How to Surrender Your Will to God’s Will

The Bible starts with a garden - the Garden of Eden. This Garden of Eden is where human history began. It's where human sin began.  What happened in that garden spoiled God's plan and changed the trajectory of human history.

The Apostle Paul, in Romans 5, writes of the “first Adam” and then the “second Adam”, being Jesus. Jesus also entered a garden, the garden of Gethsemane. While the first Adam in the Garden of Eden chose his own way and rebelled against God, Jesus surrendered to God in the second garden for us, for our salvation.

“Sit here while I go and pray.”
Jesus left his disciples near the rim of the garden and went deeper into Gethsemane. He took Peter, James and John, his inner circle, with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed.

He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Jesus was troubled and distressed. He was about to be pushed down and down until his blood would be spilled. His soul was crushed with grief. Jesus prayed so fervently and was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.

Have you ever prayed with such intensity, such fervor, such intentionality, that your body worked up a sweat and you had to perspire so that you could cool down? Probably not. But Jesus did. Jesus’s heart was filled with anguish. He felt like he was about to die. So he went to this garden, knelt and asked God to help. He prayed that He would trust God’s plan.

I hope you know this Jesus, because if you don't know this, the one who experienced such anguish, then you don't know the entire Jesus. If you don't know this Jesus, then you don't know the human Jesus. If you don't know this Jesus, you don't know the whole Jesus, and your faith will be challenged accordingly.

Don't forget the drops of sweat. It's a second metaphor or image for the garden of Gethsemane.

And the third image is a cup.

Why was Jesus struggling that evening? Because he didn't want to drink the cup. What cup? The cup of suffering.

Jesus knew the Scriptures, the prophecies of the Old Testament. He knew that throughout the writing of the prophets and throughout the Psalms, there's a reference to God holding in heaven, in his hands - a cup of suffering and the cup of wrath of his anger against sin.

Remember, Jesus was a student of the Scriptures his whole life.

And as he prayed in that garden, he concluded that the cup of God's wrath that he kept reading about in the Psalms and the prophets was indeed intended for him.

Jesus knew that he was going to die the next day. And he even said to his disciples, "This blood is a new covenant between me and you."

In Gethsemane, Jesus now realized that without a doubt he would have to drink this cup of divine judgment on behalf of the wicked, even though he himself was sinless and that he would have to suffer vicariously in the place of sinners.

The Jewish understanding is that all of us who have sinned deserve to die. We carry within ourselves the rightful curse. Because of our rebellion against the God who loved us. We have broken God's law but more than that, we have broken his heart and so we deserve to be cursed. And yet God said, “I will step in.”

Jesus relied on his will to trust God. And he knew for a fact that God was calling him to sacrifice his life for the sheep. And so in that moment, he aligned his will with God’s and prayed the greatest prayer ever prayed.

“Not my will, but yours be done.”

The greatest prayer ever prayed: “Not my will but yours be done.”

Why was Jesus finally able to overcome his blurred vision, his confused mind, and his heavy heart? Because he knew that God could be trusted. I don't know what Jesus was thinking in the garden, but I just wonder, and I imagine, that he possibly began recounting all the ways that God was trustworthy.

Gethsemane was perhaps the greatest victory in Jesus’ life. In prayer, by surrendering his will to God, he found victory.

Are you struggling to surrender your will to God? What are those things that are holding you back from surrendering to God?

Spiritual growth occurs when you add someone to your life that draws you to God.

Spiritual transformation occurs when you let go of something in your life that keeps you from God.

If you want to surrender your will to God, what are the steps?
• Be honest with God
“The first rule of prayer is: Don’t lie to God!” (Martin Luther)

• Remember that Abba knows best
“God will either give us what we ask or give us what we would have
asked if we knew everything he knew.”
(Tim Keller)

• Let go.
“Not my will, but your will.” (Jesus)
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