rick & 1j13
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
With All Your Strength: Engaging The Will, Part Two
Continuing the train of thought from the previous post...

Why is all of this important? We've talked before, on this blog and in various small groups, about the difference between WANT TO and HAVE TO. There are many things we do because we WANT TO, and way too many things we do because we feel we HAVE TO. From my own experience, if there's too much HAVE TO without enough reward or without enough WANT TO to reinforce the action, there will eventually come a time when I won't do a thing because I will feel that I DON"T HAVE TO anymore. My concept of HAVE TO is that we're forced to do something we'd rather no do - but there's an element of WANT TO with it, such as I HAVE TO pay my taxes because I WANT TO stay out of jail. The WANT TO underlines the HAVE TO. Somewhere, though, things get better when the WANT TO turns into a GET TO. For example, as a husband I HAVE TO do certain things for my wife. If I don't WANT TO, it'll be a chore but that underlying WANT TO please her will work for awhile until I no longer WANT TO and I then feel like I DON'T HAVE TO. Following so far? All that to say: it changes for the best when I see it, from the depth of my strength and will, as an opportunity to serve - I GET TO do things for my wife. And that drives my WANT TO more than my own desires for laziness or whatever else.

And that same GET TO is huge in our own sanctification as Christian. When Jesus quotes the law, that we are to love God with all of our strength - all of our ability and power, with a real grasp and clinginess to the thing - He is saying that in Him, we can see our calling as a GET TO situation in serving Him. Whew. He's saying that our will must be engaged - and in that engagement, our decision-making (mind) will be driven by our will, and we'll act on our feelings (heart) by that same will, and we will become people who display the fruit of the spirit in our personalities (soul) because we are driven to follow Him with all our strength.

As my will is transformed, as it's shaped and molded to be more like His will - then and only then will I begin to prove who He is and what His calling is on my life in all I do, say and think (rough paraphrase of Romans 12:2).

In that light, where GET TO is the overarching factor in making decisions and acting on conviction, let's take a look at some of my favorite Bible characters:
  • Abraham - Read his story in Genesis XX-YY and see where his will is slowly swallowed up into God's will, and how that impacts his decision making from that point on
  • Joshua - As he is trained under Moses, he sees what it's like to really serve God. Along with his friend, wholehearted Caleb, they lead the people into the promised land.
  • David - He GETS TO stand up to the enemies of God and the people of God. Woo hoo.
  • Daniel - Even at a young age, being able to stand his ground and simply take God at his word, Daniel defines for me what it's like to be "in the culture but not of it".
  • Shadrach, Meschach & Abednego - The ultimate test of "strength" is displayed when these three friends are threatened with disposal in the fiery furnace. "God can save us - but even if He chooses not to, we still GET TO honor Him by not bowing down to your idol, O King."
  • Paul - Even when everyone around him prophesied that the trip to Jerusalem would be his undoing, he still pressed on because he knew it was God's will that he go and that he be stretched in suffering this way. That's real dedication, serving God by choosing to suffer for His will.

    Man... all that feels like a set-up for what I really want to say about the need to engage our will. That's all just introduction :). I told Pastor I was going to need two weeks...
  • Comments: Post a Comment

    << Home

    Powered by Blogger