In the world but not of it

January 20, 2010

Willing…

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Psalms 51:12

Another translation of this verse would be: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you”.

Jesus actually made the same point that we find here when He said “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me”. Luke 9:23

There are volumes of books on the topic of free will, pre-destination and similar topics. We won’t attempt to address them here but we need to call out the important point of our passage, which was well said by a late German playwright who lived in the 18th century; “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do”.

The word “desire” that Jesus used in Luke 9:23 is the same word for “will” in the original language. It means to have an active purpose or intent in mind. It does not speak of pondering on a thought or quietly contemplating your next move as in a chess game but rather it has a sense of urgency associated with it. It refers to a single focus. It is the runner sprinting for the finish line. It is an action that tolerates no distractions…you get the picture.

How difficult it is to have a single-minded purpose in today’s world with all the noise, all the distractions and voices around us. But this is what both the Psalmist and Jesus expressed.

Jesus made the statement because He knew that it is exactly what man needs to do in order to walk with God. The Psalmist got to the same conclusion because he had sinned and realized the impact his life of disobedience had on him and those around him. God used his sin to break him of the ignorance and pride and God uses the sinful attitudes and areas in our lives to do the same; to get us to the place where we want to obey and are urgent about it.

Yes, we can study all about free will and making pre-determined choices. We can fill our minds with great content on the topics of obedience and trust but in the end no one will get to the other side of the lake by standing on the shore and staring at it…

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