‘Thy will be done’

Jun 12, 2017 by

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This simple statement yet difficult mission was the life and the food of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. I am firmly grounded in this truth believing that this, as it was for Jesus, is our faith through tough doubts, our perseverance through life’s most grieving trials (which for most and myself included haven’t been that grieving), and ultimately our hope for an eternity of joy in the presence of God himself (Rev. 21:3-4).

From the beginning of Jesus’ ministry until he drank of the cup, bearing our sins on the cross, his strength and purpose was totally wrapped inside of this life driving mission statement, “Thy will be done.”

Early on when he taught the sermon known as ‘The Sermon on the Mount,’ his desire was “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).

And again Jesus says in John 5:30: “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgement is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.”

He prayed this, believed this, desired this, lived this, died upon this sole purpose.

Jumping forward toward the end of his ministry and the fulfillment of his life’s purpose, we read this type of prayer three times in the garden of Gethsemane.

… My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will. (Matt. 26:39)

 

… My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done. (Matt. 26:42)

This is the most powerful thing we can desire and is totally opposite of a self-focused life. I pray as well that you all may be conformed to Christ in this way.

There are many encouraging ways this breeds hope for us as we strive in the Spirit to live a life for God, and not ourselves. And it starts with the possibly hardest thing for us to do, to lay down ourselves. We won’t ever be able to perfectly lay down fleshly desires, but we can certainly pray and believe that his will will indeed be done.

Everything that Jesus did goes against our (American) culture, our fleshly desires, and at the base of it all our self-centered pridefulness. When we pray, “Your Will Be Done,” we are fighting against these fleshly desires. In a nutshell we are saying/praying to our Father, “no matter the outcome, trials, afflictions along the way, doubts, the long period of waiting, or loss of even good things, we will follow you.”

Because we know as children of God (Rom. 8:16) that this hope will not fail us. Therefore, when we feel like we can’t pray, read the Word, or love like we should because everything feels too heavy to carry, prayers aren’t being answered, and/or doubts are flooding in, take heart! Cry out to God and emerge yourself in the Word anyway, because he will never leave or forsake us (Deut. 31:6). Standing on the Spirit-led desire of “Your will be done, Father” will bring us through this short life to an eternity with him.

The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned. (Psalm 34:22)

 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8:28)

 

He predestined us for adoption as sons through Christ Jesus, according to the purpose of his will … (Eph. 1:5)

 

The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. (Rev. 3:5)

Remember that Jesus felt forsaken by God even when he knew the purpose and certainty of his death — the will of the Father since the beginning of world.

In Matt. 27:46, he cries out to God, saying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And we don’t even need to go deep into the theology whatsoever to see at the very least, Jesus felt forsaken by his Father. And this was God’s will for his Son.

And Christ has now “sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for His feet (Heb. 10:12-13).” Kinda great how that worked out, huh? God was faithful to Jesus as Jesus simply obeyed and did the will of his Father. He has received his reward. We too will receive ours. God is faithful and steadfast in love to us in the same way.

So in everything we go through, minuscule in comparison to the cross, let us trust in our God and press on toward the prize while continually uttering, “THY WILL BE DONE!”

Seth Swartzendruber is serving with Mennonite Mission Network in Indonesia. His home congregation is First Mennonite Church of Morton, Ill.


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  • John Gingrich

    Thank you Seth, very challenging. The other powerful example that always moves me is the response of Mary, the mother of Jesus to the angel in Luke 1:38. She says “Behold the slave of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word”.