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God has made all of us free moral agents. We have a will that enables us to make choices for ourselves. Why did god give us a free will? Because He wanted children, not puppets! Puppets have no power to choose for themselves.

Although we have this power to make choices or decisions in our lives, there are consequences that follow our choices. We can choose life or death; we can choose good or we can choose evil. Even Jesus had to make choices on a daily basis. Of course, we always see Jesus choosing good.

Throughout the four Gospels, we see that Jesus always chose to do good to people. At least 60 times, He said, "I will" (in other words, "I choose"). The book of Matthew has an excellent account of how Jesus chose to help people.
When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
(Matt. 8:1-3)
When Jesus chose, or "willed" to heal the leper, He obligated Himself to do the same for you and me—because Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8).

And Peter said in Acts 10:34, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons." In other words, God has no favorite children! What He will do for one, He will do for any of His children.

Jesus Exercised His Will
Now I want to give you an example of how Jesus overcame His mind by an act of His will.
And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.
(Mark 14:32-34)
Notice, His soul was "exceeding sorrowful unto death." He was overwhelmed with what He was about to face the next day—dying on the cross and taking upon Himself the sins, diseases, pains, chastisement of our peace, and so forth, of mankind (Isa. 53:4-5).

Primarily, Jesus was overwhelmed at the prospect of being made sin and becoming separated from the Father!

Jesus was given the choice to go through this to save and redeem you and me. He didn't need to take upon Himself any of those terrible things for Himself—He didn't need to become redeemed, righteous, and so forth—because He already was those things!
And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it be possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
(Mark 14:35-36)
"Nevertheless, Not What I Choose"
Notice what Jesus said: "...nevertheless not what I will [choose], but what thou wilt [choose]." Thank God, Jesus chose to do the Father's will so you and I would have the opportunity to become redeemed from the curse of the law and be righteous before God!

Let's continue to see this story unfold:
And he cometh, and fineth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. [Notice what happens next.] And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.
(Mark 14:37-39)
What words? The words He spoke in verse 36, which reads, "Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt."

Jesus was having a battle in His mind and will, including His emotions, because it stated in verse 34 that He was "...exceeding sorrowful unto death."

But the main battle was with His mind and will. Jesus had to have been thinking in His mind that there might be another way these things He was about to go through on the cross could be avoided.

If not, why did He ask the Father, "...All things are possible unto thee: take away the cup from me..."? Your mind is also your intellect. Jesus dealt with His mind twice as recorded in the scriptures.

"There Is No Other Way!"
I truly believe something like this may have happened when Jesus asked the Father to take away that cup from Him. God may have said, "Son, I have searched everywhere, and there is no other way but the cross!"

Then Jesus said twice, in verses 36 and 39, "Nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt."

Jesus didn't just overcome death, hell, and the grave—He overcame His mind and emotions! This allowed His will to line up with God's will.
And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither knew they what to answer him. And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take you rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
(Mark 14:40-41)
Remember, Jesus said, "Nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt."

It was then that Jesus made the initial decision to go to the cross! It was then when the battle was really won! I believe the second time Jesus returned to His disciples and spoke the same words (v. 39) is when He set His will to go to the cross.

Jesus didn't shed His blood by accident, but rather, by a deliberate act of His will. May we never take this act for granted in our Christian walk. And may we, too, choose "life" and to do good in all we do.

Source: The Power of Choice by Todd B. Bailey
Excerpt permission granted by Todd Bailey Ministries

Author Biography

Todd Bailey
Web site: Todd Bailey Ministries
Todd is a graduate of Norvel Hayes's New Life Bible School's "Special School of Ministry" in Cleveland, Tennessee, and RHEMA Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is the author of the book, The Power of Choice.

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