It’s one thing to be good at something, to have the ability, power, or giftedness to make something happen. It’s quite another to be willing to use it.
Pharaoh had the power to let the Israelites go, but he wasn’t willing (Exodus 10:27). Bezalel, Oholiab, and other skilled men and women had the ability and knowledge in all kinds of craftsmanship that were needed for the construction of the Tabernacle, and were willing to come and do the work (Exodus 36:2).
King David understood the importance of willingness. He instructed his son Solomon to serve God with a willing mind, and it was his personal prayer: Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me (Psalm 51:12).
God speaks to us through His creation, His Word, His Spirit, and others. He prompts thoughts during Bible reading, morning runs, afternoon commutes, and coffee with friends. When He nudges us to write a note, or whispers that we’ve been neglecting time in the Word, or presses a person or situation firmly in our spirit, how do we respond? Are we willing or reluctant? Do we obey or retort with excuses and delay tactics?
If you’re currently mulling over something you know God is prompting you to do, think on this: The LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts (1 Chronicles 28:9). We may fool others and even ourselves with our reluctance, but we’ll never deceive God. He sees and understands all of our thoughts, words, and ways.
Nehemiah thought about the broken walls of Jerusalem, and after fasting and prayer was willing to take the lead to rebuild it. Isaiah saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and heard His question, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And he readily and willingly responded, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:1,8). When the Holy Spirit repeatedly warned Paul that prison and hardship were part of his future, he didn’t stall or turn around. Instead he willingly followed where God led and said, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace (Acts 20:23-24)
Think on it: How willing are you to complete the task the Lord Jesus has given to you?