In Philippians 2:10-11 God’s Word says, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father.” I have always been pretty familiar with this passage of scripture, but what I was not as familiar with until recently were the words that precede it. When I read versus 1-9 in this same chapter, I discovered that God exalted Jesus to this position because of Jesus’ complete surrender to the will of His Father. Look at the way Jesus is described in the preceding verses:
- He did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage (verse 6)
- He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant (verse 7)
- He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross (verse 8)
Jesus placed Himself in a position of complete and utter humility before God in a way that no other person ever has, and because of this God exalted Him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name (verse 9). The bible tells us over and over again that those who humble themselves will be exalted (Matthew 23:12, 1 Peter 5:6, James 4:10, etc.), so why is it so difficult to humble ourselves? Why do so many of us continue along the path of trying to exalt ourselves?
There is no doubt that I still have areas of my own heart that I have not fully surrendered to God, but reading about the night before Jesus’ Crucifixion gives me hope. It ensures me that being obedient to the will of our Father in heaven did not even come easy to Jesus. He wrestled with it as well. When we look at Jesus praying in the garden the night before His crucifixion, we see Him in the midst of an inner struggle. He is wrestling the desire to satisfy His own flesh to not go to that cross. We can read in Matthew 26 that Jesus’ soul was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death (verse 38), and that He prayed several times for this cup to be taken from Him (verses 39 & 42). However, he follows up these requests with, yet not as I will, but as you will (verse 39).
We see that Jesus’ first response was to take it to God. As soon as His feelings did not seem to match up with what His Father was asking Him to do, Jesus fell to his knees and began to pray. He laid these desires at the feet of His father, and He sought His Father’s will. Jesus believed in the promises of God, so He was willing to forego the desires of His own flesh to fulfill the wishes of His Father. His first response is always to seek His Father’s will. At the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, because in every situation Jesus knelt before His Father.
What are you wrestling with today? What if the true answer is found in taking that situation, laying it before God and saying, “God, here is what I want, but what is your will?” It’s hard to find the right answers if we don’t ask the right questions. Are you praying for God to do your will, or are you seeking to do His? Do you trust God enough to let go of your desires and to trust in His promises?
Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart(Job 22: 21-22).
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete (John 15:10-11).