On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood
Your Will Be Done
Apr. 27, 2014
In the moments before Jesus is arrested, He gives us an insight from His own experience on how to face the hardest circumstances of life.
First, He calls God “Abba, Father.” Abba is the endearing term, much like we would use the word “Daddy.”
For Jesus, God is not an abstract idea, a policeman in the sky, a remote ruler, a king dispatching orders from his palace. No! God is personal. We learn that from Jesus. We too have a Father in heaven, a Father so endearing that we are as welcome to come into His arms of love and care as a small child comes to his or her daddy.
We have a personal relationship with the God who made the heavens and the earth, God over all! Thus, in our “Gethsemanes” we come — not to a remote father who sits behind a desk, but to a “Daddy” who welcomes us into His presence with open arms.
Second, our confession of faith must always be, “God, You can do anything. Nothing is impossible with You.” We recognize, as did Jesus, that we serve an all-powerful God. We must never let that reality slip from us when we are tempted to doubt and ask, “But, where is God?” or “Where was God?” He’s always there, but also here. He has ultimate power and authority.
Third, our confession of faith must also include the words used by Jesus, “Your will be done.” God was not going to deliver Jesus from the evil decisions of others. In order for free will to work, people must have the freedom to do right or wrong.
Too often, people wrongly attribute an evil outcome to God’s omnipotence, forgetting that we are responsible for our own actions. For example, if my daughter were killed by a drunk driver, that was not God’s decision. It was the choice of a person who made a wrong and evil decision to get drunk and drive. God’s will in that circumstance is that I would not become bitter or let the loss of my daughter destroy my life and those around me. “Your will be done” means that I ask the Lord, “How now do I respond to this? What good can come from this? Help me, Lord!”
We do not always get what we want. That’s why it’s so important for us to repeat the words of Jesus, “Not what I will, but what You will.” To condition our prayers with “Your will be done” is not a lack of faith, it is the evidence of a faith that trusts deeply in the character and goodness of God.
Finally, we should note that in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus went “a little farther.” He went farther than the eight disciples left on the perimeter or the three disciples chosen to be closer to Him. He went farther — not only in prayer, but also in agony, laying down His life for us. None of us will ever go farther than did Jesus. Only He can bear our sins in His body on the cross. That’s what drove Him from Gethsemane to Calvary.
A prayer of response
On Your Mark