3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
The word “willing” here means “volunteer, freewill offering, willing, and plentiful.” Look at the following verses using this same concept.
Exodus 25:2 (KJV)
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.Psalm 54:6 (KJV)
6 I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good.
Many times while preaching, the temptation to force people into compliance is ever present. Pastors will tell you that one of the leading frustrations of ministry is the lack of willingness in many to participate in doing the ministry and sharing the responsibility of the gospel. People can be manipulated into obedience by being guilt riddled by a fiery condemnation, or embarrassed by the shame. However, the Lord is interested in the person making up their mind clearly, being inspired by an inward desire and “want to.” We as ministers are to present the truth, facts, and the case, but then it is up to the individual to make up their own minds. We can’t force, manipulate, spiritually whip, and take out our frustration on them by brow beating them with the Word.
Where the motivation to do service for God comes from, determines the success of the person as well as the rewards given.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Notice that what the Pharisee did was not wrong. Praying, fasting, and giving, are good things but it was the motivation that was wrong. His motivation came from looking pious and holy in the eyes of people. If you would have taken away the audience and his self-importance, he would not have prayed, fasted, or gave. His love for God was not willing based on a loving intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, but came from a place of pride and self-exaltation. The spiritual success and rewards were completely different for the Pharisee and the tax collector. The Pharisee left church spiritually impoverished and no rewards, while the tax collector left church spiritually rich and rewarded by God promotion.
Let’s pray until our hearts become willing to do anything God wants us to do. May we come to the place that long before the offering plate comes by, our hearts already gave willingly and with great excitement. Instead of praying because it’s something we should do, let’s pray because of wanting to and desiring more of Him. When it is time to fast, instead of doing it simply because someone told us to, let’s do it because of why Jesus said it should be done. The Lord said when the bridegroom would be taken away, then they would fast in those days. This was the result of an inward desire to want close fellowship. That is much different than the Pharisee doing it out of mere ritual.
I wonder what God could do with one or more willing hearts?
In the past he
- brought down the walls of Jericho
- sustained a widow woman through a severe drought
- fed 5000 people
- brought countless revivals throughout history
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
What could He do with you?