Matthew 26:39 – My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me, yet not as I will, but as You will.
This passage is the clearest picture mankind has of absolute surrender to the will of God. This is the turning point leading away from Adam’s rebellion, insisting on his will and not God’s.
Christ, whom Paul calls “the Last Adam,” fully fulfills God’s redemptive purpose for humanity. Jesus, chose to lay aside His will for the will of God. Once and for all He made it possible for the one who puts their faith in His redemptive work, to be able to do the same as He did. Our minds, emotions, and will have been liberated to fully surrender to God the Father.
Peter stood strong before the religious leaders that wanted to kill the disciples. Peter chose the will of God even in the face of death. One of the Pharisees named Gamaliel gave sound counsel to the group of religious leaders saying, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God” (Acts 5:33-39).
Because of what Jesus accomplished for mankind, setting our will against God’s will becomes a much more serious matter. Gamaliel’s counsel is good counsel for us as well. We never want to find ourselves setting our will against the Lord’s. When we do, we are fighting against God. Later, the disciples found themselves in need of help in caring for the needs of the people. They made a determination to appoint seven men full of the Holy Spirit to serve the people and their needs. They willed to do the will of God and to devote themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4-6).
Paul declared, “I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, “The will of the Lord be done!” (Acts 21:13-14). Here is another example of choosing God’s will over one’s own will and the will of friends. The elders of Ephesus tried to persuade Paul not to go to Jerusalem, but Paul felt that He had heard from God. They came to the conclusion that they should become silent concerning the matter, and acknowledged that God’s will be accomplished.
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that’” (James 4:13-16).
Father, teach me and empower me each day to say, “If the Lord wills.” Help me to learn how to listen to the Holy Spirit.