THE BATTLE OF THE WILLS
"Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." Luke 22:42
My wife Debbie is an exceptional person. Of all the many qualities I love about her, none is more attractive than her discipline and determination. If she sets her mind to do something, she becomes like the US Mail, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night" will keep her from completing her goal.
When our daughter Jill was almost a year old, she started to have problems sleeping. She would wake up in the night and begin crying for us to come get her. Jill's unstated goal was for us to bring her into our bed, and she was determined to scream and wail until we yielded to her will. Debbie knew it would not be good for any of us to start this practice, so she researched a loving, reassuring game plan to help our child sleep in her own bed.
My commitment and dedication to the plan was out the window on the first night. Jill screamed and cried so hard she made herself throw up. I told Debbie, "Just bring her into our bed. We need to sleep!" But Debbie was determined to correct this behavior, even if she had to stay up all week to do it. She saw this issue as a battle of the wills with little Jill, and Debbie had no intention of losing. Praise God that after several rough nights, Jill finally learned to sleep in her own bed without a peep.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
The Christian life is a lot like the episode Debbie had with Jill. It really is a battle of the wills, our will vs. God's will. Will we submit to Him, to His Word and His way, or will we continue to fight against Him?
When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, He endured the test of the ages as He wrestled with the will of His Father. Would He yield and willingly go to the cross, or would He save His own life? The pressure was so great and His prayers were so strongly and earnestly voiced that the capillaries in His face actually burst, and He began to sweat blood. He sweat blood as He sought for another way. Nevertheless, after each of His three prayer times that night in the Garden, He concluded with these immortal words, "Yet not My will, but Yours be done." He sacrificed His will for the Father's will, and purchased our salvation on the cross. Aren't you glad that He did?
HOW ABOUT YOU?
How are you doing when it comes to the battle of the wills? When tempted with selfishness, sin and your plan for your life, have you learned to say with Jesus, "Yet not my will, but Yours be done"? As hard as it may seem to yield to the Father's will, it is the only way to really live. God is a good God with a good and perfect plan for you and me. The only way we can experience the plan He has for us is by living in submission to Him.
Let me encourage you as I encourage myself. Live a life that can be summed up in two words: Yes, Lord. Whatever He tells you, do it. If you have to wrestle all night in prayer, that is ok. Just make sure at the end of your wrestling you end up saying, "Yet not my will, but Yours be done." It will be the greatest decision you ever make. If you don't believe me, just ask Jesus.
P.S. If you'd like for us to join you in prayer, visit us at www.fromhisheart.org/prayer.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
The Bible says, “The Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding” Proverbs 2:6. GOD’S WISDOM FOR TODAY is a beautiful, leather bound, keepsake devotional book written by Pastor Jeff Schreve and other Christian leaders that will help you explore the wisdom of God found in Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. Each day is filled with scripture, daily devotions, commentary and journal opportunities in this 52-week study with practical examples for daily living. It’s available for your gift to FHH in December, 2013.