue to press on towards the mark.”

Somebody says that sounds good brother, but what does the Bible say?  I’m glad you asked.  Come here again Apostle Paul, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” Wait.  Let’s prove this statement.  I told you earlier that I would come back to point two, supplication.   Could it be that the number three signifies God’s sovereignty and strengthening over, in and through situations?  Watch this.  After Jesus brings himself into subjection to the will of the Father by saying Not my will but thine be done, what happens?  The text says, an angel from heaven appeared strengthening him.  You missed it.  Jesus is the Son of God who possess the ability to change situations and call down angels to help him.  For the trial that was set before him, he didn’t try to change the situation himself and he didn’t call for angels to come assist him.  Instead, he subjected himself to God’s sovereignty by saying not my will but your will be done.  God heard that and decided within Himself to assist his Son by sending His own angel down to provide strength to His Son to face the task that was set before him and endure it with humility, so that his Son could receive his crown of glory.  Shout cue:  When you subject yourself to God’s plan in spite of whatever you may face you receive His strength which is responsible for helping to ensure you finish your race.

Can I close out now?  God is not looking for people who wants him to back their agenda, but He is looking for a people who will back His agenda.  He’s looking for a people that will tell him “Not Mine Will, But Thine Be Done!”  He’s looking for a people that knows that the road is not going to be easy all the time.  It’s not going to be pretty and cuddling all the time.  It’s not going to be rainbows and sunshine all the time.  Can I give you the shout cues?   I believe with all my heart and I’m willing to stake my life on it that God is looking for a people that will say if I have to go through, Then So Be It!  If I have to go at it alone, Then So Be It!  If I have to go low and humble myself, Then So Be It!  If it gets extremely difficult, Then So Be It!  If I have to cry all night, Then So Be It!  If i have to toil and tarry all night, Then So Be It!  If I have to lay down this life, Then So Be It!  If I have to separate, Then So Be It!  If I got to supplicate, Then So Be It!  If I have to subjectify myself, Then So Be It!  Why?  Not Mine Will, But Thine Be Done!  It’s not about my convenience, rather it is about the power of God resting in me.

In other words, Jesus knew that if I am being allowed to go through it, then it must be the will of God for me.  How do I know if it’s the will of God for me?  I have separated myself from everyone.  I have made supplication to the Most High God.  I have also subjected myself to his will.  If after all this, the road ahead is still hard then know that although He may not deliver you from it, He will strengthen you in it and through it so that you will overcome it. If we are going to do anything or be anybody we have got to begin the process of changing our minds.  The change starts with us simply saying Not Mine Will, But Thine Be Done!  I think it was Pastor Marvin Winans that said, “More of three and less of me.  That’s the only way it can be.  To complete what I must do.  I need less of me and more of you!”  Let’s adopt this mindset and watch how God begins to strengthen us and help us to reach our expected end.  Be blessed and stay encouraged!

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