NOT MY WILL BUT YOURS
BY ELDER DAVID LEONG
Just 2 years ago, I never expected life to turn out this way. I thought I would be working in the marketplace till 67. An unexpected turn of events led to my “early” retirement one year back. Then, a response to help Emmanuel BPC once a month became a full-time endeavour. It wasn’t the journey I had envisaged nor prayed for.
As Good Friday approaches, I thought of what Elizabeth Elliot shared:
“The struggle Jesus had in the Garden of Gethsemane showed me this.
A conflict was taking place — not to annihilate his own will but to accept the will of the Father, which was other than his. It did not end with Jesus saying, “My will is now yours” but with, “Not my will, but yours be done.” The act of praying, far from divesting us of human desires, enables us to lay them before God as very real and pressing and say to him, “Not mine, Lord. Yours.” If we had gotten rid of them, there would be nothing to lay down. There is something terribly down-to-earth about this.”
Jesus prayed at Gethsemane: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42) That was a deeply agonising moment even though He knew all along that was the Father’s plan for Him.
Each of us has our own plans and we can make known our plans to God. But that may not be what God wants. God may sometimes deny us what we want in order to give us something far better. We can be assured that the will of a good God is invariably better. As I prayed and struggled about it, I felt a growing peace and clarity over time though I tread this with much fear and trembling. I came to a point where I could say as Jesus did, “Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done.”
For me, I see this setting aside of my own “plans” to follow God’s leading in this season of my life as the simple obedience of one who is undeserving yet saved by grace. Not everyone is called to do what I’m doing now. But every Christian who calls Jesus Lord must obey what God says (Luke 6:46).
Would we be willing to obey the clear commands contained in God’s Word and for whatever God specifically calls us to?