Willing

A willing Christian spirit is one that is compliant and anticipates surrender with a measure of enthusiasm before any request or expectation is made of God. Just as a willing spirit enriches human relationships, so it is the quality of willingness that infuses vitality into our spiritual relationship with the Lord. Willingness must be mutually active to produce the glory and the blessing that both God and believer desire.

In John 10:18, we read of Jesus saying that no one would take His life from Him, “but I lay it down of my own accord.” Jesus’ willingness to obey His Father and sacrificially serve sinful humanity on the cross is our template for right attitude. Such an expensive, self-sacrificing attitude by Christ, displays the richness of Jesus’ holy, loving, and merciful character.

Therefore, it should not surprise us to see a reflection of this willingness in the lives of those who follow the Lord. When David turned back to the Lord from his disastrous backsliding, he recorded the words of his repentance in Psalm 51. Central to his repentance was understanding his dependence upon the Lord to change every level of his heart attitude. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you (Psalm 51:12-13).

When a child of God discovers they have been swept down a path of sin, it is only the restoring work of the Lord which brings recovery. Only the Lord can rejuvenate the joy of salvation within a person who has been hijacked by sin. Joy is the expected fruit within the sinner when our Saviour does His work of regeneration. Consequentially, joy authored by the Lord, overshadows the pains and struggles of repentance with peace.

However, David also recognised he needed more than forgiveness to prevent him reverting to sin. He needed God to make a foundational and preventative change within His spirit/heart. David asked God to strengthen his walk of obedience with a willing spirit. A heart that desires to comply by default. A heart that considers the choices of life and chooses obedience without negotiation, and without complaint. This is the level of willingness we see in Christ, and we seek for the Holy Spirit to generate within us. An unnatural and unworldly compliance authored by Yahweh that gives evidence of His supernatural work within us.

As David continues, he understands the outworking of such a shift in attitude. Willingness should desire to teach transgressors your ways. A God authored transformation will cause the repentant sinner to look for others who need to be save, as they have been. Again, only God the Spirit can germinate a willing desire to share Christ with others. Similarly, David realised that telling others is not sufficient in and of itself. David’s newly shaped willing spirit expected sinners will return to you. It is Christlike character, generated by the Holy Spirit, that desires to be actively used by the Lord in the process of sinners turning away from a life of sin to a life under the Lordship of Christ. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Whether we are outgoing by nature or not, quiet or loud, find conversation easy or not, should not interfere with our desire of willingness to serve God. Personality and abilities are not in David’s or Jesus’ thinking here. I encourage you to seek a willing spirit/heart for the Lord Jesus Christ.