Today I spotted an article in the September 21, 2009 issue of “Leadership Journal” by John Ortberg called: The Strong-Willed Leader: There is a difference between a surrendered will and a weak will. I was really encouraged to see this come to light, because over the 27 years that I have been involved with the church as an institution, I have consistently encountered teaching – both specific and implied – that God’s plan for us is have no will of our own. I have observed that the resulting passivity of church culture in America, particularly as it is encouraged in the “laity” or attenders, is linked to the taking away of the “key” in Luke 11:52; It hinders those who are trying to enter the Kingdom, or domain of God. Then there is that disturbing statement in Matthew 11:12 about “violent men” taking the Kingdom by force.

So how do we square that Jesus both “set His face to go to Jerusalem” in Luke 10:51, and yet only always did what He saw His Father doing? (John 5:19) It doesn’t seem a mystery to me any more. It has a lot to do with what we believe God wants from us, and what He will do if we bow our heart to Him. You see, every other god (and I use this term in the broadest sense) seeks to take power from us – to use us, and use us up. The true God is the only One who can afford to give us more power than He takes from us. (Note the promises in Acts 1:8, Ephesians 1:20, e.g.)But old habits are hard to break – we have been taught by our other gods that to come under the authority of another means we must disengage our will. At the same time we are doing this (which I beleieve is very offensive to God – kind of like bonevolent adoptive parents bringing a child home only to see him crippled by a constant, parylizing fear that they are going to beat and abuse him), He is all about the task of healing and rebuilding our will so that it is functioning again – evidenced by the ability to daily choose to follow Him. (Romans 8:14)

More could be said about this – and I hope that we as the Church will begin to grow in this understanding: that God comes to empower and repair our will, and to equip us for the spiritual battle field we live in. Passivity is not close to godlikeness – rather it takes an incredibly strong and healthy will for us to do as Jesus did in setting His face toward Jerusalem, for this where our cross awaits us…the one we are to take up daily as we follow our Savior.
Grace & Peace