Faith is exhibited by submitting to the will of God. The greatest illustration of this submission is Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Remember Jesus wasn’t all-knowing while He was on earth. His omniscience was voluntary and temporarily put aside.
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself. (Phil 2:6-8)
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus asked God to remove the cup from Him (taking the guilt for all of our sins and death) but only if it was God’s will. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me.”
Jesus’ betrayal and arrest are close at hand. He wrestles with what is going on in Him and around Him. He seeks the comfort, and the will, of his Father. We usually think of prayer as a means to get something but Jesus did not pray to change God’s will but to submit to it. This way of praying turns us away from self-centeredness.
“And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground” (Luke 22:41–42, 44). In Matthew Jesus petitioned God three times (Mat 26:36–46). That was one fervent, prolonged prayer experience, so much so that during it the disciples fell asleep several times.
The Greek for “be done,” in the Gethsemane story (and in the Lord’s Prayer) is literally “happen.” Jesus was in absolute obedience, absolute submission to the Will of God.
Faith in God means being faithful to Him and relying on Him without reserve to the point of being in “union with” with him (Gal 2:17). Having faith means abiding in Him–now–not “once this is finished” or “when so and so happens.”
Oswald Chambers speaks of continual abiding,
“In the initial stages it is a continual effort until it becomes so much the law of life that you abide in Him unconsciously. Determine to abide in Jesus wherever you are placed.”
I John 2:3-11 sheds important light on knowing we are in Him:
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in himd to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him. 1 (John 2:3-11)
Having faith in God, being in union with Him, abiding in Christ will produce the fruit of obedience. This is how we are sure that we are united with him through obedience as Christ was obedient as unto death.
Faith in God is a belief in Him and His Word and getting to know Him. This leads to a love of God and love of others which is the law wrapped up in two commands. This love is obedience as well as the evidence of our faith in Him.
Jesus’ prayers reveal God as our faithful Promiser. God’s Spirit motivates and activates us to study and know God’s will.
As we learn about the faithfulness of God though His provisions and His love we grow in our faith and there will be evidence of more spiritual fruits in our lives.
Often we ask “How can I know God’s will for me?” You may not know His specific will in all circumstances but you can be ready to surrender to His will, whatever it is, because He promises “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.” (Psalm 32:8). The ongoing daily submission and surrender to His will through dying to self is the way we grow spiritually and abide in His presence. Who could ask for anything more?
“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust.” Psalm 18:2
Is there a cup you have asked God to remove? Can you share a time you submitted in faith and the outcome? Take a moment to encourage someone. Answer in the comments or on your blog and link back.
Those who encourage others will themselves be encouraged. Proverbs 11:25