Not My Will But Your Will Be Done
More powerful than our mind and more powerful than our emotions is the act of our will, or in the case of the Christian, the submission of our will to the will of God.
Nowhere do we see that battle better than in Romans 7, where Paul acknowledges the war raging in his soul, “to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good, I do not find.” Although he is writing in the present tense, it is a victory that he will explain in chapter 8, and obviously he knows it in chapter 7 but is allowing the readers to journey with him into the solution.
He also alludes to this fight in Galatians 5, describing the flesh lusting against the spirit and vice versa, with the field of combat waging in his soul. Peter also speaks of doing the will of the Gentiles (that is, those who are not led by the Spirit). Paul discusses that the mind of Christ submitted to the will of God, and that gave Him and us the victory over the flesh. The will of God is stronger than the will of the flesh for those who submit to it.
It was the mind of Christ who prayed “let this cup pass from Me” but it was the will of Christ submitted to the will of God which prayed, “nevertheless not My will but Thine be done” (see Luke 22:42). Like a body builder who works out his muscles, we are to work out our salvation by allowing God “to work and to will according to His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).
Suddenly, when we surrender our will to His, His pleasure becomes ours. Paul said in the next few verses that it was his pleasure even to be poured out as a drink offering for the church at Philippi (2:17).
Someone asked me the other night what JUBILEE meant. It was taken from the Levitical law, Leviticus 25, when the people celebrated their freedom, when they were released from their debts. They sounded a trumpet. We burned a note of our debt.
But when we celebrate the fact that we are spiritually set free, we do something even more powerful than burning a piece of paper or blowing a sound through a ram’s horn. We surrender to God, heart body and soul. And it is then that we find true liberty and freedom.