Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Have Come to Do Your Will

(another awesome excerpt from DeMoss's book Surrender)

When Jesus left heaven to come to earth He had one purpose in mind.

"I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me." (John 6:38 NIV)
"Then I said, "Here I am...I have come to do your will O God." (Hebrews 10:7 NIV)

We consider it remarkable when a human being fully surrenders his or her agenda and will to the will of God-- probably because such an individual is so rare. But as we have seen in light of who God is and who we are, such surrender is completely reasonable. What makes the attitude of the Lord Jesus so astounding is that He is God. For Him to surrender His will to that of the Father can only be explained in terms of utter selflessness, trust, humility, and deep devotion to His Father.
Throughout His years here on earth, Jesus maintained this posture of surrender to God. Virtually the only insight we are given into Jesus' life from age twelve till He reached manhood is that He was obedient to His parents (Luke 2:51). That obedience to human authorities was an expression of His surrender to the will of God.
Before He began His earthly ministry, Jesus endured a period of intense temptation in the desert. What was the underlying issue that Satan used to tempt Jesus. It was this matter of control.
As he had done with the man and the woman in the garden of Eden four thousand years earlier, Satan attempted to get Jesus to surrender to his control. And as with the first couple, he started by appealing to Jesus' physical appetites-- you decide what to eat and when. Though Jesus had not eaten in forty days, He refused to operate apart from the direction of His Father, even in the seemingly insignificant matter.
In his final volley, Satan offered to give Jesus "all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor" (something that was not his to give, for that all belongs to God!), if only "you will bow down and worship me" (Matthew 4:8-9 NIV)
Adam and Eve had failed essentially that same test. Offered an opportunity to control their own lives, they had bowed down and worshipped the one whose sole intent is to usurp the throne of God.
Jesus knew that if He conceded even an iota of control to Satan, he would be rejecting the kingdom and control of God. He understood that that is the essence of sin; it is what separates God from man, and it is what accounts for all the misery in the history of the world.
Jesus acknowledged only one King and was fully surrendered to the will of His heavenly Father; therefore, He would not for a moment concede control to the Father's archenemy. He would not bow before any other so-called king; He would not worship anyone other than God. He would not indulge His human desires for food or comfort or gain, if to do so required Him to operate outside His Father's will.
Jesus came to earth expressly to do the will of God, which required that He offer up His body as a sacrifice. never for a single moment did He ever resist the will of His Father. Never was there a hint of a power struggle between Father and Son-- never a battle for control-- just complete, glad surrender. To demonstrate that surrender, the Lord Jesus took upon Himself "the form of a bond servant." Then, in the ultimate display of relinquishing control, "He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death" (Philippians 2:7-8 NASB)

Every time you and I bow our heads in acceptance of and surrender to the will of God, we embrace the cross and we manifest to the world the heart of Christ who bowed His head to the will of His Father. When all is said and done the conquering King will turn over to His Father all the kingdoms He has overcome--all the spoils of war. And then, once again, as time gives way to eternity, the Son of God, the Almighty, sovereign Creator and Redeemer, the Lord of heaven and earth, will bow His head in a final, magnificent act of surrender.

I am learning what it means to trust in a God that has been there, experienced my temptations and struggles. He is still working and will fight for us until the end. I can bow my head in surrender to a God this powerful... who has paved the road with His blood.

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