Vol.XI No.VII Pg.1
September 1974

A Willing Mind

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Shipley told the Oaks-West church we did not want a reluctant teacher in a single one of our classes— and I said to myself, There goes our teaching program! I was reminded of the fellow who gave no more than a dime to the Lord because he couldnt do it scripturally; i.e., willingly. But the classes continued, and our work is supported, because true saints have a willing mind.

God told Moses to take of Israel an offering of every man whose heart maketh him willing. (Ex. 25:2; 35:20) and of this to build the holy tabernacle The spiritual temple of the New Covenant is likewise built of material: people who submit their will to Gods will.

This initial submission includes the acceptance of obligations or duty and sometimes we must buffet our body (1 Cor. 9:27), lest the lure of immediate desires overshadow the more basic will to serve God. Perhaps Paul had this in mind when he said, If I do this (preaching, rt) of mine own will, I have a reward: but if not of mine own will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.

(1Cor. 9:17) Would that all preachers felt so keenly their mission in life.

But submission to duty by no means satisfies the call of Christ. Elders are to rule willingly of a ready mind. Of the later, Vincent says Willingly... Not strong enough. The word is compounded of... forward, and .heart or spirit. Hence.. .a forward spirit; denoting not mere willingness but zeal. (On 1 Pet. 5:2) Paul waited word from Philemon re. Onesimus that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. (Phile. 14) Paul wrote re: benevolence, If there be first a willing mind (as in 1 Pet. 5:2, eagerness, zeal rt) it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. (2 Cor. 8:l2, 9:7)

Reluctance to serve Christ usually means there is something above Christ on your list of priorities: something you had rather do, or want more than you want His praise. This is shortsightedness. I cant make you willing to prepare for heaven, but I can warn you that this is the only way.