If there was ever a perfectly beautiful human heart, we see it on display in this verse. Staring into the face of agony, Jesus surrendered. Because He loves you.
We have been discussing extensively over the last couple weeks, the topic of knowing and hearing the voice of God. Herein lies one of the most powerful secrets to discerning His communication. Jesus showed us the way. In full surrender to Daddy’s will, is where we will discover exactly what His will is.
I am inexpressibly grateful that I will never have to be tortured for my sins. Jesus took that torture for me. However, He does invite you and me to join Him in His death, in a different way (bold emphasis mine here):
To die with Him. This is a quintessential element of following Jesus. Probably for most of us, this will not mean premature physical death. What, then, must die? To name a few of them,
- Our pride
- Our self-reliance
- Our secret judgmentalism
- Our desire for revenge
- Our carnal appetites
- Our self-will
If we are to truly live, these must die. Every single one of them steals our life and peace.
You may be wondering, “What does this have to do with hearing God’s voice?” Everything in the world, dear one. Here’s why. One of the biggest impediments to correctly discerning God’s will is a lack of surrender.
For example, an individual may pray until she is blue in the face, “God, is that handsome man in my church ‘the one?’ Is he going to be my husband???” She may want this so badly, that she imagines that she has heard God say “yes”… when really He has said nothing at all. She may be listening to the voice of her own soulish emotions instead of truly tuning into the Holy Spirit.
When will she truly be able to hear Daddy’s voice on the matter? When she comes into a place of genuine, absolute, unequivocal surrender. When she prays, like her Savior, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” (Notice that Jesus did express His own request for relief, His petition that the cup be removed. It’s okay to pour out our soul’s desires to Daddy. However, we need to follow those soul expressions with the prayer of utter surrender.) Mind you, praying “Your will be done” with our lips but not our heart of hearts, will not work. This must be a prayer coming from the very depths of our being.
Daddy knows that we often struggle with coming to the place of surrender. He has deep compassion on our struggle. Here’s a prayer to pray when you’re just not there, but your spirit wants to be: “Father, empower me by Your Holy Spirit to be willing!” If that one is too hard, try “Lord, help me be willing to be willing!” Wherever you are at, He will meet you there, and He will provide the strength that you need, if you only ask Him.
Here’s the thing, though. The more we come to know Him, the more we will want to surrender to Him. When you know that someone is overflowing with goodness all the time, more than Niagara Falls is pouring out water, then trusting that Person comes more and more naturally. “No good thing will He withhold…” (Ps. 84:11, NKJV). He knows how to take the best care for you; He really, really does. His heart towards you is only, only overwhelmingly kind. The deeper and deeper this truth gets into your spirit, the more immediate your daily surrender becomes.
Yes, dying with Jesus has some pain that comes with it. But it’s so very temporary! So very brief! The resurrection life that courses through our being and makes us come alive like we have never known life before is exceedingly worth that fleeting pain!
If you truly want to know what God’s will is for your life, embrace this:
“I urge you… in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom. 12:1-2, NIV, bold emphasis mine).
Five quick keys here:
- Give yourself to God as a living sacrifice. Die with Him every day.
- This is the essence of true worship.
- You will be transformed into a brand new person.
- Then you will be able to discern what His will is!
- You will find out for yourself just how good, pleasing, and perfect His will is.
I promise you, you won’t regret it. The indescribably abundant life He promises those who live in surrender to Him is REAL.
How has dying to yourself brought you into greater freedom?