Weekly Devotional: Not My Will, But Yours Be Done

woman contemplating God's will

He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. — Luke 22:41-43 NIV

Before Jesus was crucified, he prayed to his father in heaven and asked him to take away the pain that was before him. However, he did not end his prayer there. Jesus continued to say, “…yet not my will, but yours be done.” Amid the horror of what he was enduring, he still chose to put God’s will before his own.

When we pray, do we pray like Jesus? Or do we just make our requests and ignore God’s plan and will for us? It can be easy, especially in the midst of trials, to just want God to consider our will and take away our pain. However, God does not always take away our pain. Sometimes he uses our pain as a means to accomplish his purposes. We must lean into him and trust in his goodness.

In This Weekly Devotional:

Trusting God’s Plan

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. — Psalm 16:8 NIV

Trusting in God may be scary at times, but we can also draw hope and confidence from his promises. He is faithful to them and will keep his word. He is our strength and hope.

There is an old hymn that talks about the joy of trusting Jesus and knowing he is with us. It opens with these lyrics:

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus

Just to take Him at His Word

Just to rest upon His promise

Just to know, ‘Thus saith the Lord’

— Louisa Stead, 1882

As Christians, we can come to Jesus with our doubts, our worries and struggles. He loves us and cares about us. We can trust that even when it is hard with the strength that he gives us.

How Do We Know God’s Plan?

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. — Psalm 119:105 NIV

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell what God’s plan is. Perhaps, we are torn about where to attend college or whether to apply for a new position. Maybe, we are confused on whether we should take a particular path or continue on our current one.

The first place we should go is to God’s Word. Although we might not get a black-and-white answer, being rooted in his word will give us insight and wisdom that will help us know what his will is. As Christians, we have been given the Holy Spirit to indwell within us and help us discern God’s will.

After we have spent time in God’s word and prayer, we may go to spiritual leaders or trusted friends who have a strong relationship with God. However, some situations we just have to trust even in the unknowns, when we do not see God’s plan or understand it.

Putting God’s Desires Over Our Desires

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. — Proverbs 19:21 NIV

In order to become like Christ and grow closer to God, we must learn to hand over our desires for God’s. This does not mean we should give up on our hopes or dreams. Rather, it means we should prioritize what God wants in our lives and be open as he guides us on paths, we may not have pictured ourselves on.

God has purpose even when we don’t understand, and it is much better than the plans that we could form in our own hearts. Even if we never find out the reason while we are here on earth, we can find peace through Christ in the process.

Paul experienced this firsthand. “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me,” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).

It is not known what Paul’s thorn in his flesh is, but we can see that Paul surrendered to God’s will and desire for him. He boasts gladly in the fact that God’s power is made perfect in the weakness that he at one point was pleading to be taken from him.

God Will Not Abandon You

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:38-39 NIV

We are not promised an easy road as Christians, but that God will be with us through times of happiness and joy and in the amid hardships. He will not abandon us or leave us alone. We do not have to fear following his path because he will guide us and give us strength.

Living Life Like Jesus

Let us live strong and courageous lives and aspire to be like our savior, Jesus Christ as he says, “not my will but yours be done.” We can embrace the sweetness of trusting him.

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Approved by the local outreach coordinator of the Office of Spiritual Life on June 1, 2023.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.