Going a little ahead, he fell to the ground and prayed for a way out: “Papa, Father, you can—can’t you?—get me out of this. Take this cup away from me. But please, not what I want—what do you want?”
Mark 14:36, MSG*
I’ve been noticing how many of my choices are based on what I want, or how I feel. When the right choice goes against my preferences, I confess there’s a bit of internal grumbling.
And that’s just the little choices. In this passage, Jesus is wrestling with a huge one. Yes, He’s already chosen, but He’s down to the hardest moment and desperate for another way.
When He puts it back to the Father’s will, it’s not a case of “Your preference over Mine” as if they were choosing a restaurant. Nor is it a grudging “I guess we have to do it Your way.”
It’s a conscious trusting in the plan they made together, a decision to follow through because He agrees with the ultimate goal despite the cost to reach it.
When God asks us to do life His way, it’s not some megalomaniac desire for personal satisfaction.
It’s about fulfilling His plan, which, in case we’ve missed it, is about rescuing us and restoring us to full life in relationship to Him.
It’s about fulfilling His purposes in us, those things we said yes when He called us to do them. And He will provide the means if we’re doing our part by choosing His way.
Father, help me choose Your way in the big and the small things, not to put myself down, not even because You out-rank me, but because I trust You to fulfill Your purposes in and through me—to Your glory, and for the good of those who love You. Forgive my selfish desire to put myself first and chase immediate gratification. Help me concentrate on You, in whom all fullness dwells.
Our song this week is the classic hymn, “Have Thine Own Way,” sung by Jim Reeves.
*The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.