“Not my will.”
It was a simple prayer and a hurting cry from a torn soul. Jesus prayed it on the night before His death, and it is a prayer that is important for us to copy ourselves.
I am sure it was not the pain of the nails or thrashing of the whip that Jesus feared the most. It was the pain of all the sins of the world being placed on His soul. Jesus referred to it all as a “cup,” but imagine it more like a barrel – a barrel of scum and sin pour on Him. He knew all along it had to be done, but He prayed and asked that it be taken from Him. After making his request, He ended His prayer every time with “Not my will, but Yours be done.”
He got up off the ground twice to ask the disciples to keep praying. Each time He returned more anguished. An angel of the Lord came to give Him strength. He was dripping drops of sweat as if he was bleeding abundantly. It was there at the rock that He met our sin. For the next seventeen hours he wrestled with them. He did not want to, but because of His love for us, He did. If we want to know God, and desire to be formed in Christ’s likeness we must meet Jesus daily at that rock.
Joe Stowell once said it this way:
“This is the pattern we are to follow in our lives if we are to know Jesus. An undaunted and nonnegotiable loyalty to Jesus – regardless of the cost – is the key to a deepening, intimate fellowship with Him. Regardless of what He requires, those who want to draw close to Him meet Him at the sweat-stained rock in the Garden and brokenly repeat His words after Him: ‘Not my will, but Yours be done.’”
If you are following Christ, then I assume you are at war with sin. I also know that in the midst of that war, other battles are being waged against you. If you try to keep on fighting without Christ’s help you will only wear yourself out and lose the war before it is even over. We must rely on Christ strength and bank on His forgiveness because it propels us to greater levels of obedience and dependence.
Meet Christ at the rock by taking time to pray and recount the gift that was given to you at the Cross. Before you go to bed tonight, kneel there and imagine yourself kneeling next to Christ. Join Him in begging God for mercy in your life, but conclude your prayer with, “Not my will… but Yours.”