What is the real test of willingness?
How can you tell, really, that you are willing?
i think many a time we can come to a place of taking the easy excuse of a way out and console ourselves with a self-proclamation of 'being willing'.
It's a 'dangerous' position to be in. And it's even worse when it's in the light of what God may be asking of us.
Here's an example (albeit perhaps exaggerated or over-simplified):
God asks you and i to give a sum of money to a cause (ultimately unto Him) which we're not 'used' to (although in actual fact with God there's really no such thing as 'used to') and instead of obeying in faith... our so called 'wisdom' kicks in and we reduce ourselves to giving what we're used to or worse still not giving anything at all with the excuse that "God is just testing my willingness to give".
But that's what you and i do more often than not don't we? And worse still, we have the cheek to advise others the same.
So the question then arises... how do we know if we're willing? And maybe even... can we ever 'know' that we are willing and just leave it at that?
Or is willingness manifested by action? Is willingness proved by an actual response?
Cos' our hearts are deceitful beyond measure and to just look into ourselves and feel our way through and come to the conclusion that we are willing in and of ourselves really doesn't cut it.
let's perhaps hit a little closer to home...
When God spoke to me and said (and i'm 'paraphrasing' and 'summarizing' here) that i got to serve Him 'full-time'... some people responded in exactly the manner i am referring to above (and usually if you think about it, it's the people that have really no clue themselves)... perhaps very well-intentioned, saying, "hey, you don't 'really' need to go into full-time ministry...God just wants to see if you're willing to...".
i recollect the account of Abraham and Isaac.
Yes, God did eventually ask Abraham to stop and in that sense prevented Abraham from actually doing what He had asked him to but didn't Abraham obey and follow-through with action in faith in the first place.
Did Abraham after hearing God's command proclaim that he was actually willing but then sit back and do nothing?
It's evident that in Abraham's mind, he really was going to sacrifice Isaac. He prepared the stuff, took his son up the mountain and was even to the point of plunging the dagger in.
That is the evidence of willingness in my opinion... actually following-through with action.
i think we can presumptuously take 'willingness' too far and forget that it is seen only through action. Nobody in the Word of God was given the title 'willing' without doing anything.
Imagine if Jesus had been only 'willing', as we often define it, to go to the cross to die for our sins!
Thanks be to God that His willingness was seen by His fulfillment of what was demanded.
Not doing anything about it simply is synonymous to UNWILLINGNESS.
Let's make no mistake about it.