Thursday, October 30, 2008

Willingness - Pt 1

We all know people who are willing to jump in and participate in things. Sometimes the purpose is quite casual and other times it is for a very important cause. Being willing can be an admirable trait. This does mean you are setting yourself up for the opportunity to succeed, to fumble through, or even, but hopefully not, to fail in what you are doing. When we say "I'm in on this", we ultimately don't know what the path will bring.

There were many who said "I'm in on this" throughout the Bible. Read this passage - Mark 1:1-9

You gotta love the Book of Mark. It is from a regular man's view. The shortest gospel book is straight up. Real talk for real people. We are going to look at John the Baptist for this post.

You don't find it here, but in Luke 1, John's parents, Elizabeth and Zacharias, were described as childless and past their time of being able to conceive. They were God fearing people - rock solid believers of their day - Zacharias was a priest in the Temple. They had told God "I'm in on this". John was miraculously conceived and born into this Godly home. His parents were full of the Spirit of God and prophesied. John grew up a PK.

At some point in his life, John decided to say "I'm in on this" to God. It had to come to that - no one could decide it for him. It was prophesied of John that he was to be a prophet of the Highest, preparing His way, imparting the knowledge of Salvation... Wow! What an honor! What a calling! What a ministry!

Dare I say that I think that John's "ministry" did not go the way he imagined it would. Yes, he was willing, but did he envision life in the desert, eating bugs and bee jelly, wearing camel hair clothing and looking like a wild man? His spirit grew strong and he cried out for people to repent and be baptised, but many thought he was kind of scary, or maybe on the nutty side. This was not how the religion of the day looked or acted.

How long was this to go on? When would the time come for him to proclaim the way of the Lord? Well, it did come...and it is covered in Mark 1:1-9. All that preparation in his life leading up to such a brief moment in time - the water baptism of the Christ. How long did that take? Maybe 5 minutes? The next time you hear about John is in Mark 6 which recounts how he had been taken prisoner and killed at King Herod's command.

I see several important lessons in John's life and in his example of his willingness. These are soul-searching, motive-analyzing questions:
1 - Time is needed to prepare for service to God. What's my priority - am I still willing?
2 - It doesn't matter how much time a work lasts. Each is an integral position that someone must fill. Few missions will cover a lifetime, most of them are for short seasons. Is my pride in the way - am I still willing?
3 - It won't always make sense how God is going to accomplish His purpose through you but He sees the big picture and you can trust Him. Where's my faith - am I still willing?
4 - There will be people who won't understand what you do for Him. They may make fun of you or even hate you for what you are doing. What do I believe - am I still willing?
5 - The ultimate sacrifice may be in your future. You could die because of your commitment to your God. Do I desire God's truth and righteousness to prevail - am I still willing?

There will be more posts on this topic. Maybe the next one will be about Ruth.

No comments: