Mark 14:37-38 (NLT)
Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
The thought has occurred to me that I would rather deal with what I cannot do than try to overcome not wanting to – my spirit is willing and my flesh is weak. I have found the barrier of stubbornness around my heart to be insurmountable sometimes. Submission does not come easy to people like me and is a daily struggle to maintain. I want to be obedient in all things, but that requires sacrifice of self that is difficult to make. I can put aside my wants and desires. When it comes to my family and close friends, I will even put my own basic needs second to them. However, I want to live a life completely surrendered to Jesus Christ which means that I must not give into the temptation to be unwilling when I don’t “want” to do something or allow human weakness to be my excuse. I really have no excuse.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
When I am weak, then I am strong through the Power of Christ hidden inside me. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13) Greater is He who lives in me then He that is in the world. (I John 4:4) We are more than conquerors through the love that He has given us. (Romans 8:37-38) Within these power verses of God’s Word, every excuse to fail or give up dissolves in the Glory of God invested in the lives of His People. We have the strength to overcome any and all adversity, trial and tribulation simply because God loves us and Jesus lives in us. So now what? Why do we not live from glory to glory as promised? Why can’t we see the good in every detail just as He promised? (Romans 8:28) Weakness does not stop us it is willingness that does. We are weak but have the Power of God to overcome our weaknesses. It is unwillingness to follow Christ beyond our ability and attitude that interrupts the blessing intended for our life.
Mark 1:40-42 (NLT)
A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.
The man with leprosy came to Jesus. I am sure many tried to keep him from the Lord due to his physical condition. But the man would not be stopped and knelt before the Lord… Stop right there. Hang on! There is something in this passage that I never noticed until now. The man came and knelt before Jesus… and then said, “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” He knelt before Jesus an act of surrender before He asked the Lord for a thing. Even in the midst of surrendering self, he told the Lord “if you are willing.” Jesus was moved with compassion. The Lord’s Heart is moved by our willingness. When we decide to surrender our life to Him even before He “does” anything for us, I believe it moves the Hand of God to action in that moment. The angel told Daniel that the “moment” he prayed that a command was released in Heaven. (Daniel 9:23) It is the moment that pride does not matter when we see the force of God’s Power manifested in our life. When “I” move out of the way to allow the “willingness” of God make its way into my life. Jesus said without hesitation, “I am willing. Be healed!” I wonder if in our weakness we allow unwillingness to hinder us sometimes as pride rises up to protect self. It is a natural instinct that can only be overcome by supernatural love.
Psalm 51:12 (NLT) Restore to me the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you.
There are a lot of things that I can do. There are also many things that I want to do. But it has taken half of my life to figure out that it is better to not do that thing at all then to do it begrudgingly. For example, I hate getting up early each day. I wake up around 5:00 AM but do not usually make it out of the bed until around 5:15 or 5:30 AM. I do it to spend time with the Lord before everyone else gets up. It is a time set aside to bask in the Presence of God. However, if I get up angry about getting up where is the blessing. If I am awful to my husband and the dogs on my way to my prayer closet, who wins? Where is the victory in making our life in Christ a chore, something we do because we have to? I would be better off staying in bed and sleeping it off. Willingness means to be cheerfully consenting, ready and inclined to do something. It is with a joyful spirit that I come to this place each day. On those days that it is s struggle it is not human weakness but stubborn willfulness that I must overcome to get here and get something in the Presence of my God.
Colossians 3:23-24 (NLT)
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.
Every time that we overcome our flesh and give way to His Spirit living inside of us, God blesses our life. There is a reward for those who work willingly at everything they do as working unto the Lord. If you plastered the image of Jesus on every face you see today, would you do things differently? Would you treat those people around you differently? Would you work harder if it was for the Lord? The Lord rewards us with an inheritance we serve the world as if we are serving Jesus himself. Our willingness moves people and works in our favor. (I Peter 5:2) Our circumstances should not determine our willingness but our love for Jesus should promote willingness in our life.
James 3:17-18 (NLT)
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
Lord, make me willing to serve you in all things. Show me the areas of my life that are being hindered by my unwillingness and soften my heart to those things. Let the joy of my salvation rule my life and Your Love for me determine each outcome. I surrender my life to you again today and ask you to break my stony heart for the things that move your heart with such compassion. I want to love like you Lord and be willing just as you are to serve others. Thank you for the wisdom you give us in Your Word and by Your Spirit. Lord, let me be peace loving, gentle at all times and willing to yield to others in all things every day. Thank you for the peace that is planted in my life when I am willing to serve you! It is in your Name that I ask these things and know that they will be! Amen!