Girlfriend, I must confess that I’ve not always had a ‘willing heart.’ In fact, I can probably guesstimate the number of times that I’ve not had a willing heart to exceed that of the number of times I have. *sigh!* Funny thing however, as I mature in The Lord, I am more able to ‘see’ the ‘opportunities’ as they are presented to me …
I read this passage this morning and it humbled me ~~ Mary was just a teenager at the time, and yet God reached down and gave her the blessed opportunity to become part of the most important moment in all history of mankind ~~ the advent of Our Savior. And her response is astounding for such a young woman, “as you have said, let it be done to me.” Yes, clearly a willing heart.
Jeremiah 1:17-19 “Get up and prepare for action. Go out and tell them everything I tell you to say. Do not be afraid of them, or I will make you look foolish in front of them. For see, today I have made you strong like a fortified city that cannot be captured, like an iron pillar or a bronze wall. You will stand against the whole land—the kings, officials, priests, and people of Judah. They will fight you, but they will fail. For I am with you, and I will take care of you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Jeremiah the prophet was called by God to warn His people about their evil ways ~~ God called Jeremiah in his early twenties. I remember what I was like in my early twenties ~~ I, too, was on fire, but not necessarily for The Lord of Hosts. But young Jeremiah rose to the occasion and obeyed God and was His Spokesman for 40 years in the face of strong opposition. An enduring and willing heart.
Acts 9:3-6 As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Not only did Saul follow through with going to the city and listening to The Lord for further instructions, but his conversion to Paul the Apostle ignited the Church and set the gospel in motion like no other disciple. Paul made a 180° life changing decision and he laid his life on the line for the sake of Christ. Definitely a willing heart.
Esther 4:14-16 If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”
Queen Esther literally put herself on the line for her people the Jews. Things were going relatively smooth until the fateful moment that Uncle Mordecai relayed the message to her that she needed to intervene and intercede for the lives of her people. Her royal position was now going to decide her own fate as she revealed who she really was beneath the crown and robe. A trusting and willing heart.
The Bible is filled with examples of real people with sincere willing hearts. And in every situation the beholder had a choice to make ~~ obey or disobey. The consequences were hefty and often times these choices were accepted only by an Audience of One. He is the same One to Whom we are accountable ~~ the only One that truly matters.
“Do you have a willing heart for the thing(s) that God is calling you to participate in?”
I’m not afraid to say I’m growing in this area of my relationship with God ~~ that means I don’t have it all down, but I’m certainly not what I used to be. As I mentioned earlier, maturity has opened these eyes and softened my spirit so that I can recognize the opportunities as God presents them to me. And the more often I do make the right decision by being a willing heart, the more it becomes natural and the fewer regrets I have for not obeying the Lord’s desires of me. Let me get in close with you for a minute, if I may ~~ it also makes me a more amiable person, which in turn, opens the door to sharing the Gospel because people want to know what makes me “tick.” Seriously, have you ever wanted to get to know someone who always showed themselves “unpleasant?” Me neither.
Psalm 138:7-8 Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.
When I read this verse it just seemed to wrap it all up for me: protection from opponents, God’s mighty power to save me, His working out the plans for my life, and His forever love for me.
Not one person has ever been disappointed when it comes to obeying God and serving Him. Truthfully speaking, I believe that’s part of the blessing in obedience ~~ the transformation of the heart even “welcomes” the opportunity to serve again and again and again. And then God pours out a double blessing and infuses it all with joy. How awesome is that?! Not only do we become willing vessels, but we do things with a joyful spirit. Now, those are the kind of folks I like to hang out with and get to know better.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
“How do I know it’s the Lord’s Will?” The Scripture verse above guides me back to the One Who beckons me. If what I am hearing aligns with His Word, then I must ask the Holy Spirit to lead me and He will give me the wisdom.
If you’re struggling with obedience, Girlfriend, pause and pray. Ask your Creator to give you a willing heart to serve Him, and to increase your faith to fully trust Him for your needs and the outcome. We have His Word that we won’t be disappointed.
Proverbs 23:18 You will be rewarded for this; your hope will not be disappointed.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~