It’s All about the Will
December 23, 2019
“…whoever loses his life [give up his control] for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:35, ESV, bracketed words added as commentary).
I belong to an accountability group for personal witness. For some reason this week I was asked to speak to medical students for a series called Inspire, meant to encourage first and second year students to seek joy in their future careers. God overwhelmed me with the understanding that I should share my faith in Christ with them, even in this fully secular setting. I had no idea how to do this, but I was committed to follow God’s lead, with a moderate bit of anxiety. I began speaking to the group of 150 or so students, and for 30 minutes I shared my life story, and I followed that with pearls meant to bring joy to their future careers in medicine. It was as if I was not speaking at all. Looking back, I realized God had held up my faith in Christ on at least three occasions, without my straining to do so. Two students contacted me afterward and asked to meet with me as a Christian doctor.
Four centuries ago Francois Fenelon wrote, “The only thing that lies within our power is the direction of our will.”
Where is my will when it comes to sharing the message of Christ?
Will is not emotion.
Sharing Christ does not require emotional peace. If so, I might rarely speak His name. But God does not keep silent to protect my peace. I remember the times I have blurted out the gospel against all my emotions and watched God’s name stick solidly in spite of my awkwardness.
Whatever our emotions, when God drives us to speak, we can rest in knowing: “As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11, NIV 1984).
The key words in this passage are “my mouth.” The words must come from His mouth. Nothing we say from our mouth is of any value unless God is the one who prompts us to say it; and then, with “the foolishness of God” (1 Corinthians 1:25), He allows our will to be the door through which His word must pass.
To will is to commit regardless of emotion.
Do we will a word for Jesus in our prayers for those we meet each day?
Do we will to share His good news by praying with others for those who are lost?
Do we will to speak when God leads, on His command?
“The only thing that lies within our power is the direction of our will.”
Just as I commit to you as the only true answer for life, I commit to speaking for you when you tell me it is time.