‘Not as I will’

“He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “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 Garden of Gethsemane offers one of the most-tragic and honest insights into our relationship with God.

Here we read of Christ, God in the flesh, preparing to face a cruel and painful death in order to bring redemption to mankind.

With inevitable trouble on the horizon, Christ does two things: First, He asks the disciples to pray for Him; second, He goes off alone to pray for Himself.

In these two acts, Christ shows us the importance of community: having a group of people you trust to pray for you when needed.

Christ also shows us the importance of individual relationships with God; that no amount of communal worship can replace the time we spend in solitude with God.

These two forms of prayer, of worship, are demonstrated as our most-effective form of defense against life’s troubles.

While the above lesson alone is essential to empowered spiritual life, Christ goes farther to show us the means of truly effective prayer and worship. Christ asks that the trouble ahead of Him may pass, that He not have to endure it.

Though, most importantly, Christ concludes this prayer by insisting that it not be His will that is done, but rather the will of God that is done in this situation.

As we know from our reading of the Gospels, God’s will did not align with Christ’s own, and Christ indeed was crucified.

Yet, as we also know from our reading, Christ’s story did not end in painful death, but rather in triumphant resurrection. Three days after this fateful prayer, Christ rose from the tomb, whole and more glorified than before.

The above is an invaluable lesson for modern-day believers seeking a genuine connection with God and greater spiritual power in daily life: the understanding that God is all-knowing and all-loving.

While we may be so convinced of what is right or wrong for us and others, only God can truly know what is best in a given situation. By surrendering to God’s will, we open ourselves up to His guidance and His blessing.

This may require us to be removed from our comfort zone, and even to endure difficulty. Yet, as Christ exemplifies, God’s love ensures that every trial ultimately leads to victory for those who put their faith in God.

Jason Shockley is an evangelist and teacher. Facebook @simplemessagelife. Email: jrshockley25@gmail.com