Almost every Christian is familiar with Christ’s prayer in the garden just before His arrest and crucifixion. Luke 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
Many have wondered what Jesus meant when He prayed this prayer. Some suppose that He was praying that He might not die in the garden before His crucifixion. Others say that in His humanity He dreaded the physical abuse that laid before Him. Personally, I believe that He had in mind the spiritual suffering He would endure as He would momentarily be abandoned by His Father as He was being punished for our sin. Regardless of the exact reason for His agony, scripture is very clear that our Savior won the battle by submitting His will to the will of His Father. “..nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
The submission of our will to the will of the Father is something that every believer should strive for every day. This seems to be an underlying thought in Paul’s appeal to the Christians at Rome – Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Scripture teaches us that God has a perfect will for every person He creates. There are no accidents in His plan. There are only unique vessels with tailored assignments.
Paul tells us to ‘present’ our bodies to God as a living sacrifice. The terminology he uses links us to a priest who presented to God offerings and sacrifices. With this in mind, try this little experiment.
Find a time and place where you can be alone with God. Then take a sheet of paper and write out the title deed to your life. Include not only your sins and failures, but also your dreams and successes. Then seal it in an envelope and write CHRIST across the front of it. Once you have done this, present it to God. As you do so, make the decision that once and for all, you are giving Him everything there is about you. Lastly, trust Him with it. Don’t pray the prayer and then try to manage what’s in the envelope. Believe that God knows what is best for you and that He will guide you through life. One of my favorite verses of scripture is Isaiah 30:21 “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.“
I did this several years ago and I can’t tell you the freedom it has given me. Whenever I am tempted to worry, I remind myself that whatever happens to Terry Covey is completely up to God.