Excerpted from a Facebook page we follow:
“A person’s will is embodied in the actions of the whole person. I cannot give up my will— I must exercise it, putting it into action. I must will to obey, & I must will to receive God’s Spirit.”
Sounds fishy. Works-based something or other… It amazes us how works doctrine creeps in.
If it’s more about what I “do” — like with great exertion of willful effort acting to defuse fleshy urges — then by definition, I keep score. I either obeyed or I didn’t. Grace hasn’t figured into the equation. Therefore willfullishness — is akin to selfishness. It diminishes how “who I love” and “who loves me” — affects outcomes.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” Eph. 2:8-9
It’s the love I develop for Christ that relieves me of former lusts. If my old man acted out of willful selfishness. My new man acts lovingly out of selflessness. And obedience requires no effort. (“My yoke is easy, burden light” Mt 11:30… Right? ) Jesus pointedly illuminated…
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”” Mt. 22:36-40
In love, obedience is natural. In one’s born-again-ness it is the love of kingdom things that infuses my intention.
Do I still mess up? Sure. Wash my feet, stand up, walk. Keep on loving. I’m not sure I keep on being willfully obedient. Though, obedience is simply good.
Personally, I doubt that great striving efforts of my personal will can serve to grow my relationship with Christ. If I do it on my own of willful personal power, I suspect he might say “I never knew you.” Mt. 7:21