Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39 (NIV)
God will not give us what we desire if it goes against His revealed will (His Word) or His secret providence for our lives. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans that God is working all things out for our good and that which is not for our ultimate good shall not be given. He loves us with an everlasting love and knows better than we do what is best for us. Many things would hurt us and cause us much harm or rob us of our greater good if He allowed it. We must trust in His wisdom, love and timing – just as we keep things away from our children that would harm them. We see such a poor reflection yet He sees face to face – we know in part, but He knows fully, even as we are fully known. And He can be trusted. Allow God to appoint the means of our deliverance even if it is through the “valley of the shadow of death” – we will fear no evil. Often God gives exactly what we ask but other times He gives in like value using differing means. And His ways are always infinitely superior to ours.
The transformation of our minds and hearts and ways to conform us into the image of Jesus is not instantaneous rather a progression. And one that is often very slow as it takes our cooperation. And none of us are there yet or we would be home with the Lord. The children’s song “He’s Still Working On Me” fits us all. And Scripture presses us to go further still with the Master - not just simply in Christian graces but in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus. And that will take our lifetimes. God never intended for us to remain the same. Maturity and knowledge equips us to handle the deceptions in our world and from the adversary and from our own deluded hearts. God’s Word enables us to mature which facilitates sharpness as we are committed to grow up in Him Who is the Head. This will always involve knowledge of God’s Truth. We remain naïve and vulnerable if we neglect this. God never lauds ignorance to His revealed will written in His Word. And He places a heavy stress on wisdom. Wisdom gives us clarity and ability to discern Truth – pointing us to the Way we are to walk in. Experiencing the light is very different from simply knowing about the light. And what you see and experience, you can never unsee or un-experience.
How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:19-21 (NIV)