God assures us He knows The Plans He has for us and they are Good Plans.
God does not always reveal all the details of The Plan ahead of time. But what if you have seen enough of what appears to be The Plan and it does not sound good to you? Is God open to negotiation?
Jesus knew The Whole Plan. Kneeling in the garden of Gethsemane, He reflected on the path ahead of Him.
Even though He was God, Jesus gave Himself no special privileges in being human. A whip across the back or nails driven into His Body felt the same way as it would for you.
As a human, Jesus showed us up close and personal what it was like to suffer. He showed us by suffering physically. But He also shared with us the mental anguish that can come by staring into the abyss in anticipation of what is to come.
Jesus said to His Followers, “My Soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”
Have you ever been there, so overwhelmed with sorrow, you felt like dying? Jesus asked His Friends to keep watch with Him.
But He knew His Friends could not change God’s Plans for Him. As many prayer partners as any of us might have, all of us together cannot change God’s Plans.
The battle between our will and God’s Will is personal. Jesus went apart from the group and talked to God alone.
I think of the many times in my life I’ve said, “I surrender all to God.” But then I am presented with something really hard and I want to say, “I surrender all, but that.”
Can we ask God to change His Plan? Jesus did. However, note, He fully acknowledged it was God’s Call. He was just asking.
He fell with His Face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”
I have been there, trembling in the darkness, considering all the plans I had that might never come to be. I have felt God patiently waiting for me to lay them down and come to Him, empty handed, trusting that He will replace my tiny plans with His Glorious Plans.
Jesus waited for God’s Answer. God was silent. Jesus turned to His Friends while He waited. They were sleeping. He gently chided them, perhaps reflecting His Own Thoughts.
“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Jesus returned to The Father to try one more time. But this time, His Prayer was different from the first time. The first time Jesus prayed, He had said, “If it is possible …”
This time, He said, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your Will be done.”
We have often fallen prey to the notion that we can “name it and claim it” and if we do so in what we think is absolute faith, God ought to fall in step with us.
When we are willing to consider that our plan may not be God’s Plan, and we are willing to lay it all down before Him, True Trust is born.
We begin to understand it is not about Him falling in step with us. It is about us falling in step with Him.
In the moment of complete surrender, Jesus not only heard God’s Answer, He saw God’s Answer. He knew what He had to do. And He did it for you and me.
“For The Joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at The Right Hand of The Throne of God.”
“I pray that out of His Glorious Riches He may strengthen you with Power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have Power together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is The Love of Christ, and to know this Love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all The Fullness of God.
“Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His Power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”