Iím sure the phrase ďready, willing, and ableĒ is one you have heard countless times. By it we mean we are prepared to face anything we have to face, willing to do anything we need to do, and are equipped to perform any task. Noble goals. Are we in fact ready, willing, and able as Christians?
Are you ready?
The most important thing to be ready for in our service to the King of Kings is in the area of salvation. If the Lord Jesus Christ came back today, would you be ready to go to Heaven with Him? Are your garments spotless, are they white as snow, are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
John the Baptistís mission was to prepare the way of the Lord, to preach repentance and faith, to preach the Gospel that saves. Luke 1:17 And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
The ten virgins were waiting for the Lordís return, but some of them werenít ready. Some of them did not place personal faith in the Saviour, believing in Jesus Christís death for their sins, His burial, and His physical resurrection. When Jesus comes again, will you be ready? Matthew 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
I have found six ways that the child of God can be ready to serve the Lord Jesus Christ:
1) Ready to live for Christ:
a) By resisting temptation:
Matthew 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Mark 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
b) By dealing with disobedience in our own lives:
2 Corinthians 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
2) Ready to search the Scriptures daily, and to study it diligently (2 Timothy 2:15):
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Ezra 7:6 This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.
3) Ready to do good works and contribute to the needs of the saints:
2 Corinthians 8:11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.
2 Corinthians 9:5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.
1 Timothy 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate.
Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.
4) Ready to fight (as Christians, our fight is spiritual, against spiritual forces of wickedness and darkness):
1 Chronicles 12:24 The children of Judah that bare shield and spear were six thousand and eight hundred, ready armed to the war.
5) Ready to be a witness and share the Gospel:
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
Romans 1:15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
Psalm 45:1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
6) Ready to die for the Lord:
2 Timothy 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
Luke 22:33 And he said unto Him, Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison, and to death.
I fully believe that if we intend to be faithful to the Lord and perhaps die for Him someday, then we will need to be faithful and live for Him right now, day by day. If you wonít live for Jesus Christ, I guarantee you will never die for Him! You may be killed by someone, but it wonít be as a martyr, unless you are killed for your testimony of Jesus.
Are you ready, my friend?
Are you willing?
This one is simple: are you willing to serve the Lord? Do you have a desire to please Him in all you do? Or are you doing the things you want to do in your own life, regardless of whether that is Godís will for you or not? While there is much in the Word of God regarding His will for our lives, I will focus only on the passages that deal with our will in serving Him.
Again, the first requirement is salvation. John 1:12-13 But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. It isnít your will-power that gets you into Heaven, but your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the way of salvation He offers.
After you receive Jesus as your Saviour, you need to choose to give Him yourself, your life, your all, if you ever hope to be used by Him, to bear fruit for His kingdom. Romans 12:1-2 is an excellent passage stating that in light of all that Christ has done to save us, it is only our reasonable service to give our lives back to Him; and as we do so, we are able to discern the Lordís perfect will for our lives. It all comes down to first giving ourselves to the Lord to do His will. See also 2 Corinthians 8:1-5.
There are so many things to learn in our walk as Christians. Where do we start? So many of Godís children get discouraged by the myriad opinions of others (on various subjects such as Bible Versions, which church is right, what type of music to listen to, what type of clothing to wear, etc.) that they decide they canít determine Godís will or leading in these areas. But the Word of God gives us a sure promise in John 7:17 If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself. If we choose to do Godís will, He will reveal it to us! (See also James 1:5) This will involve Bible study and prayer, as well as an obedient heart that puts into practice all that it learns. If you wonít obey what you already know, donít expect the Lord to give you more guidance.
The Bible teaches that Jesus is our example. When He was going through the darkest time of His ministry on earth, what did He do? He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, and truly submitted to His Heavenly Fatherís will, even though it meant His own cruel death on the cross to pay for our sins.
Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.
John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.
John 5:30 I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me.
John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.
Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God.
Matthew 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother.
Mark 8:34-35 And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
Matthew 20:26-27 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.
It is not enough merely to be ready, we must be willing from the heart.
Ephesians 6:6-7 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.
A true willingness is followed by action.
2 Corinthians 8:11-12 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
Letís live our lives in such a way that we please the Lord. May the Lord look at us the way He looked at King David. Acts 13:22 ÖI have found David the son of Jesse, a man after Mine own heart, which shall fulfil all My will.
Two other passages that you may want to read are: Matthew 21:28-32 and Luke 7:41-43.
Are you willing, my friend?
Are you able?
This last section sums up this study: Are you able to serve the Lord and to do His will in your life? (Our main problem is not so much that we arenít able, but for the most part arenít willing.) Where do you get the ability and strength to perform all that He wants you to do?
The answer is simple, yet profound: our sufficiency is in Christ. The Bible teaches that we are complete in Christ, and without Him we can do nothing. (Colossians 2:10 and John 15:4-5)
2 Corinthians 2:15-16 says For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
The answer is clearly found in the next chapter (3:5-6): Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testamentÖ
Jesus is the source of our strength (2 Corinthians 12:9), our source for boundless grace (1 Corinthians 15:10), our source for victory (Romans 8:37 and 1 Corinthians 15:57), and, in fact, we find in Him all we need for our Christian lives and service.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Let the Lord have His perfect way in your life, and then you will be ready, willing, and able. He will make you what He will have you to be.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
Are you able, my friend?
NoÖ but Jesus Christ is!
Study written May 12th, 2002
By Jerry Bouey
Eagle's Wings Ministries
The Christian Counter