by Steven Chan
“He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matt 26:39). Jesus said in John 6:36: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me”. Jesus was always aware of the need to do the will of His Father in heaven. Are we also aware of our need to do the will of God as opposed to doing our own will?
When Jesus was praying in the garden of Gethsemane, He was emotionally affected by what He would be going through. The Bible recorded what He said: “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.” (Matt 26:38). In that hour of being “exceedingly sorrowful”, He prayed and submitted Himself to the will of God. At that moment His personal request was for the “cup of suffering” to be passed from Him if that be possible. But He still submitted Himself to the over-arching will of God.
Doing the will of God is not restricted to just believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and being baptized for the forgiveness of sins. It is more than that.
Matt 7:21-29 which discussed the need to do the will of God is the concluding remarks to His teachings about how one ought to live his life. His teachings started in Matt 5 with the one who would be blessed by God by having attitudes that are in accordance with the will of God. It covered many important matters of life such as our influence on others being such that they will glorify God (Matt 5:16). He warned us that people will see our lives as we are to be the light and salt of the world. We cannot hide our lives and think that people will not see what we are doing.
Living in accordance with the will of God requires living a “righteous” life (Matt 5:20). That includes the need to avoid hatred towards others and to be a peace with everyone, including our adversaries (Matt 5:21-26; Rom 12:18). The marriage relationship is not to be destroyed by adultery (Matt 5:27-32). If we are living in accordance with the will of God, we will make our marital relationship such that is honourable among all men (Heb 13:4; 1 Pet 3:7). It is God’s will that we honour our words (Matt 5:33-37). We do not simply say things without any intention to fulfill them. We are to do good to all – even to our enemies (Mat 5:38-48).
It is also God’s will that in our practice of faith (whether charitable deeds, prayers, fasting or the works that we do), we do not do them just to be seen by men (Matt 6:1-23; Eph 6:6). Real genuine, authentic, personal piety and undivided loyalty to God is required.
It is God’s will for us not to be anxious but to trust Him to provide. We should prioritize seeking God, His Kingdom and righteousness that is defined by Him. (Matt 6:25-34)
Being judgmental of one another is not in accordance with God’s will. This is an aspect of one’s life that can pose a real challenge as we are often quick to condemn others and not be aware of our own shortcomings (Matt 7:1-6). It is God’s will for us to do good to others at all times (Matt 7:12)
We should endeavor to do all of God’s will so as to enter through the strait and narrow way (Matt 7:13-14). Otherwise, at the end of the lives, we would discover that we have lost our lives (Matt 7:15-29). It would be sad and tragic then.
Are we doing the will of God in all areas of our lives?