Our verse for today comes from John 6:38, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
Some time ago, our office was conducting a book drive to donate to the Raleigh Rescue Mission. As I went through my collection of ones already read, never going to read, and hope to get to someday, I was able to gather up a stack that I hoped would benefit someone down at the Mission. But you know how it is when you’re going through your things, intending to get rid of all that’s unnecessary. What had sat on a shelf for years or been stashed away in a box since your last move suddenly becomes interesting, desirable, and sometimes downright irreplaceable. So as I worked my way through books that conjured up vivid memories as well as those that I didn’t know I owned, I came across one called The Strong-Willed Child, by James Dobson.
I remember stumbling across this one back in college while shopping in a bookstore with a friend. And before my buddy was ready to leave, I had already read several chapters, and didn’t want to stop. Every word seemed to be written with me in mind. I imagine someone watching me would have seen my head constantly nodding in agreement as I scarfed up what was on those pages, realizing that there was hope for me yet, even as I better grasped the child and young adult I had been.
One of the more challenging things for me to grasp is the concept of Jesus having a separate will from His heavenly Father, and completely laying His will aside to do that of His Father’s. Besides the philosophical debate of whether a will can exist if it is never exercised, it exceeds the limits of my human understanding for the perfect Jesus to need to do something other than what He wanted. But however it worked, Jesus always yielded to God. And precisely because of that mind-blowing truth, we have the gift of salvation and the reality of eternal life. It was helpful for me to realize just how strong my will is. I can only imagine how strong Christ’s was, yet He was not ruled by it, perfect though it might have been. In complete submission, there is our greatest good.
As we seek Him today, lay aside your will, as important as it may seem to you at the moment, and grab hold of the will of Him who sent you.