Thy Will Be Done
Then He went off from them about the distance of a stone’s throw and knelt down and prayed. “Father,” He said, “if you will, take this cup of suffering away from me. Not my will, however, but your will be done.” Luke 22:41-42.
I’ve always felt a strong connection to this passage. It actually breaks my heart over and over again to think of our Lord being so full of anguish in anticipation of what God was calling Him to do. Yet, He seeks to fulfill the will of His father regardless of what would be easier and more comfortable for Him. How often do I act on my will instead of God’s simply because it is easier?
Probably one of the most difficult parts of this process is discerning what is God’s will. There is so much noise around us that tries to drown out God’s still small voice which whispers in our ears. A lot of that noise is the resonance of our own wants and assumed needs. Though there’s nothing wrong with having dreams and desires, God wants to be included in the pursuit of those. Christ wasn’t shy about asking for the cup to pass Him by. The intimate communication of His yearning came from His being in prayer. It is imperative that we have an open conversation, keeping us connected with the Father throughout the day.
Another challenge of seeking God’s will is how we react when it is revealed to us. I’m finding more and more often that God doesn’t usually think the way I do or respond the way I expect. Nor is it often the way I want. It’s scary to get out of where I’m comfortable or to try something beyond what I think I’m capable of doing.
God provides us with everything we need to fulfill our callings but too often we make idols out of fear and doubt. Then our biggest failures come when we say, “Why bother?” and don’t even try. We must not inhibit our flight by being content with staying in our cages. God’s plan is so much more elaborate and liberating than the limitations we put on ourselves.
I wish I could say that it’s simple. In a society where people are always looking to develop the next best thing to make every task easy and quick, we seem to be getting used to putting out minimal effort. But God has blessed us with many gifts and abilities, and intends for us to use them.
There is a Christian painter by the name of Ron DiCianni. He was commissioned to paint a mural of the resurrection for the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, Texas. The mural is a 12 x 40-foot painting of oil on canvas. After doing extensive research on the resurrection he rented a scissor lift to allow him to reach all of the massive canvas. Then he hired models, costumers, set designers and photographers to help him build the scene that he was to paint. So much work was put into the creation of this life changing piece. When asked about all that went into his mural Mr. DiCianni remarked, “Whatever we as artists put our hand to, ought to be the best for our King. To Him belong the best efforts, time and talent we possess.”
I’m sure that when Mr. DiCianni was asked to paint something so grand in scale he probably said, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Maybe he didn’t, but that’s usually what I think when I realize what God’s asking of me. Am I good enough? Do I have the ability? How will people respond?
In the end, I need to know that if it is God’s will and God is asking me to do it, God will equip me with the strength and ability to make it happen. I pray that we don’t’ allow challenging situations to discourage us from seeking and executing God’s plan for us. Jesus knew the struggle it would be to follow God’s plan, and He did it anyway; for each of us. Let’s pray for His strength so that we can return the favor.
Tate Monroe, Director of Discipleship and Development