Saturday, January 26, 2019

Go Willingly - Martin Wiles

He was led like a sheep to the slaughter. And as a lamb is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Acts 8:32 NLT

She went, but not willingly.

My grandfather—Pappy I called him—was a hog farmer. I remember a lonely shed in one of the hog pens. Here, my grandfather herded the hogs he planned to take to market. I recall one large sow whom he corralled in the shed. Pappy backed his truck up to the shed and then poked the sow so she’d run into the truck. No such luck—at least not right away. She didn’t want to go.

Hogs are solid and often weigh more than their appearance reveals. This one did. I watched with excitement as she moved from one side of the shed to the other, rearing up on her hind legs, and beating against the board and tin sides. By the time my grandfather got her in the truck, she had almost destroyed the shed.

Persecution scattered the early church. Philip found himself on a desert road talking to a treasurer of Ethiopia. He was reading the above scripture from the prophet Isaiah, but had no idea what it meant. Until Philip explained it. Isaiah’s words were a prophecy of the coming Messiah and how He would willingly go to His destination—like a lamb before its shearers.

The cross was the Father’s will for Jesus. Though He struggled with His destiny in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to His arrest and crucifixion, Jesus went willingly where the Father wanted Him to. He had come to pay for the sins of humanity. He went out of love, wanting to restore the relationship between Himself and those who fought to go another direction—like the sow.

Peter didn’t immediately understand Jesus’ destiny. When they came to arrest Jesus, Peter pulled a sword and cut off one of the soldier’s ears. Jesus healed it and continued on willingly to His calling.

I’m often more like the sow: uncomfortable with what God calls me to do. I rear up and beat against the familiar, not wanting to let go of it for something unknown. Sometimes it takes coming to the point of exhaustion before I say, “Here I am, Lord, send me.”

But in the obedience comes the blessing—as it did with Jesus’ crucifixion. Obedience always takes me to God’s best. Fighting prolongs the best—or erases it altogether.

Don’t miss God’s best for you. Go willingly where He leads you.

Prayer: Father, give us a willing spirit so we’ll go where You lead. 

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