In chapter 5 of the book of Judges the prophetess Deborah and Barak, a man commanded by God to be a military leader, are praising the Lord for a victory in battle. Interestingly, the victory was wrought when they willingly offered themselves to the Lord’s service. Mark it down, the Lord is looking for willing hearts. He is looking to reveal Himself and bless those who are committed to Him and willing to serve. The question is, “Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the Lord?” What really can we render unto the Lord for all of His benefits towards us? Oh, the blessed operation of Jesus that produces a willing heart! Yes, we need His power to be willing, but we too must be willing to receive and act upon that power.
There is a very moving account of willingness found in 2 Corinthians, chapter 8. The church in Jerusalem was in dire financial straits and word about their need came to the churches of Macedonia (Philippi, Berea, Thessalonica). I might add that the churches of Macedonia were also an economically depressed area, similar to India today. And yet we see grace mingled with action to produce good fruit! The key? They were willing. Willingness, not perfection; availability, not ability. These are passwords toward blessing in Christ Jesus.
With many of us it’s a matter of overcoming our merely good intentions. You would think that we served a God of tomorrow. We’ll get involved at church – tomorrow. We’ll go to prayer meeting – next week. I’ll get up a little earlier for quiet time – tomorrow. How true our Savior’s words: “The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.” Every believer’s flesh is weak. So how then do we have “Macedonians”? It’s because of their willingness to say no to the flesh and yes to Christ. We must be willing to share; willing to give; willing to live honestly.
But good intentions are not answers to prayer; they are no substitute for service. They do not overcome excuses. Divine grace in a willing heart is the answer. If you today are willing to be used in a beautiful way for Jesus, the supply of grace is available.