Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Be Prepared: The Mind, part 2

"For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not."
2 Corinthians 8:12

In order to prepare our minds to love the Lord and serve Him, we need to develop a willing mind.

Have you ever asked someone to do something and though that person agreed, she did it unwillingly? Doesn't that drive you crazy? My grandson is four. Almost always when I ask him to do something, he jumps up and does it right away. Every once in a while, he doesn't. Just last week, he decided to see what happens at bedtime if he takes very slow baby steps on his way to his room. He was not going willingly. (By the way, he did not like what happened.)

God delights in a willing servant. So how do we develop a willing mind?

To begin with, the verse says our willingness is based on what we have, not on what we don't have. To develop a willing mind, we should
  • Asses our abilities.
What are we good at? What are we capable of? Now this is not necessarily what we like to do, but what we can do. For example, I really am a shy person. Very few people who have met me get that. I don't act shy. I don't act shy because I am capable of speaking to others. It's not something that I like naturally, but I am capable of it. I reached a point in my life where I needed to be willing to allow the Lord to use that ability.

On the other hand, I am not a musician. I can sing, but I cannot play an instrument. I even took piano lessons as an adult because I wanted to have that ability for God to use. It is just not one of my abilities. I suppose I could have continued lessons and devoted massive amounts of time to practice in order to become marginally competent, but I came to a point when I had to assess my time and decide what was good stewardship of my talents and abilities. Instrumental music is not one of them.

So assess your abilities, and then
  • Thank God for your abilities.
If you realize that your abilities came from God, it is easy to be willing to use them for Him.

  • Look for ways to use your abilities.
There is so much to be done for the Lord that no ability, no matter how insignificant you think it is, will go unused if you are willing.

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