Willing? Or Able?
I’m not overly fond of pulling out what I’ve written in the past and reposting it, I guess because it feels like I’m cheating. I want something fresh from God’s heart, something that moves me closer to Him right now. But Jesus said in Matthew 13:52 (which I’ve also quoted a time or two), every scribe who has been disciplined in the kingdom of heaven is like a homeowner who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.
That's the beauty of scripture. It's something old. Very old. It's been tried and found true since time began. Yet, these are no dust-covered sacred writings. They're new, they're fresh, they're alive and kicking today. Matthew Henry's Commentary refers to them as, "old experiences and new observations".
That’s what I’d call this April 2020 Facebook post—an old experience with a new, today observation. The Lord figured He’d bless me by adding fresh oil to this treasure in my heart’s storeroom. Perhaps it will bless you too.
“Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” [i]
“If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” [ii]
Both scriptures simultaneously flashed across my mind while praying one day. It put me in a real quandary. Since the Lord and I were the only ones in the room, I figured He wasn’t just making conversation. There was a point to be made.
“If You are willing . . .”, asked the leper.
“If you can do anything . . .”, cried the fearful father.
These were desperate, heartfelt pleas for divine intervention. And Jesus mercifully answered them both. “I am willing . . .” He said to the one. To the other, His answer came with the prerequisite to believe. “What do you mean, ‘If you can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
I could see where Jesus was headed with all this and my heart was pricked. Truth be told, there was evidence of both ifs in my prayers. Depending on the magnitude of my prayer request or the quickness in which God answered, there was the tendency to sway one way or the other. Was Jesus really willing to answer my prayers? Was He able?
Gone are the days of off-and-on, halfhearted prayer requests. This is an earth-shaking, duke-it-out prayer battle we’re in. Destinies hinge upon hearts rightly responding to the Gospel of Christ. I took these scriptures to heart back in April of 2020. I abide in them still today to keep me in the faith.
“Jesus, I believe You are willing!”
“Lord I do believe! Help me overcome my unbelief!”
What about you? Is Jesus willing to answer your prayers? Is He able?