The Willing Heart

There are many days when I have an un-willing heart. I don’t always want to hear God’s voice. I don’t always want to follow His path for me. I don’t always want to live in faith and wait for His guidance. I want to just be…and wallow in my own issues and needs. I want to just live a life without purpose, and just follow my own instincts. It’s easier, isn’t it? To be able to live a life without having to worry about disappointing God, or others. No pressure. No expectations. No striving.

Also no reward….

Good thing that the heart is changing.

For many years I watched my parents work on the missionfield. I didn’t understand the commitment they were willing to give. They had given up everything, hadn’t they? The list seemed endless…financial security, time, family, roots, just to name a few sacrifices. At least that’s what it seemed like to me. I even heard the stories of God’s provision and the miracles that occurred. Through the years I even saw some of the miracles myself…but that didn’t make any difference.

But my heart wasn’t open to it. Not at all. It wasn’t worth it. Not worth sacrificing what I thought mattered.

Slowly over the years, it’s been about 15 years so far, God has been chipping away at the walls. The heart started to thaw. I could see the reasons why someone would follow Jesus wholeheartedly, but it wasn’t for me. My heart slowly started getting a bit more willing, but it always came with boundaries. If I gave it all, He might want more than I could handle. Right? I wasn’t willing to give up the securities that I thought I needed.

Coming to Tanzania meant that the heart was getting a little more open. But it still had a few stipulations. I wanted a life of purpose. There were a few little things I felt that would be nice to have, but I didn’t dare tell God in fear of being seen as materialistic. Better to keep it hidden. He had bigger issues to take care of. It seemed that now I was ready to live a life of “the missionary”…after all, I knew what it was all about. I was a mature, solid Christian…so I thought!!

Obviously that isn’t the way things worked. God had other ideas. I got taken to the point where life was dependent totally on Him. We had to ask for everything. Living in faith was not where I wanted to be. It seemed like all the security was gone. There were no human solutions to the problems. Every day was a new challenge.

What was it that God really wanted from me? Didn’t He want me to come here and do big things in His name?

Wasn’t I here to make a change?

A difference?

Apparently the only difference He was interested in was my own heart. He wanted me broken and totally dependent on Him. Until I had that willing heart, there was nothing that He could use me for. The last 4 months have brought me to a standstill. Waiting for Him to reveal Himself. To show me where He wants me…not where I want to be. He has challenged me to immerse myself in His Word. Not only a verse at a time…but to read the Bible through a few times this year. Cover to cover. To hear all of it. To see the big picture!

Where does that bring me now? Still waiting to see what Jesus has for me. Going through the Bible for a second round now just opens the heart more…but the mind needs to be content with that. Just to have a willing heart is a “big thing” for Jesus!

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him… (Psalm 37:3-7a NIV)

Maybe the big things He wanted from me was just total surrender to His word and plan. And that should be enough. It has to be for now.

He is slowly revealing to me that my deep desires were heard. In the last month I have seen tangible answers to my wants…not my needs only! He has done things to make me happy, and it is the little things. Those little things that I thought were just materialistic fantasies…He has made them come true.

He is the God of all creation! He isn’t just waiting to give us a purpose in life. He wants to see joy, peace, love, laughter, singing, and a new willingness to pursue Him.

It’s time to let go of what perceptions we have of the Christian life. Going into full time “ministry” doesn’t make someone a better person. It is just that persons path. Pursuing Him is what we are all called to do, wherever that takes us. We are all called to have a willing heart.

A heart full of surrender.

A heart that wants to hear His tangible voice.

A heart willing to do anything or go anywhere, or to just sit and absorb Him.

He is waiting…