Be Willing Ep. 7

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

This blog is taken from the podcast: Be Willing.

Today, I want to talk about trying.

In the Bible they don't use the word try, they use the word willing.

And lately, willing has been the only thing I can contribute right now, but before we jump in, let me give you some context.

In Matthew 26, we see Jesus in a painful situation.

I can imagine his thoughts spinning with questions and answers, but none satisfying him to move forward, so he rushes to pray.

But he doesn't want to pray alone because he knows the community is important so he takes his disciples. His disciples are supposed to be backing him up in prayer, but when he goes to check on them, to take a minute and commune with them, talk it out, and stuff, they are sleeping.

I can imagine his disappointment.

He thought his gang had his back, he thought that they would be there for him.

You know your besties are a big part of your life. But when you are going through something, they are right there in your corner right?

They encourage you and build you up and if your friends are Christian, they even offer to pray with you.

So maybe you've been having a bad day and something is troubling you, there is a situation you can't figure out.

Maybe it's work and you are trying to figure out if you should quit or not. And so you go to your besties because they have your back.

But you look up at the time and it is midnight. But you know your besties are there for you. You know they stay up until midnight, you know they have their phone on, you know that even though it is late they will be there for you.

Because it's not like they weren't there for you before and it is not like you weren't there for them when it was midnight and they needed you.

So you call them, you facetime them, and the ring sounds, and after a good minute or two the phone says, "leave a message."

So you call again, but the phone says once again, "leave a message." I don't know about you, but I'm a little hurt.

I thought we were besties? Do you mean, you're not going to be there for me in a time that I so desperately need your encouragement. Out of everything we've been through together you are going to let me go through this one on my own?

And that's what Jesus is going through, his besties fell asleep on him.

So he goes to them and says this, “Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger."

The last thing he says is, "the spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

A little side note: this is from Matthew 26: 40-41. The message Bible is used as well as the Amplified version.

And today, I want to focus on the last thing he said.

"The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

In other versions of the bible, they say, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

There has been this tug of, "are you willing or not" in my life.

For example, I moved.

And there was a lot of complications in the move even though God took care of everything and we successfully moved,

In my heart, there was this feeling of uncertainty and yet another feeling of, "are you willing."

There was another tug when it came to a job, I wanted a certain job that I was qualified for, but God gave me another job that paid less and required different skills and I saw it as a job that I was overqualified for.

Then that tug came in.

On one hand, I was feeling prideful and stubborn about the career path I choose.

I wanted the job that I had gotten my degree in, the job that I was trained to do, but on the other hand, there was a feeling of, "are you willing?"

And I talked about this on my YouTube channel.

But among all the choices that we make, there are somewhere we have to pause and say, "am I willing?"

And it is interesting how being willing isn't this natural thing.

You don't just willingly give up what you have worked so hard for in order to do something that you don't want to do. Human nature is not like that.

In fact, human nature is the opposite, it is selfish right.

You never have to teach a child to say, "mine."

You never have to teach them to snatch their toys away from others, or to say no when they don't want to obey. Selfishness is human nature, pride and arrogance, that is human nature.

You give someone $1,000 the first thing you want to do is spend it on themself. That's what naturally comes.

When someone comes to you and says, "You are wrong."

The first natural thing you do is defend yourself, right? And you start protesting your side of the story.

This human nature, in the Bible, is called flesh.

It's this selfish default we all have. The bible says, in Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

"The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

The flesh caves into what it wants.

The flesh caves into the pleasures of the now. The flesh immediately chases after pride, lust, and money.

Because it wants fame now, it wants pleasure now, it wants to be rich now. But the spirit, is not like the flesh.

It is nothing like the impulsive, greedy, and prideful desires of our hearts.

The spirit is the Holy Spirit.

It is something that isn't of you. It doesn't naturally come, it isn't something that is automatically there.

The Spirit is like water.

Check out the water bottle illustration:

And God mentions the holy spirit all throughout the bible. And that's going to be a topic for another day.

But Psalms says something important about the spirit. In Palms 51:12, it says, "Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit."

Uphold me, sustain me, keep a willing spirit within me.

We aren't the ones that can give ourselves this willing spirit.

We are naturally bad, but when someone on the outside (that person being God) pours that water (which represents the spirit, the willing spirit) into our plastic form, we begin to have a willing spirit within us.

Only God can give us that spirit.

Only God can pour that inside of our empty plastic bottle.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

What I'm saying today is that, in our everyday lives we will have choices to make.

And the natural choice will be to do what we want. To do what makes us happy. To do the natural thing, the fleshly thing.

But if we allow God to pour that water inside of us, that spirit inside of us, we can become willing to operate outside of our flesh.

We can say no to those fleshly desires. We can say no to masturbation, to pornography, to drinking wine, to doing drugs, to lying and to anything and everything that our flesh desires, because the spirit is willing.

The water that God pours into us isn't something that is going to make us do everything right. It isn't going to make us perfect.

The spirit that God pours into us is going to make us willing.

If I could use a different word I would say that the spirit that God pours into us is going to make us try.

We are going to try to make the right choices, the choices that don't satisfy our fleshly desires, but God's desires for us.

We are going to try to not smoke today, we are going to try to not lie today. We are going to try and try and keep trying.

Because the race isn't won by the one who is fastest, it is not won by the strongest, it is not won by the one that looks like they have it all together, it is won by the one who remains, the one kept trying and never stopped.

The race is won by the one who endures. Who kept trying despite.

"The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

So, in closing I want to ask you a question, do you have water inside your empty water bottle? Do you have God's holy spirit inside of you?

Maybe you aren't sure, and that's okay. Maybe you know that you don't have the holy spirit inside of you or maybe you have the holy spirit inside of you, but you want a refill, or more of that water inside you.

I want to invite you to pray with me so we can ask God together to pour water inside of us, to pour his spirit inside of us.


"Dear God, we want to ask you for water. We want you to pour your holy spirit inside of us. We are empty vessels, we are empty bottles and we want to be filled. Please fill us, we want to be willing... we want to say no to all these fleshly desires that we have, we want to push that type of life away from us and start saying yes to your spirit, saying yes to your ways... thank you God for filling us up with your holy spirit. Thank you for make us vessels that hold your water within us which allows us to glorify you. Thank you so much for positioning us here to listen to you. God thank you so much for speaking to us today. Thank you for taking care of us as usual. In Jesus name, amen."