And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Matthew 26: 39

 

Jesus was feeling distress and all-encompassing emotional agony. The depth of His suffering at this time is beyond all human imagining. I think that it must have approximated the sort of grief that God, the Father, feels when we, His beloved and handcrafted creation, rebel and reject Him. Now Jesus was not just a man, for He was also God dwelling on earth in the form of a human; so, He retained an extraordinary ability to understand the Father’s ways and His will. Yet, even Jesus recognized that He was living in submission to the will of the Father. In this moment of greatest distress, Jesus can speak in an open and utterly honest manner to God without setting out even one note of opposition to the plan and the will of the Father. Jesus remained committed to doing exactly what God had set out for Him to do.

 

I do not possess understanding, strength of character, or the sort of courage that Jesus demonstrated. I certainly am not God in any sense except for one. God, in His creative outworking of my own personal and individual creation, made me in substance and in form after His own image. He imparted a soul into me as He breathed the life that infuses every cell of my body into my existence. In doing this God granted to me capability and capacity for understanding and for living out the direction and the nature of His will. Every person is granted this same God-image nature as a part of her or his own existence. The essential difference for each of us comes about in the absence of the presence of Christ within our being. Without Christ’s Spirit people live in an unfulfilled or a partial form of God’s design intent. In this state we are required to utilize our own strength, understanding, and wisdom as the outer limits of our capability and capacity.

 

However, in Christ, we are granted these same essential qualities but they come to us from the source in God, Himself. As we yield ourselves to Christ, His Spirit works to shape each of us into more of the person that God intends for us to be. We do not lose our individuality or our uniqueness in this process. Rather, we grow and develop into that specifically and specially crafted person that God’s creative intent devised for each of us from conception. This is the point and the place where God’s will becomes most clearly expressed in human lives. As we surrender ourselves and yield control of our lives to Christ, we are set free from many of the constraints that sin has placed upon us. We are free to follow God’s will for life and for living it in service to Him. In Christ, we enter into the strength and the willing capability to say with our Lord, “Father, not as I will, but as you will.”

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