Not my will, but your will be done

One simple statement from Eve would have spared us thousands of years of misery and madness. If only she’d said, “Not my will, but God’s will be done.”

And think what would have happened if politicians and leaders all through the ages had said that. So when they were tempted into thinking “you can be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5), they said, “No, I don’t want to be a god like God. God is God and his will be done.” 

I could have spared myself a lot of misery and frustration too, if I’d thought, “Not my will, but God’s will be done,” when faced with the incompetence, hypocrisy, bullying and theatrical posturing of so many world leaders. Because Scripture tells me “the authorities that exist have been established by God,” Romans 13:1. So they’re God’s business, not mine, and he will sort them out. As Jesus told Pilate in John 19:11, “You’d have no power over me at all, if it wasn’t given to you from above.”    

But why, then, does God allow evil people to hold office? Genesis fills us in on that one. Offered the chance to know good and evil, we took it. We chose to know evil. And we soon got a taste of it too, as to what it does, how it operates, and the awful things it makes us do to each other. And here we are now, learning exactly the same things about evil. But that’s what we chose. No wonder, then, we end up with leaders who happily sacrifice their people for their own ego driven fantasies. That’s evil for you. That’s what it does.

And there’s nothing we can do about it either. Violent protests, wars, and assassinations may get rid of evil leaders, but there are plenty more to take their place. It never ends. The same old cycle over and over again. And how frustrating when a leader has already done untold damage to his people and his nation, and he still has several more years in office to go. But that’s evil for you; no matter how awful some leaders are they somehow remain in office, like Hitler who survived at least forty two plots to kill him.     

So what are we supposed to learn from all this? Well, God offered an answer to that in the book of Job. God made a deal with Job, that if Job could stop evil “then I God will admit to you that your own right hand can save you,” Job 40:14 (starting in verse 6).     

There’s the challenge, and what leader has succeeded in meeting it? None, because no human leader has a snowball’s chance in hell of stopping evil. That’s God’s point. It’s beyond our human capacity. But leaders keep on promising to “bring in change,” “build back better,” and make their nation great again, and sometimes there is a period of hope and change, but power so often corrupts.  

What hope have any of us got, therefore, especially as the lunacy gets worse, of a nice, normal life without the fear and frustration of another madman dragging us into war or bankruptcy? 

Well, when Jesus was nearing the end of his rope he left us with a way to cope and a way to hope. It was his simple statement to God, “Not my will, but your will be done.” He accepted that, for now, evil must have its way with us humans, because that was God’s will. God “subjected this creation to futility,” Romans 8:20, but “in the hope that” one day we’ll be free of evil forever (verse 21). 

And that’s what got Jesus through the most trying time of his life. And now it’s his will to see us through too. So rather than resort to what I’d like to do about these leaders – let his will be done, not mine.  

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