Are You Willing?
- One of the greatest obstacles I encountered early on in my Christian walk was overcoming the dreaded question, what was God going to ask of me?
I just knew He was going to call me to serve on some remote island, the name of which I could barely pronounce. Of course He would want me to live in a humble, one room, windowless hut, among a people and wildlife that were less than happy to have me there.
Needless to say, my own distorted view of God’s plan for my life was somewhat dismal. By all accounts it held very little excitement and was certainly less then appealing. But after all, wasn’t that the way of a true disciple?
The more I pondered my future, the more my mind began to resemble a runaway train filled with depressing thoughts that were fast approaching complete derailment. And that’s exactly what happened. I decided to abandon my walk of faith.
I had not yet gained enough assurance of God’s goodness and faithfulness to completely let go and give him the full reins of my life.
A big part of me wanted to take that leap of faith but the other part of me, stubbornly insisted that every “I” had to be dotted and every “T” had to be crossed before I would blindly set out on this “Jesus Journey.” I began to wonder if perhaps I wasn’t a direct descendant of the doubting Thomas family tree.
It took a while before my fears had quieted down long enough for me to be able to hear God’s voice again. One day I happened to notice a verse from the New Testament that really grabbed my attention. It was Philippians 2:13.
“It is God who worketh in you both to will and do according to His good pleasure."
My eyes were drawn to the two words “will” and “do.” I began to realize that they had been written in perfect order, because more often then not, until we are willing, we will never do. But even more importantly I started to recognize it was not up to me to do this. The verse says it is “God” who works in me both to will (be willing) and do (act accordingly). Wow, what a realization! I no longer had to “bite the bullet” by attempting to fortify my own will in order to obey His commands.
Then I saw it again in Isaiah 1:19
”If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat of the good of the land.”
Once again I noticed that first came the willing part, then came the doing part. But I have to admit that even after God opened this truth up to me, I was still hesitant to “do” certain things. Finally, I relented and said, Lord, if this hurdle is ever to be jumped, you’ll have to jump it for me.
Then He began to speak to me:
”Because you feel so overwhelmed, I want you to just stop and answer a simple question, are you willing to be willing?"
Immediately, it felt as if a pressure valve had been released in my heart. For the first time I was able to respond, yes Lord, I believe I can at least be willing.
Well, that was all the coaxing I would need. It was from that place of surrender that God’s Spirit escorted me to a new level of peace. The struggle was over. It had been replaced by a foundation of trust and security. I could finally relax knowing that God was going to supply everything I would need, including the will to do His Will.
How much better can it get?
For the first time I realized that He is truly my all in all. He just wanted to make sure He gets every bit of glory for everything He does “in and through” us. This includes tearing down places that would potentially hold us back from being transformed into His image.
The key to making great strides in our walk is to simply admit when we can’t do it ourselves and allow Him to show us that with His help, we really can.
His promise to perform that which concerns me became very attainable that day, all because I was willing to be “made” willing. God has helped me stretch even farther in this realm of faith by following the lead of His own Son, Jesus Christ. I now have no problem ending my prayers with the beautiful surrender of ...
“Not my will…but thy will be done."
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