Monday, June 6, 2011

Are You Willing?

When Jesus prayed to the Father in Gethsemane, He said something very interesting "Father if it be Your will, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not my will but Yours be done." (Luke 22:42).

We see that Jesus seems to be asking the Father for some clarity concerning His will. However, Jesus
knew the Father’s will for Him was to go to Jerusalem be rejected and killed. He revealed this to His disciples in all four gospels. So why would Jesus say, “If it be your will”? He was not questioning the Father’s will nor somehow did not know the Father’s will, He was showing us His willingness and availability to do everything and anything that that the Father wanted. His commitment to the Father was, “Nevertheless not My will but your be done”.

Some believers may end a prayer this way because Jesus did it here in the garden. But a prayer ending this way is not a prayer of faith. We need to understand that Jesus was not praying a prayer of faith but one of dedication and commitment of Himself to the Father’s will. Believers should only use the phrase “If it be your will” because they also want to be willing and available to do what God wants them to do. In other words, many times believers may need healing for themselves or prayer for another person for healing and then finish their prayer by saying, "The LORDS will be done," and then struggle when their prayers are not answered. It is apparent that they are not sure that God wants to heal. Their prayer leaves it up to God to decide whether He will heal or not.

Unfortunately, for them without an act of divine intervention, they do not receive their healing. Why? Because God has healed through His plan of redemption in Christ and has made it available to all who act in faith that it is God's will to heal. They are waiting for God to do something when in fact God is waiting for them to receive what He has already provided through faith in Jesus Christ as Healer. When James talks about the sick coming to the elders of the church for healing, he tells us that "The prayer of faith will save the sick." This is not the prayer of hope, the prayer of desperation or the prayer of dedication and commitment. It is the prayer of faith. Let's contrast two passages of scripture that involve the Apostle Paul to further show this point.

"And when we had finished our voyage from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, greeted the brethren, and stayed with them one day. On the next day we who were Paul's companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied. And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. When he had come to us, he took Paul's belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit,'So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'" Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered,"What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying,"The will of the Lord be done." (Acts 21:7-14)

The Apostle Paul showed His willingness and availability to dedicate and commit himself to do everything and anything that the Father wanted of him as spoken by Agabus by the Holy Spirit. So the brothers conceded by saying, “The will of the LORD be done”. Whereas…

"And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother's womb, who had never walked. This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice,"Stand up straight on your feet!" And he leaped and walked. (Acts 14:8-10)

The Apostle Paul did not question the Father’s will when it came to healing. He saw that the man had faith to be healed and spoke it…Do we see the difference? It should be the same with every believer. We have Gods Word so we can know His will and speak as I John 5:14-15 teaches us. But when the Bible is obscure concerning Gods will, and we desire to commit and dedicate ourselves to Him, we can say, “If it be your will” or "LORD what is your will concerning this?" So when we pray to the Father, let's look to His Word to find His will and pray the prayer of faith when we find it.

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