Luk 22:42 saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Yours be done.
Here is one of the more controversial words of the Lord in Scripture. How can it be that this sentence could become a controversial Scripture? If one now adds this to the end of a prayer, or the shorter version "Lord willing," then that one is considered by many to be lacking in faith.
Yet, this is the beginning of the Exodus of Christ from this earth. This very moment is akin to the Israelites standing on the shores of the Red Sea with their backs to the wall and the Egyptians bearing down on them, their destruction is absolutely certain and only the mighty hand of God Himself can open up the way before them. And when the Lord moves, He opens up a path before them that leads them from one world to the next. The time of slavery has come to and end and now they will begin a journey that will take them into the wilderness as slaves and out the other end, across another body of water as free men , willing to fight and die for their new identity.
So how is this moment in Gethsemane the same as the Exodus ? How can it be that Jesus , in this Garden, is now the type, the anti-type being Moses at the Red sea? How can this moment be the spiritual reality of Moses leading his people out of slavery and eventually to freedom. Lets consider this Scripture....
Luk 9:29 And as He prayed, the appearance of His countenance was altered, and His clothing was dazzling white.30 And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah. 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His exodus, which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
Who better to speak to Jesus about Exodus. In other translations it says "and spoke of His decease." Exodus is the preferred translation. So scripture itself likens Calvary to "Exodus." What does this word really men. Well "Ex," literally means the point where an action starts and the word "hodos," means either a road, a journey or a highway. You put them both together and you get the word Exodus meaning the starting point of a journey on a road that leads from one point to another. While it could be argued that this journey started when the Lord was born or when He was Baptized or when His public ministry began, we can see from the above Scripture that He was about to accomplish His "Exodus," at Jerusalem.
And so we see that when Jesus bows the knee , His will ,to His heavenly Father. He is truly at the start of His Exodus. By submitting Himself to His Fathers will and not His own, He actually takes the first steps towards Calvary. He will lead His people from one world into another. From one Covenant into another. In order to follow this path, this road, this journey, we too must bow our knee to God the Father and His will for our lives.
If that includes suffering and death, then so be it. Now the very people who do not want to accept suffering and death cannot accept this and cannot bow their knee to the will of their heavenly Father if it includes suffering, infirmity or death. And so, in effect they say, "Not your will Father but mine be done." And so, the journey from death to life can never truly be done because these particular "followers," cannot or will not follow the path that Jesus has forged that leads through the wilderness and into the promised land and ends at the throne room of God.
Fee, a prominent Pentecostal theologian, in his book "Gods Empowering presence," talks about the most radical position for any Christian , " the radical center of Gods will." Where are you on the spectrum? Are you in the center of Gods will or are you off to the left or to the right? On one end of the spectrum lies the man who will pray for no one. He cynically accepts anything that comes his way, we can trace this thought back to Antisthenes who was the founder of cynicism. Cynic comes from the Greek word for dog, originally because Antisthenes taught at the Cynosarges (Dogfish) gymnasium, which had been set up for the poor of Athens.
Cynicism makes virtue the only good, the only true happiness. You can't control the world and lifes ups and downs, so control yourself! Inhibit your desires! become independent of the world! I would rather go mad than feel pleasure! said Antisthenes. Rejecting civilization, cynics tended to withdraw from society, even to live in the desert. In this, they may have influenced early Jewish and Christian monastics. (Dr. C. George Boeree )
Since we know that we do not want to live in a desert or in the wilderness, and we know that we worship a God that does answer prayer and intervenes in the business of men, then this position is certainly not Scriptural. What about the other end of the spectrum? This man will pray for everyone and pronounce everyone healed. He cannot imagine a world in which things are out with his control and he would rather go mad that to accept that "bad things happen to good people." Both of these men can readily explain why some are healed and some are not. Both will claim that they live by faith. Both of these men have veered of the path. They need to return to the center and continue on the Exodus.
So what does it really mean " Yet not my will but your be done?" If we look to Paul we can see a good example in Corinthians.2 Corinthians 12:8 (ASV) 8 Concerning this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. " We know that Paul did not get His healing but He bows to the will of God and exclaims "Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me." Now the word infirmity is the Greek word astheneia. We get our word Infirmary from the word. It means disease, sickness or weakness. Paul would rather glory in that,so that the power of God may rest upon Him.
It is Gods will that is all important here. Of course Paul would not want to be sick. There is no one that would want to be sick. There is no genuine Christian anywhere in the world that would want to see anyone sick. Yet if you teach that God wants no one sick, and that it is His will that no one be sick, then how do you explain sickness in the Body of Christ?
If God is not at fault and He wants everyone to have perfect health, then if you follow this logic then the fault must lie with the one saying the prayer, or the one receiving the prayer. If these men are right, and they have the faith themselves, then why does every church in the land have at least one person in a wheelchair?
If it is a mere matter of faith then let the man who believes this simply go and lay hands on them and get them out of that wheelchair? If we teach that it is Gods will that all men should be healed, and he himself has the faith, and that one does not get out of the chair, then that one himself must be to blame. If one is to be intellectually honest, then this must be the conclusion that one comes to.
This of course is not true. This is not Gods will. It does not teach this in the Scriptures, unless one does some verbal gymnastics and loses sight of context. In fact, it could be argued that we see only one Disciple of Jesus healed in the New Testament, Peters Mother-in Law. Every other healing was of un-believers or from the multitude. Why could this be? What we are seeing now in the modern Western church is perhaps the reason why. It has devolved into self-indulgence. Christians, seek out certain kinds of revival, because they are seeking a healing for themselves.
They are so obsessed with this present world, that when a diagnosis comes from a Doctor , they panic. Every single infirmity requires correction for the modern day believer. Just as the world has a pill for everything, the modern believer would like an incantation for everything. And, there are plenty of peddlers around that will fill this vacuum and fill their coffers at the same time. If a man is sick, then let him have his own elders pray for him and anoint him and he will be saved.
When Peter and John see the lame man at the Temple, and he asks them for money, do you think that they respond to their own thoughts about this man, or do you think that they respond to an urging within them from the Holy Spirit? If the Holy Spirit directs you to pray for someone to be healed, then he will be healed. Therein lies the key , the direction of the Holy Spirit, the ability to hear that small still voice. So, when that small still voice directed them to tell this man to rise up and walk, then that is exactly what they did and of course he rose up and walked.
It was that simple then, it is that simple now. It takes true faith to hear the Spirit speak and then to speak and act yourself in obedience to the will of God. To just pray for anyone and everyone and pronounce their healing's is the opposite of this and therefore the opposite of faith.
In John 5 Jesus says this.....Joh 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of Himself but what He sees the Father do. For whatever things He does, these also the Son does likewise. " And again in John 5:30 Jesus says ...
Joh 5:30 I can do nothing of My own self. As I hear, I judge, and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of the Father who has sent Me. "
Of course it is every Christian's will to see themselves and others healed, but the man of God who truly hears Him will never come up short. If he hears from God he will speak and of course the Lord will act. If he does not hear from God then he should remain silent. How much damage has been done in the Body by people proclaiming other people's healing's or miracles and then it does not come to pass.
There are many reason why people are sick today. First of all we live in a dying and corrupt world and while our spirits have been redeemed, the body which houses our spirits is corruptible flesh. We will suffer from all the same malady's of those that are in the world. Being sick is not a sign of particular sin. It is a sign that we are human and susceptible in our bodies because of the sin of Adam. We know this for everyone of us die, and this proves that our bodies are corruptible.
If our bodies were already redeemed we would not physically die. There are also some who are sick because of sin, John chapter five proves this by Jesus's encounter with the man at the pool. This is the same man who would later give the Pharisees information about Jesus.
So, if the Scriptures tell the elders to lay hands on the sick and anoint them with oil and they will be healed, why do we see so few actually being healed? The modern church has turned healing into something that does not glorify God. It is often prayed in desperation and is used to glorify the one who did the praying, a grievous sin. Men like to put other men on pedestals . God will not share His glory with anyone.
When Peter and John and later on Paul and Barnabas are lauded by the crowds when a man is healed, they go above and beyond to refute the notion that this has anything to do with their power of their holiness, we see the exact opposite happen today. Men crave the limelight and love to elevate their own position, God cannot have fellowship with these men. They call themselves healers or prophets or Apostles, and yet they are men who have never uttered these words "yet not My Will but yours be done." God cannot and will not honor these men, He will not take second place.
This is only one reason why we do not see more healing's. Read Joni Erikson Tada's book if you really want to be blessed. This woman was undoubtedly called to be a para-pelagic. This is the will of God for her life and she says "Yet not my will but thine be done," and because of that the Lord has richly blessed her. To even hear her voice on the radio is to hear a woman richly anointed by the Holy Spirit. David Ring, the preacher with cerebral palsy is another who comes to mind who is richly anointed.
And so it all comes back to are we willing to die for our God. Are we sold out to him or to the universal desires of health and wealth? The Exodus of Jesus starts at Gethsemane, leads to Calvary and then into the wilderness and over the Jordan into the promised land. There are no shortcuts, each stage has to be walked through. We cannot avoid pain and suffering, we cannot avoid death, they all lie before each and every one of us. If you think that since Jesus suffered then you do not have to, then you must take another path, but it will not be the Exodus path, it will be a path of your own choosing, a path that you have willed for yourself.
The only true path is the path that begins with and ends with "Yet not my will be done but thine." This is the glorious path of victory, the path of faith, the path of death but this path leads to life and that more abundantly. It will be the life that He chose for us, will all of its trials and tribulations, but to be in the radical center of His will is to be on the narrow path that leads to life.