by Gina Johnson Smith
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“O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” - Matthew 26:39
In this chapter we see our Lord Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, preparing to be handed over to the authorities to be crucified. Jesus, in his humanity begins to feel sorrowful and distressed – “My soul is sorrowful unto death”, Jesus utters (Matthew 26:38), and goes off to pray. Three times Jesus prays the above – “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
What a powerful statement of surrender – let this cup pass from me, but nevertheless, not my will but thy will be done. In other words, “Father God, I don’t want to do this – but nevertheless I will surrender my way for yours – I will surrender my wants, needs desires – my very body so that you may be glorified through this situation” God’s glory and plan was far more important that Jesus’ own comfort and security, it allowed us all the opportunity to fellowship with God again.
Many of the Bible’s men and women of faith had to take the “nevertheless” route. Some of them made that decision easier; some had to be dragged kicking and screaming to that surrender. God called Abram to leave his fathers house and go to a land that He would show him. God promised to bless him and his descendants. Abram packed up wife and family. Leaving the familiar could not have been easy. Remember, this was a time before cars, planes, and telephones. When you left for a journey, you probably wouldn’t return for years. Abram (nee Abraham) was more yielding and his “nevertheless” wasn’t fought.
Jonah was faced with his “nevertheless” situation through God requiring him to warn the people of Ninevah to repent. His “nevertheless” took longer to come by – he didn’t want to do it, he had a hardened heart towards the people and didn’t want God to forgive them if they did repent. He wanted to run away – and did! But God has a way of getting us to the “nevertheless” – Jonah was swallowed up by a big fish and stayed there until he repented. Afterwards, Jonah did what God required.
For the past few months this scripture has stayed in my spirit. “Let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, thy will be done.” Many years before I was challenged with situations that called me to pray “nevertheless”. The “nevertheless” prayer is always a difficult prayer because it involves surrendering what you want and desire so that God can be glorified in situations. At the very core it involves a surrender of our own will to His will.
Every life has the ability to impact another – positively or negatively. The greater the gifting, the greater the responsibility to walk therein. In some ways I have failed because it has been difficult to always embrace this walk. It is often difficult to share hard Biblical truths when we live in a generation that desires to be fed what sounds or feels good rather than be set free. It’s difficult to watch individuals running for the clouded cliff, all the while fighting you when you know what’s behind the cloud – a drop off into destruction. It’s enough to make you want to stop! It’s enough to make your soul sorrowful unto death. But the reality is that’s my life. That’s what I’m called to do. It isn’t easy or preferred; it’s sacrificial. Life lessons have taught me that while I may be ridiculed, I’ve planted the seeds of life. Some of those seeds will grow…others will die out.
In what areas are you called to “nevertheless?” What are the areas God is calling you to die to your own will for His glory? Perhaps taking in a child even though you know it will severely impact your lifestyle? Maybe letting your pride die so that others can see the Christ in you? Whatever your “nevertheless” is, yield to it. “Nevertheless” is a day-to-day thing, sometimes moment-to-moment. It is a dying to your own will, knowing that God has you and will take care of you – no self-care here! Just remember, if you’ve failed to surrender to your “nevertheless”, we serve a God whose mercies are new every morning. Every day is a new day of opportunity to repent and begin again. Like Jonah, we can be given a new opportunity to get it right. You can do so voluntarily or involuntarily – it’s up to you. Remember, God’s will WILL be done.
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