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Not My Will But Thine: Christ’s Full Submission
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Jesus Our Example: His Step to Submission

Jesus, our Saviour and Example have much to teach us in the matter of dealing with life’s trials. In His period of deepest agony, He knew He needed strengthening. Not from His disciples, not from others He had served in His ministry, not by internal reflection or by drawing on an inner power, but by a reconnection with His Father.

Knowing the battle raging over our souls, how do we as God’s children prepare for life’s battles?

The fiercest battles are not the ones waged over our bodies, painful as that may be. Jesus already cautioned: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28.

The most horrible battle is the one with eternal consequences, which is waged over our souls. Calculated to divert our allegiance from God to him, Satan uses every weapon in his arsenal to achieve that goal. In secular terms, it would be termed treasonable felony, for which the penalty is death. Though many of us would recoil at being part of a conspiracy to commit this heinous crime against the interest of our nation, Satan often succeeds in getting us to commit the same offence against heaven’s interests.

There is much however that we can learn from how Christ prepared for His own period of greatest trial.
Jesus took just one step towards full submission to achieving His mission on earth-He prayed. And it is in what, and how He prayed that we find hope and strength for our own trials in life.

1. Jesus’ prayer was a private prayer. He moved away from every distraction. He withdrew even from His three beloved disciples. He left them with the specific instruction to pray for themselves, lest they fall into temptation. Yet because there was no excitement in the garden as there had been on the mountaintop, his disciples lost interest and promptly fell asleep. In the matter of your salvation, never entrust to others that which you ought to do yourself. Jesus went away by Himself to pray. Spend much time in solitary prayer, especially in times of trial. Family prayer, prayer in the church, social prayer-all of these have their places and are very precious, but be much in solitary prayer, meant for God’s ears alone.

2. Jesus’ prayer was a humble prayer. Luke says ‘He knelt’ (Luke 22:41), Matthew says ‘He fell on His face.’ (Matthew 26:39). Both show deep contrition and humility, essential ingredients of effective prayer. Arrogance will not cut it with God. It is only as we abase ourselves that we have hope of being exalted in due time.

3. Jesus’ prayer was filial prayer. It is such a comfort to have a father to run to in times of trouble, and when you have such a loving Father as God, it is doubly comforting to you to have that sort of stronghold in the day of trial. Jesus started his prayer with the precious word “Father”. Earlier on when He taught His disciples how to pray, He also started with ‘Our father’. This signified His recognition of His status as God’s beloved child, a position that we share with Him by virtue of our adoption. We have been assured that we “are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26. Having lost all rights as a subject, due to the crime of treason in aligning with Satan, God’s enemy, the only hope lies in pleading our adoption. Nothing can forfeit a child’s right to a father’s protection. It’s high time we lived up to the full status of our adoption. Be bold like Jesus and pray; “My Father…” we lived up to the full status of our adoption. Be bold like Jesus and pray; “My Father…”

4. Jesus’ prayer was preserving prayer. He prayed three times. Many of us pray once and then faint. Jesus stayed and prayed until He felt comforted enough to leave. Later at the end of that week we appreciate how much strength He garnered in that garden. Cease not, until you prevail! Be as the persistent widow, whose repeated coming earned her what her first entreaty could not win. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same, with thanksgiving.

5. Jesus’ prayer was the prayer of resignation. And here we come back to our key text for this week “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Jesus prayed the first time and in answer, an angel was sent to strengthen Him. In response, “being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44).

6. In spite of the agony with which He prayed, that great drops of blood fell from Him, He did not lament that He did not get His wish. He yielded, and rose up from prayer. He had made known His wish to His Father, but He was content to leave the answer to His Father’s will, and not His own.

The length or earnestness of our prayers is no guarantee that our wishes will be granted as presented. Yield, and God yields. Let your prayers be ‘as God wills,’ and God will determine for the best. Be content to leave your situation in His hands, who knows when to give, how to give, what to give, and what to withhold. thus pleading, earnestly, persistently, yet with humility and resignation, you will surely prevail.
Source: Dr. Joyce Aryee - (Executive Director of Salt and Light Ministry)

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