This word has been jumping off of pages for me, the first half of 2021. I have learned over the years that when things keep showing up like that, I need to pay attention. Willing is my word for 2021. God first revealed the word to me at the end of 2020, but I missed it. In Luke 5, Jesus calls His first disciples. The word willing was not in the story, but it was the heart of Simon Peter. His actions demonstrated willingness. One of the definitions of willing in the dictionary is prompt to act or respond. In verse 11, it says, "So they pulled their boats up on the shore, left everything and followed him." Simon was WILLING to leave everything to follow Jesus. He left a job he had been during for years. He also left what appears to be one of the biggest fish he had ever caught. I honestly don't think Simon knew what following Jesus would entail, but he trusted Jesus enough and was WILLING to leave it all on the shore and follow him.
He had a willing heart.
There are other biblical examples where someone demonstrated a willing heart. They were given a command and, despite not having all the answers or doubting their ability to perform the task, or having uncertainty on how to accomplish the task, they did what was asked of them.
What is God asking you to do that you haven't done yet? I have found this question to be an excellent starting point for reflection. This question causes me to take a step back and do a self-assessment. It's a high likelihood that if you aren't doing what God has already commanded you to do, you won't be willing to do the things He will require of you to obtain what you are praying for or necessary to go to your next level.
Do you have a willing heart?
God may not ask you to leave a large catch of fish on the seashore; however, He will ask something of you.
Again I ask, are you willing? Do you have a willing heart?
In my journey, I have discovered that my desires don't always match my willingness. For example, I have desired to get in shape and tone up. Yet, my willingness to eat better and work out regularly is not there. This mismatch of desire and willingness consistently resulted in me not reaching my desired goal. On the other side, I have also given a proverbial yes to doing what's required to achieve something, but I wasn't willing when it was time to do what was required.
For example, I desired increased self-awareness and personal growth. I said I was ready to do the work on myself and dig deep. As I started on the journey and the time came to dig in, do the work, and go deeper, I wasn't willing. Eventually, when I was ready, I was able to begin to attain what I was desiring.
Bearing fruit is what believers are called to do. It is the outward actions or evidence of the change taking place on the inside. The fruit we produce is the result of our relationship and walk with Christ.
We often talk about the fruit we bear and our personal walk with Christ. This was the topic I planned to discuss until God placed something else in my spirit. Fruitfulness is something we should desire in all areas of our life. For me, God's focus of emphasis has been fruitfulness within the context of friendship.
I have always maintained various levels of friendship in my life, and in my current season, God is having me reassess and realign. In many cases, it's been easy, but challenging in others. There have been moments I felt like I was grieving from a "loss"—I can now say perceived loss). The prominent question I ask in assessing a friendship is, "is this friendship fruitful?"
We must have the same level of inspection for the fruitfulness of our friendships as we have for the fruitfulness in our lives. I know it may feel a bit rigid or surgical, but it is necessary. But why is that? Because when you are in a relationship with people, influence is exchanged. Friends influence how you think, behave, and speak. If your friendships don't produce good fruit or lowers the quality of your fruit, then I ask, "Why are you in relationship with them?"
In the most general sense, do your friendships make you better? Do they aid in moving the needle in your personal walk with Christ? Does the relationship support you bearing the fruit God has called you to bear?
If not, what is the purpose of the relationship? Understand that I am not saying everyone in your life needs to offer this to you. Sometimes there are people in our life that we are called to mentor and guide. We are sent to pour into them with no level of reciprocation. I am talking about your inner circle. The ones you spend quality time with, share personal life details with, laugh with, cry together, the ones you take the mask off for.
Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction.
When we accept Christ into our lives as our Lord and Savior, it begins a life long journey with an eternal destination. When you think about your Christian journey, there is a lot of emphases placed on fulfilling our purpose. I am NOT suggesting that we shouldn't seek God for our purpose and fulfill it. We absolutely should! (I am a supporter of that-hence the name purposed for a purpose.) However, our focus and efforts can become misplaced. We focus all our attention and efforts on fulfilling our purpose, forgoing what's most important, our condition, and transformation as we walk with Christ on the journey.
We can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that our journey is a race. A race by definition is about time, who can get to the finish line the fastest.
A journey is about getting from one place to the next. Unlike a race, we may run in the physical, and we rush to the finish line. The bible does talk about the race we are in (insert scriptures) Our Christian race/journey operates differently. It isn't one that we rush through to get to the end. It would be best if you pace yourself. Why do you ask? Because trying to rush and speed things up to make things happen, often leaves us tired, frustrated, disappointed, overwhelmed, and more than likely making a mess.
Recently, I had a pleasant conversation with a good friend as we caught up on the "what's happenings" of our lives over the last few months. It's such a blessing when you can catch up with a friend, and despite the time between calls, it always feels like you talked just yesterday! During that call, I shared with my friend some of my hang-ups and struggles in promoting my new devotional Hello God. My friend, being the wonderful person that they are, ever so politely told me that every excuse I gave was a lie from the enemy and I needed to ignore them. Thank God for friends that will be real with you.
J.Branch is a wife, mother and child of God. She is passionate about helping others live the life they desire, have fruitful relationships and know who they were created to be and to live a life of purpose.
Interested in 1-on-1 or group coaching?