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I Am Willing

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“The revelation of identity allows the realization of destiny.”  (Tim Bagwell)

(This blog is dedicated to all who may be feeling a little uncertain of the willingness of God’s heart toward them in Christ.)

Mark 1:40 tells the story of a man with leprosy who came to Jesus seeking healing.  Scripture says he, “came to him and begged him on his knees” saying, “Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean.”  Jesus, “filled with compassion,” reached out his hand and touched the man and said to him, “I am willing.  Be clean!”  Webster defines the word “will” as “plan, desire, want,” while the word “willingness” is defined as, “inclined or consenting to do a particular thing (doing or giving something gladly or freely.)”  The will of God is His plan and purpose for a certain thing, while the willingness of God is His love toward us in doing a certain thing.

In the encounter between Jesus and the leper, I believe Jesus was making known to him the willingness of God’s heart toward him for good.  When the leper said to Jesus, “If you are willing Lord,”  he was unaware and uncertain of the willingness of Jesus’ heart toward him for good.  He believed that Jesus could heal him, but because of the uncertainty of the willingness of His heart toward him, he wasn’t sure if He was willing to.  The willingness of God’s heart toward us comes from the love of God’s heart for us.  Without a revelation of God’s love for us, we can’t believe in the willingness of his heart toward us.  When we don’t have a revelation of God’s love for us it causes us, like the leper, to ask with uncertainty in our hearts.  The uncertainty of the leper’s heart  caused him to question “if” Jesus was willing.  In assurance of the love of God’s heart toward him, Jesus answered, “I am.”  The leper needed a revelation of the love of God’s heart toward him, and Jesus gave it to him, and to us.   While God’s will for each of our lives is personal and individual, if what we ask of Him is not in conflict with His individual will for us, then His heart is always toward us for good.

Tim Bagwell writes, “The revelation of identity allows the realization of destiny.”  We must have an understanding of our identity in Christ, if we are to walk in our destiny in Him.  In a world where the identity of a person is whatever they believe it to be, rather than what God has declared it to be, we must be careful that we are not doing the same. If we base our identity on what we feel, rather than what God says, we will walk in a false identity and our lives will reflect who we believe ourselves to be, rather than who we actually are.  Only in Christ can a person become a new creation and have a new identity.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  (II Corinthians 5:17).   In Romans 8:31, Paul expresses the limitless willingness of God’s heart toward us in our identity in Jesus, saying, “If God is for us, who can be against us?  If God did not spare His Own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not, with Him, also freely give us all things?”  Our “destiny” is to walk in God’s will for us in our  identity in Christ, in whom He is willing to freely give us all things.  I believe this is what Jesus desired to assure us of when He said to the leper, “I am willing.”

“I AM”
The curse of sin upon his skin
was evident for all to see
There was no hope that from this curse
he ever would be free
But there was One they said had come
with healing in His hands
Whose touch could cleanse his sin-cursed skin
and make him whole again
And so he came before the Name and fell upon his knees
Crying, “Lord if You are willing you can make me clean”
Death and life paused to see
what the answer to his request would be
And as faith waited patiently to receive
that which the eye could not yet see
came forth the cry, “Lord, I believe!”
I believe that you are willing Lord, I believe you can”
“I believe You are the Son of God”
I believe You are “I AM”
And as he kneeled there waiting
still in his leprous skin
the multitude recoiled as Jesus put out His hand
And death gave way to life
as it heard the words, “I am”
“I am” willing to heal your diseases
“I am” willing to cleanse your sins
“I am” willing to set you free
“If you are able to believe” ……
“I AM”

Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.  (Psalm 103:2-3)

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