The Battle of the Will – Day 11
Matthew 26:39-44(NLT) He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 40 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” 42 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. 44 So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again.
Three times Jesus prays the same prayer. We know that the battle is raging and we know that Jesus is resolute in His obedience to the Father. In no way, is Jesus trying to avoid the cross. To even think that as a believer is unfathomable. We know that this is a spiritual battle. Why pray three times? That answer lies in what we know Jesus experienced in the beginning of His earthly ministry. Right after Jesus was baptized, we read this in Matthew 4:1-2(NLT) Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2 where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.
Jesus was tempted for forty days but there were three very distinct temptations. These temptations were directed by the devil, so that Jesus would succumb to his will. Doubt God’s provision (stones to bread). Doubt God’s power (jump of the building). Doubt God’s person (bow down and worship). With all three Jesus responded by quoting the Word. It would be safe to say that the devil is throwing everything at Jesus in this moment. The same way he did at the start of Jesus’ ministry. Three times Jesus prays the exact same prayer! I love the fact that we are being let in on what Jesus prays. Jesus prays an honest prayer in the most vulnerable of moments. My Father! If it is possible…Jesus is not trying to get out of His purpose. He is not afraid of what awaits Him. He is not afraid of suffering. He is the spotless, sinless lamb of God that is about to become sin. He is about to drink the cup of His Father’s wrath. He is about to carry the sin for the whole world. And the devil is trying to stop Him from doing the Father’s will.
Yet the Living Word is fulfilling the written Word by Jesus submitting to the Father’s will completely. The Living Word defeats the devil in the garden of pressing. The same way the written Word defeated the devil in the wilderness. Jesus is not asking the Father to deliver Him from the cross. Jesus is not losing His courage because He is human. Jesus understands better than any of us, that by submitting to the Father, grace is available to resist the devil. In Jesus’ life He never lost sight of God’s will for Him. From the very first day to the last, He was going to do what the Father had asked of Him to do. When He lost Mary and Joseph on purpose and they found Him in the Temple, He said: Luke 2:49(NKJV) And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?
When He goes to be baptized by John, John at first is reluctant, but Jesus tells him it is God’s will. Matthew 3:14-16(NCV) But John tried to stop him, saying, “Why do you come to me to be baptized? I need to be baptized by you!” 15 Jesus answered, “Let it be this way for now. We should do all things that are God’s will.” So John agreed to baptize Jesus.
When the disciples ask’ Him to teach them to pray He teaches them to pray God’s will from heaven to earth. Matthew 6:9-10(NKJV) In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
In the sermon on the Mount Jesus tells all those who are willing to listen, that seeking God’s kingdom and what God wants, is the precursor to having your needs met in your life. Matthew 6:33(NCV) Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well.
When Jesus’ mother and brothers come looking for Him, He responds by saying this in Matthew 12:49-50(NLT) Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. 50 Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!”
Jesus was resolute to do God’s will. The moment the disciples have the revelation that He is the Messiah. That He is the Son of the living God. He begins to tell them what will happen to Him. Matthew 16:21-23(NLT) From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead. 22 But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
Numerous times throughout the gospels we see Jesus telling the disciples what will take place. Not at any time, is there any indication that Jesus is not fully aware of the purpose and plan of God for Him. Not only was he fully aware, He was wholeheartedly willing. He rebukes Peter, when Peter tries to reprimand. Telling Peter he is inspired by the devil. Even saying that it’s a trap. At no point in Jesus’ life was there a resistance or hesitancy to obey God’s plan for Him. John 5:30(NLT) I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.
John 6:38(NKJV) For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Jesus submits to God’s will completely and fully, regardless of the cost. Jesus did not walk blindly into God’s will, he brought His will in full submission to the Father’s will. Even when He has to do it alone. He is singularly focused on doing the Father’s will. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane is fully pressing into God’s will and purpose. We know this because He makes the statement; “My hour has come!” Jesus was not praying for God to deliver Him from what was about to happen. Jesus was praying that the Father would keep Him alive so that He is able to fulfill the very purpose of God!
Again we find the answer to what Jesus prayed, the same night with the disciples. Remember His prayer. John 17:11-15(NLT) Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. 12 During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold. 13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.
Did you see that? Protect them, so that they will be united. Who causes division? The enemy of our faith. Jesus protected them while He was on earth. He lost only the one (Judas) who yielded to the devil. Judas caused division, because he was inspired by the devil. Jesus prays and says; He gave them His Word. He prays that the Father would not take them to Heaven but to protect them from the evil one. There is power available to us if we would completely surrender to the will of our Father. The enemy has done a number on all of us. The church is more divided than ever before. If someone is not from our camp, according to us, at best they are confused, at worst they are deceived. Heretics even.
What if we would pray the prayer that Jesus prayed in the garden. What if we would ask the Lord to open our spiritual eyes so we can see who the true enemy is. The enemy that will do everything in his power to divide us and to hinder us from doing the Father’s will. What if we would get on our knees, just like the living Word, and completely surrender to our Father’s will. The sad part is, we are fighting the Father’s will, instead of praying to do the Father’s will. God’s will might not always be easy to understand but His grace is freely available when we submit. Here’s the kicker. When we pray and obey the Father’s will, He hears us, just like He heard Jesus.
Hebrews 5:7(NLT) While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God.
The Father answered Jesus’ prayer in the garden, so that Jesus can do the Father’s will. He will answer your prayers when you desire to do His will.
- Submit your will to the Father’s will by praying what Jesus prayed; “Father, not my will but yours be done…”
- Pray that you would be empowered by Jesus’ Word to overcome the enemy.
- Pray that there will be united hearts and minds, in the Body of Christ.
- Pray for all the different churches in our Valley, to be united in purpose and in love.