Wanting And Willing
Let the Lord Jesus take over the management of that part of your life that involves the biggest degree of self-reliance.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? You know I say, “dear radio friends”, and you wonder if that’s a cliche, just a stereotype. Well it isn’t. You are dear to me in a very special way. Some of you I won’t even see till I get to glory, I know that, but we belong to each other in a very special and precious and tender sense, don’t we? I give myself away on these broadcasts and I’m glad to do so. People walk up to me now and again and say, “I know you”. Well, yea I know, that’s how it is. But when I say, “dear radio friend”, I mean it. You’re dear to me and dear to God. My heart wells up with love for you, and I pray every day that what I say on these broadcasts, may be said in the enablement and the power of the Holy Spirit of God, so that the Word may find a place in your heart and your life and help to meet some special need.
Doing a little detour here, taking a break from our study of the book of Mark, just for a day or so, I thought I’d just hit some highlights. My father used to say, “Just hit the high spots, boy”. Well, just hit some high spots in the book of Philippians chapter 2 verse 13 is a verse that always thrills my heart.
Now Philippians 1:6 said, “He which began a good work in you, will perform it”. Now, Philippians 2:13 says, “It is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure”. Now if the truth were told, we have a twin problem you and I, number one, we don’t always want to do the right thing. Would you agree? You know and I know pretty much what we ought to do, in most situations, but human nature being what it is, we don’t always want to do the right thing. We are a lot like the little daughter of Dr. Clyde Narramore, many years ago. She’s now grown up and a beautiful young lady, with her own wonderful ministry, but when she was two or three or four, whatever it was, she was bent on doing something that was naughty and he wanted to talk her out of it, and so he told this story in my hearing, some years ago now. He said, he said to her, “Darling, come up and sit on my knee and let’s talk about this”. So, she came up and sat on his knee all right, put those little, chubby, little girl arms around her daddy’s neck and then she whispered in his ear and said, “Let’s not talk about it, let’s just let me have my way”. Oh yes, let’s not talk about it, and let’s just have me, have my way. Well, that’s human nature, and so we don’t always want to do the right thing.
Now, the second of these twin problems is that even when we do want to do the right thing, we are not always able to accomplish it. Things seem to go wrong in spite of our best efforts. Have you been there? I have certainly, and so what are we going to do about this? Well he said in verse six of chapter 1, “He which began this good, work will keep on”, so you can know that God isn’t going to go off the job today. He hasn’t brought you this far to dump you now, beloved. He hasn’t brought you this far to drop you now. So, you can be sure He’s going to keep on. Trust Him for that.
Now, what’s He going to do? The first thing He does is to work in you to will, to will concerning His Will. Percy Crawford used to say when he was preaching to young people and dealing with them as individuals, he would come up against a situation where someone would say, “I’m not willing to do God’s will”, and he would say, ‘Well, then pray this prayer, ‘Lord make me willing to be made willing’”. You see, the fact is that you can’t change your own, your own predisposition to certain things. All the lecturing in the world isn’t going to make a difference, but God can change the want to in your life. That’s one of the sweetest lessons you learn and the reality of it will thrill you again and again as you go on walking with your Savior. God can change the want to in your life.
A friend of mine through the years, was very much concerned about hanging onto his salvation. One day I said to him, “Jack”, I said, “I understand that before you were saved, you were quite profane”. “Oh yes”, he said, “I was a profane swearer, I’d cuss a blue streak”. Well, I said, “Do you ever feel like swearing now”? “No sir”, he said, “I don’t want to do that”. His eyes filled up with tears, as though I’d struck him. Well I kept on, I said, “Jack”, I said, “I understand the before you we saved, you used to smoke expensive cigars, many of them each day because you were in the business of raising pedigreed cattle, and the buyers would ply you with expensive cigars”.And he smiled and said, “Yes”, said, “but”, he said, “one day when I came in from the fields just for lunch, and I was washing up there at the old washbasin, just outside the kitchen door. I was so sick of myself and my sin I said, ‘Oh God, I want you to take this habit of smoking away from me and so I’ll be sick of it’”, and he said, “You could see that sign up above the mirror there”, he was a barber, “so you can see that sign above of the mirror, no smoking please”, underscored, he said, “I had to underscore that because when people smoke even around me, I get sick to my stomach and I do hate to lose my breakfast”. Well I went on and said, “Jack, do you ever feel like you want to go back to that”? “Oh, no, no, no, I don’t want that anymore”, and of course there was my point. God changes the “want to” doesn’t He?
Have you ever trusted the Lord to change the “want to” in your life? Now, you hold a key to that, and I hold the key to it in my life, and we have to be honest about this. A lot of us are like the patient that Henry Brandt told about years ago, when he had pointed out to a young man that his painful, psychological symptoms came from the fact that he hated his father-in-law I think, just hated him and Henry pointed out he said to this client, that this was the problem and that there was a way that would, make not only to remove these painful symptoms, but also make him not hate his father-in-law, but instead, love him. He asked him, he said, “Would you be interested in that kind of a remedy”? He said, the young man thought a moment and then got up from where he was seated at the desk, turned on his heel, and as he went out the door he said, “No, I’d rather go on hating him”. He went on out.
See, you hold the key and I hold the key there. What do you want to want? What do you want God to do in your life? Does no good to pray, Lord help me, and yes we can pray, Lord forgive me. “There is forgiveness with Thee that thou mayest be feared”, the Bible says. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. He forgives, He cleanses us. Yes hallelujah, but if you want a difference, if you want a difference in the want to, then you will have to say.
Jesus stopped beside two men, they were crying out for help, He could see quite clearly that they were blind men, but He said, “What you want”? God waits for you to say what you want, and then when you say what you want, He works. “Ask me concerning my sons and concerning the work of my hands, command ye me”, the Bible says. God waits for you to tell Him what you want so that He can in answer to prayer, give His perfect will, the want to, the divine want to, in your life. Oh, I need that, don’t you? “It is God that worketh in you, both to will”, He says, “and to do”. The want to.
Now, what is it, what area in your life is it where you’ve wanted your own way? I know where it is in mine. I know me pretty well, after all these years, and I guess the same must be true of you. You know pretty well where the area or areas of self-will are, don’t you? Are you willing by faith, to turn them over to the Lord? Not to try to change yourself, you never will, but to turn over to your blessed Lord, that area so He can manage it?
I used to go to a certain store when we lived in the Briarcliff area. My, I get lonesome for those old friends and places, but I used to go to a certain store. It was a kind of a shoddy, second-class place I thought. It was, it was part of a great nationwide chain, but it was just, things weren’t first-class, and then one day as I came back in, I’d been away for a little while, when I came back into that store it was brighter, it was neater, the stock was better kept and the whole place had a different look to it, and I looked around and said, have they painted it, have they changed it? No, hadn’t been repainted, it wasn’t changed too much, and its layout was the same. I could find my way around. That’s something for a man isn’t it, in the supermarket, but it was different. Now, what made it different? I inquired and you know what I found out? There was a new manager. Same people at the checkout counter, same fellow at the meat counter same, man at the produce stand there. Same people around. I knew them, I could greet them, some of them by name, but the place was different because the manager was different.
You want to let the Lord Jesus take over the management of that part of your life that involves the “want to”? See, doing God’s Will is fairly simple once you have settled the want to. “It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do”. God does the doing when you open the door to the want to, to the will. Want to let Him do that today, by faith? Talk to Him about it. Talk to Him about it before you get very much farther into the day or the evening, whatever time you’re listening. Talk to your Lord say, “God I want you to take over the management of this area of my life. I can’t manage it, but you can.” Oh, the joy there’ll be when you see God working in you: the will and to do of His good pleasure. God will be pleased when you let Him work. It’s great thought, isn’t it?
Dear Father today, take over the “want to” in our lives, and do the things that please Thee, through us, in Jesus’ name I pray this, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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