Willfulness or Willingness

If you fear the LORD and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God – good! But if you do not obey the LORD, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers.

I Samuel 12:14-15


Willfulness leads to disobedience. Pride and self-centeredness cause us to do what we want rather than to follow what God wants us to do. Saul discovered this when he disobeyed the Lord twice. His disobedience cost him the kingdom. The first time he disobeyed by not waiting on the Lord. The second time, he rebelled by sparing King Agag and the best sheep and cattle, all of which God had instructed him to destroy. Saul was serving his own interests, and then he gave an excuse for what he did. (I Samuel 15:22) He even blamed his willfulness on others. How like Saul we are! The consequences for King Saul were great. Likewise, the times that I have disobeyed the Lord have caused me sorrow and pain. God knows what is best for us and knows that we are like “sheep that go astray.” (I Peter 2:25) Our Good Shepherd, however, brings us back, cares for our wounds, and forgives our sins when we willingly turn to Him. We need to turn from willfulness to willingness to follow God who loves us so deeply.

What has the Lord told you to do that you have refused to do?

Disobedience can cause our hearts to be hardened, and little by little the voice of the Shepherd grows faint. Our spiritual ears become dull and our spiritual eyes grow dim when we continue to defy the Lord.

Heavenly Father,

I determine today to do Your Will. Help me to turn my willfulness into willingness, and I ask Your blessing on my obedience.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

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