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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Willingness (02/21/05)

TITLE: Willingness To Witness: Why Are You Following Christ?
By Kristoffer Riley


Everything you do in life begins with a willingness. A willingness may stem from a variety of motives. You may be motivated, not so much by a pure willingness to do a certain thing, but by an unwillingness to perform the alternative. For instance, if a child is faced with the option of either cleaning his room or having certain privileges taken away, he will be willing to clean his room. His willingness to be obedient is not based on a pure desire to please his parents, but rather it stems from his willingness to avoid punishment. As Christians, many of us became ‘willing’ to follow Christ, not out of our desire to please God, but out of fear of the alternative. When Jesus walked the earth, the crowds of people He attracted were predominantly there to receive healing of some sort, or out of curiosity. The account of the ten lepers exhibits this beautifully. Ten lepers came to receive their healing from this dreaded disease. Once they received their healing, only one returned to thank Jesus. This one leper, after receiving from Christ, was willing to give glory to God for his restoration. Because of his willingness to glorify God, he was made whole. Look at the time when Jesus fed the 5,000. After this, Jesus pointed out to the multitudes, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” (John 6:26, KJV)

This type of ‘situational willingness’ is acceptable to God only for a time. As you mature in Christ, He expects your motives for willingness to change. As you grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ and God the Father, your motives for following must ‘evolve’ from seeking what Christ can offer you, to seeking Christ and becoming a living offering (sacrifice) to Him. Luke 12:48 (The Message), reads, “…Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities!” As we mature in Christ, a greater sacrifice (of the heart) is required of us.

The very fact that God created us as free-will agents shows that God desires that we serve Him out of a willing heart, not out of religious tradition. Isaiah 1:19 (KVJ) reads, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:” As we become willing and obedient to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit, we will begin to see the manifestation of the abundant life that Jesus promised in John 10:10.

One area that requires acute willing obedience is witnessing for Christ. As unnecessarily nervous and fearful as we are when we begin to witness, we must overcome these nuances so that we can become fruitful witnesses. Witnessing for Christ begins with a willingness to do so. If you do not have an innate desire to witness, ask God to give you a willingness to be an ambassador for Him. True, witnessing for the Lord may sometimes be accomplished by living His Word, as opposed to preaching it, but we must also, “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (1 Peter 3:15 KJV).

Jesus has commissioned us as ambassadors for Him. Any lack of willingness on our part is our responsibility. We must ask Him to ‘give us a mind’ to do that which He has called us to do. If we are unwilling to obey the ‘core’ of our commission, how can we call ourselves followers of Him?

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lynne Gaunt03/01/05
This statement from your article seems to sum up things nicely:

"We must ask Him to ‘give us a mind’ to do that which He has called us to do."

Some nice thoughts, thanks for sharing them.
donna robinson03/04/05
The very fact that God created us as free-will agents shows that God desires that we serve Him out of a willing heart, not out of religious tradition

That's the line that held me because we often confuse being a christian based on theology rather than faith