June 19, 2024

In 2024, we will strive to become more like Jesus by rediscovering the ancient practices of prayer, study, sabbath, celebration, and many more. Our knowledge of scripture, coupled with studying how Jesus lived his life while on earth, will help us become people that overflow with the goodness of God. Wednesday email devotionals will highlight the practices that have been discussed on the previous Sunday.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”


Luke 22:42


There’s a song that occasionally plays on my playlist called God is God, by the Southern rock artist Steve Earle. In this song is a lyric that speaks deeply to me: “Yeah, I believe in God, and God ain’t me.” It’s one of those phrases that I know in my heart, yet my mind has a much harder time dealing with the implications of what that really means. I’ll put it this way: “Hi. My name is Scott, and I’m a control freak.” I want to run my life according to my terms, and I tend to push back heavily when things aren’t going the way that I’ve planned. I’m also keenly aware of this aspect of my life, and I spend a decent amount of time during my devotional and prayer time each day confessing that fact and praying for the ability to change it.


Jesus’ prayer while he was in the garden of Gethsemane was the opposite of what I face about myself each day. Even knowing that by following God’s will for his life, he would face arrest, trial, and execution, Jesus was willing to pray “not my will, but yours be done.” I’d like to have that kind of faith. I truly wish that I could set myself aside each moment of each day to be willing to take life as it comes rather than to be the overly planning, hyper-focused control-oriented person that I am. It’s strange to write all of those words because of the amount of flexibility that is inherently needed to follow the call that God has set on my life as a pastor, much less that which is required to be a parent.


Jesus’ example in these few words point us to the reminder that God is God, and we are not. Those are important words so let’s read them together again: “God is God, and we are not.” God’s will for each of us is much greater than anything that our controlling ideas can come up with. God’s plan for each of us is much more richly blessed than anything that we can imagine, yet so many of us continue to fight against it. We fight against it, not because we don’t trust the Lord and His will for us, but simply because we always have this small voice in the back of our minds that says, “I can do this better.”


God’s desire for each of us is that we would be able to surrender ourselves fully to Him. To do so, we must remember above all else that our Creator knows what is best, not simply for us, but for all of Creation.  We must be willing to step outside of our comfort zones, and to trust that God who has known us since before we were born will work toward something immeasurably greater than we can begin to comprehend.

For Discussion

Is there a particular part of your life where you try to exert the most control? What is it?


What makes it easier to give up control for you?


God, when we are most honest, we can admit that we think that we can do a better job than you in running our lives, the world, and even in guiding those around us. Help us to seek your will above our own and to surrender our wills to your own. In Jesus’ name we pray; amen.

Rev. Scott Tucker
Pastor for Grand Adults