Links Daily Devotional

Am I Willing?

…grant me a willing spirit… (Psalm 51:12, NIV)

It takes little to coax a golfer to play golf.

We’ve considered before the many reasons you may play the game—the competitive challenge, an exposure to the outdoors, a comfortable level of exercise, unparalleled camaraderie. But here’s the real reason most of us play: A buddy calls and asks, “Want to go out?” In that moment, we aren’t cataloguing reasons; we’re responding with favor.

I am normally far more willing to lie on my back and watch an hour of tour play than to get down on my knees and pray by name for the people in my church or my neighborhood, regardless of the desperation of their circumstances.In the 51st psalm, where David was contrite before God after being exposed by the prophet Nathan for his sins with Bathsheba, the shepherd-king made a request we can all relate to when it comes to our spiritual walk with Jesus. He asked that God would give him a willing spirit. Willing to do what? To live not as a transgressor but as a man righteously given over to God.

It’s easy to see the connection in that. I am normally far more willing to leap at the chance to play another round of golf than I am to have a conversation with a demanding acquaintance or serve someone who isn’t the least bit gracious. I am normally far more willing to lie on my back and watch an hour of tour play than to get down on my knees and pray by name for the people in my church or my neighborhood, regardless of the desperation of their circumstances.

Yes, what I need is a willing spirit, willing to serve the Lord.

Paul understood the prayer of David, though he didn’t reference it directly when he wrote to the Philippians and said, “It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).

I can muster up the gumption to do good works, sure. And so can most any good humanist. But I’m no more willing in doing it than I am in spilling out another bucket of balls and turning my fingers to raw meat, no matter how much it will help my game.

Others, too, holding me accountable “as good brothers do,” can shame me or prod me into getting things right. And I may do it, though against my will.

Yes, what I need is a willing spirit, willing to honor the Lord.

So I’ll join David in his prayer. My sins may not be as celebrated as his, but they are as alluring, as disqualifying, as base. I need my will to be the will of God, and I know that only he can make it so.

Jeff Hopper
November 17, 2015
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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.