top of page
  • Writer's pictureDominique McKay

But As You Will

Updated: 11 hours ago

Mirroring the faithfulness of Christ

Underneath my senior portrait in my high school yearbook is printed the Bible verse from Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” As a 17-year-old, to have faith in a God I could not see was easy. Like anyone that age, I held my beliefs with hubris. I had no real doubts, and I was quite certain about everything.

However, with age I have been confronted with the hard question of what does it actually mean to be faithful when it comes to our relationship with God? Is it merely being certain that he exists, or is there something more to it?

For the answer to this question we must look to the very author and perfecter of our faith — Christ himself. In Matthew 26, we find Jesus in Gethsemane. It is moments before his arrest, and he is preparing for what he knows will come at the cross. Christ tells his disciples, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to the point of death…” (v. 38). 

When Christ walks out on his own to pray, he cries out to God saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” (v. 39). In his humanness, Christ asks God to prevent his suffering — a prayer that unites Christ with the suffering of every human who has ever walked with God.

Then suddenly Christ says something quite radical: “nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” In that moment, he shows us how to submit to our heavenly Father’s will, but equally important, he defines for us what it means to be “faithful.” 

Relationships are usually developed when two parties agree. In fact, many marriages and friendships are built on the fundamental moment when two people look at one another and realize there is much mutual agreement between them. But the reality is, those sweet moments of agreement are simply not where faithfulness is born.

For every relationship there will come a time when two parties disagree, not on something small and trivial, but on something deep and potentially very painful. It is in that moment of breaking where faithfulness enters the scene. It is that moment when one party looks to the other and makes clear, “not as I will, but as you will” that faithfulness unfolds. 

Faithfulness comes through submission. This is a radically countercultural idea in a world that tells us what’s best for us is that we get our way. But Christ shows us in Matthew 26 that it’s only through conforming our way to God’s way that we can truly call ourselves “faithful” and in Galatians 5 we see faithfulness described as a fruit of the Spirit — evidence of God’s work in us.

Nearly two decades later, I look at the photo of the 17-year-old me who did not know quite what she was getting herself into when she chose Hebrews 11:1 as the verse to define her future. Yet, through the many breaking moments with God that have come since then, I’ve reflected back on Christ in the garden and found myself whispering his very words.

Hebrews 3 describes Christ as “faithful to the one who appointed him.” He demonstrated his faithfulness to God and to us on the cross. And as Sinclair Ferguson cites, “because [Christ] has been faithful to that promise, we can be sure he will be faithful to every single one of his promises.”

Dominique McKay is a Women's Ministry Associate in Washington, D.C.


bottom of page