And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
No matter what we would ask, it must always be, “not my will, but thine, be done,” because our will might be a little selfish. We might be thinking too much of ourselves and what we can gain. We might want something just to satisfy our flesh. Our will might fall short of God’s ultimate purpose and plan. Our will might leave something undone that someone else will have to come along and do. We might miss our chance to be useful to God because we are so unwilling. Our will might be for our own comfort when God’s is for someone else’s good to come through what we might endure. We might be trying to spare ourselves when God intends to send us out specifically for their sake.
These were all the things that Jesus was facing when He knelt before His Father in agony on the precipice of His crucifixion. Jesus’ will was for the cup to be removed. Certainly He would have rather avoided the pain, the humiliation, the suffering. Surely He would have rather not endured such a struggle, knowing as He did exactly what it would entail. But then God’s plan of salvation wouldn’t have been accomplished. Then millions of people would have died in their sins and gone to hell, eternally apart from God. Then the whole world would have been condemned and there would have been no hope.
But God’s will was done. And God’s plan went forward. And all of mankind benefited from that one sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. His willingness to submit to the Father gave us hope and life and light and so much more than that. His submission to God’s infinite wisdom brought about our redemption. And Jesus rose in glory and now resides at His Father’s right hand. So He didn’t lose anything by doing exactly what God wanted Him to do.
May our prayers always seek God’s will first. May we be willing to put our personal desires in second place to see God’s will done in all things. May we be willing to sacrifice, to endure something we don’t want to, to seek someone else’s benefit. Jesus did. And when we are submissive to God, we don’t miss out on anything. What we would have gained by getting our way could never compare to the ways God will bless us for our obedience to Him. So may we always gladly trade our will for His to be done.