Philippians 2:13 The Message
For it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
A willing will – almost a bit of an oxymoron. (For the grammatically challenged – an oxymoron is an expression with contradictory words.) Because when I think of my will, the image is that of something ‘set’, ‘firm’, ‘resisting’ – not yielding or willing. Our will is our internal motor. Our default response mechanism. The part of our soul that is like the watchdog over the rest of our internal nature. It’s God-designed.
So the question is: are you allowing the Designer to direct it?
If you checked Yes, that’s awesome! You can log-off and go have a latte.
If you checked No or Sometimes read on for some encouragement.
Paul in writing to the Philippians gives the answer for us “No” & “Sometimes” people: “it is GOD Who is at work in you, enabling you…”.
I love how the Amplified Bible words it:
[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
God is at work IN us; it doesn’t say He’s working ON US. Big difference.
That means as a believer in Christ and receiver of His grace, it’s His willingness I have access to, His willingness I can lean into.
The willingness of a God Who left all the advantages and status and privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave and became human…
The willingness of a Son Who said to His Father, “If there’s any other way to do this, Please! But nevertheless, not My will but YOURS BE DONE”…
The willingness of the Spirit Who would allow the divine power of God to reside in frail humanity…
The only true “willing will”.
I could greatly use that will.
When I stop trying to create or grow and develop or train my own will to be more willing and instead embrace and lean into God’s will in Christ, the spirit of willingness begins to invade my life. I find myself willing to give, willing to sacrifice, willing to yield, willing to serve, willing to do whatever-it-takes to see God’s heart become reality here on earth.
If you’re one of the “No” or “Sometimes” people like me, I invite you to make my favorite and constant prayer your own:
“God, thank You that You are energizing and creating in me the power and desire to do Your will and do what pleases You. I lean into and live from the will of my Savior Whose Spirit lives in me.”