There are many things that I am able to do, but some that I am unwilling to do. For example … when I was younger, I would allow my desire to “fit in” to overwhelm my common sense, and I would do things that I was not comfortable doing. I have a fear of heights, but I often found myself climbing to the top of a tree to impress my friends. I remember one time in particular, that I walked along a wall that was fairly high (of course, it was probably not that tall, but just seemed that way to a kid), and we jumped from one section of the wall to the other side, needing to land on a skinny section of the wall. I was scared to death, but did not want to appear to be a wimp … so I jumped … and prayed!
Today I was reading in Exodus 35 about some of the details of the building materials being gathered for the construction of the tabernacle. Many times when reading a chapter like this, I get a bit distracted with the details of the plan God had for the different aspects of the tabernacle, but today one word kept grabbing my attention. “Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and sliver, and brass” (Exodus 35:5).
God instructed Moses to encourage people who could give, and would give willingly to come and contribute to the project. As I read this verse, this thought ran through my mind … if there were people who gave with a willing heart, there must then have been people who had an unwilling heart among the same people. When I was jumping from one side of that skinny wall to the other (as a boy), I did it, but my heart was not willing.
Later in this chapter the word “willing” appears in Exodus 35:21, 22, and 29. It refers to a spirit made willing; to being willing-hearted; and to a willing offering. By the time I finished reading this chapter, I found myself asking God to help me to be a willing servant for Him. I want God to find me as a part of the “willing” crowd! I want to have a spirit that is willing to do anything for my God – I want that willing spirit. I want to have a heart that cannot wait to serve God – I want to be willing-hearted. I want to offer everything I have, including my money, time, efforts, and abilities – I want to give myself as a willing offering.
We each have a choice today. We can be a willing or an unwilling servant of God. When I consider what Jesus sacrificed for me in order to buy me back from the marketplace of sin … there should never be a time that I am unwilling to do whatever He asks of me. Today I am asking God to use me!