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DavidD

Not My Will, But Yours

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One reason I am a liberal Christian is that I think the Bible was written by men, not God. If the Spirit could get writers to quote Jesus perfectly 50 years after His death, I'm sure that would still happen today. Instead this resource is less than perfect.

 

Still it must capture something of Jesus. Do I have to know which is the historical Jesus and which is the legendary Jesus? I hope not, because all I really know is what parts of the story of Jesus affected me most. Why should He be a way to God, whether it's a real person or a character in a book who shows me that way?

 

I suspect the most important image of Jesus for me is the way He prayed the night before His crucifixion. The synoptic gospels vary a little in describing this, but the key phrase for me is, "Not my will, but Yours". Did Jesus really say that? Was He just a man who didn't know what the gospels say He did at that point? I used to wonder about that. I find that I don't now.

 

When I started praying again in my thirties, I didn't follow this example. I didn't trust God that much then. I just wanted help. So I went to God as a last resort. That went well enough that I learned to go to God as a first resort about certain things.

 

I don't remember how long it took me to pray, "Not my will, but Yours". I'm sure different people see that differently. Besides the ridicule atheists would give me for that, I remember a conservative who claimed I only prayed that so I could say everything I did is God's will. No, I mean what I pray. I believe in the power of prayer in ways that that conservative apparently doesn't. My experience has borne that out for me.

 

Jesus taught me that. I don't believe everything the gospels has Him saying, but this one reached me and works for me. I guess that's one of the complexities in following Jesus. Who is the Jesus who leads to God as opposed to one who doesn't? Still He's been a way to God for me.

Edited by DavidD

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Yes, I like that too, "Not my will, but Yours"

 

"Let Thy will be done.” When Jesus asked the Father that His will be done, he was asking to be made a channel for His energy that the Father knew best what was good for his life. Ordinary people pray to have their desires gratified, something obtained or something accomplished, but in true love there is no place for I and mine. When the feelings of I and mine disappear from the mind, one is approaching God.

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One reason I am a liberal Christian is that I think the Bible was written by men, not God. If the Spirit could get writers to quote Jesus perfectly 50 years after His death, I'm sure that would still happen today. Instead this resource is less than perfect.

 

Still it must capture something of Jesus. Do I have to know which is the historical Jesus and which is the legendary Jesus? I hope not, because all I really know is what parts of the story of Jesus affected me most. Why should He be a way to God, whether it's a real person or a character in a book who shows me that way?

 

I suspect the most important image of Jesus for me is the way He prayed the night before His crucifixion. The synoptic gospels vary a little in describing this, but the key phrase for me is, "Not my will, but Yours". Did Jesus really say that? Was He just a man who didn't know what the gospels say He did at that point? I used to wonder about that. I find that I don't now.

 

When I started praying again in my thirties, I didn't follow this example. I didn't trust God that much then. I just wanted help. So I went to God as a last resort. That went well enough that I learned to go to God as a first resort about certain things.

 

I don't remember how long it took me to pray, "Not my will, but Yours". I'm sure different people see that differently. Besides the ridicule atheists would give me for that, I remember a conservative who claimed I only prayed that so I could say everything I did is God's will. No, I mean what I pray. I believe in the power of prayer in ways that that conservative apparently doesn't. My experience has borne that out for me.

 

Jesus taught me that. I don't believe everything the gospels has Him saying, but this one reached me and works for me. I guess that's one of the complexities in following Jesus. Who is the Jesus who leads to God as opposed to one who doesn't? Still He's been a way to God for me.

 

Hey David!

 

I realize this is a pretty old thread, but I was looking through some old ones and came across it. I like what you've written here a lot. I was wondering if you could expand a bit on some of the ideas you presented, though. You said, "I believe in the power of prayer in ways that that conservative apparently doesn't." What do you mean by this? How do you view the "power of prayer"? What are the implications of the words "Not my will, but Yours," in your view?

 

I realize these are personal questions, and I don't mean to pry, so don't answer them if they make you uncomfortable! :) I just thought this post was interesting and was hoping I could get you to explain it a bit more ;):lol:

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"not my will, but yours" seems more of an acknowledgement of having limited control over one's own life.

 

But how does that view differ from a conservative's? I've never heard of a conservative who rejects the idea that God is omnipotent and to some degree controls what happens.

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Yes, I feel we have limited free will. If one chooses to go against the laws of nature one becomes sick and dies. If one plants a mustard seed the seed grows into a mustard plant, not a fruit tree. In the same sense we are born with inherent genes for many qualities that affect our lives similar to the soil the seed is planted in. We might have a talent for sports, intellectual study, music, dance or spiritual contemplation. We are born into families that affect our upbringing, wealth, poverty, education, and addiction, but these have no power over the spiritual. "Lord let Thy will be done." The spirit will witness the situation or station one is placed in and make the right choices to benefit the greater consciousness, others, life and love in general. The right choices are the right books, teachers, thoughts and actions one performs. It is like a dog on a leash we have free will within a limit. Look at an object too big or small and we can't see it. Go to an evironment too hot or cold and we die. Think thoughts that are selfish and be sad. "Lord let Thy will be done." Open my mind to everything and attached to nothing. "Let Thy will be done." Conservative or Liberal let me do the right thing.

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But how does that view differ from a conservative's? I've never heard of a conservative who rejects the idea that God is omnipotent and to some degree controls what happens.

 

Well, the reality of life is we can only control certain things. One of my favorite sayings is "Life is what happens when you are making plans."

 

Conservatives blame everything on God. A friend of mine from college lost a younger sibling in a car accident when he was 14 (the sibling was 12) somehow this was God's will, from a conservative point of view. A more progressive or liberal person would acknowledge that sh** happens. It is horrible that his sibling died but it certainly wasn't God's will. It is what happens when a vehicle runs off the road and hits a tree and someone flies through the windshield.

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"Lord let thy Will be done" is a technique to free the mind or make it unattached to one's actions. 'You reap what you sow" similar to the Eastern law of Karma. It doesn't matter if we are bound by gold chains or steel we are still bound by our actions and reactions so to get out of the cause and effect we detach ourselves from the action. Lord let thy Will act through me. I remove my ego from the situation, therefore; I do not reap the actions good or bad because I didn't do it. I really don't know the conservative view, but have reaped and sowen many thoughts and actions over time so I have no one to blame for this except myself for getting into the situation, but now I can remove myself from it with different techniques. Spiritual practise helps one to witness the physical, mental and spiritual and all the repercusions.

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"Lord let thy Will be done" is a technique to free the mind or make it unattached to one's actions. 'You reap what you sow" similar to the Eastern law of Karma. It doesn't matter if we are bound by gold chains or steel we are still bound by our actions and reactions so to get out of the cause and effect we detach ourselves from the action. Lord let thy Will act through me. I remove my ego from the situation, therefore; I do not reap the actions good or bad because I didn't do it. I really don't know the conservative view, but have reaped and sowen many thoughts and actions over time so I have no one to blame for this except myself for getting into the situation, but now I can remove myself from it with different techniques. Spiritual practise helps one to witness the physical, mental and spiritual and all the repercusions.

 

 

Often that is true that we reap what we sow. But not always. My class is a good example. I was proud of them today when they were the best behaved group in the last day of school assembly. It didn't last past the assembly but that is another story. New teachers often end up with difficult classes because teachers will change grade levels or tracks to avoid them thus leaving the vacancy open for a newbie. It isn't a reaping and sowing it is just the reality of life.

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Well, the reality of life is we can only control certain things. One of my favorite sayings is "Life is what happens when you are making plans."

 

Sounds like you and soma are pretty much making the same point, so I guess I must be misinterpreting the saying, "Not my will, but Yours."

 

I guess, in that context, it sounds to me like Jesus is saying that his death is God's will, and so that's what's going to happen. It sounds like an appeal to, but recognition of, God's omnipotence and the possibility of divine intervention (or the lack thereof). Does that make any sense? Now, I personally reject this idea, for the reason you stated in the quote below - sh** happens, that doesn't mean it's God's will. (I personally don't believe in divine intervention.)

 

But maybe you both are correct in interpreting those words in a different way. Maybe we should look at the passage to see the context in which Jesus uses the words? Anyone know the verses?

 

Regardless, I now see what the OP was saying in stating the power of those words. Allowing God's Will to run your life instead of your own...that's what it means to dedicate our lives to God, I suppose :)

 

Conservatives blame everything on God. A friend of mine from college lost a younger sibling in a car accident when he was 14 (the sibling was 12) somehow this was God's will, from a conservative point of view. A more progressive or liberal person would acknowledge that sh** happens. It is horrible that his sibling died but it certainly wasn't God's will. It is what happens when a vehicle runs off the road and hits a tree and someone flies through the windshield.

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I am not a new teacher, but this year I was sent to a High School where my duties are to teach students who did not pass Algebra or Science. I also had a class where I had to teach students who did not pass the math test to graduate. The politics of the school district made my move for me. I didn't want to go, but ended up volunteering in the long run. I learned many things from this experience about myself and others. I would stay for the students, but I am transfering out next year to another school where I will teach similar students science, math and English because I felt the school district was taking advantage of me and the situation.

"Lord let Thy Will be done."

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