“For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
The first priority is our will. And this is greater than our want. We often want things and for situations to be a certain way in our lives. We may even wish—greatly desire for these. But even our strongest desires do not equal our will. It is our will that motivates us to action with a clear and resolute deliberation and assurance that we will succeed—we will obtain. It is not enough to say, “I want… I want to do great things for God.” We must declare: “I will do great things for God!”
It is not enough to say, “I want to crucify my flesh with its lusts.” But, “I will crucify my flesh!”
It is not enough to say, “I wish I had a stronger prayer life.” But, “I will have a stronger prayer life!”
And so it goes with everything we achieve in God. The strongest declaration that can be made in the English language is “I will” or “I will not.” And in the matter of spiritual advances, the will is our part. In fact, it is the only thing that is ever truly our part, because God gave it to us, and He will never violate our right to choose—even if it were better for us if He did.
Once God has our will where it needs to be—the do is easy, because it’s His doing. He works on us to bring our will in agreement with His, but if we buck, and kick against the pricks, He will let us make our own choices, woeful though they may be.
Nor can He or would He work the do in us until and unless our will is in alignment with His purpose. If we are only of the mindset “I want,” when things get tough, adversity presents itself, setbacks confront us, our “I want to” will shrivel like a pansy in the blistering heat of the sun. When pressures mount, and disappointments deflate our enthusiasm, and we are left with the taste of defeat in our mouths, our “I want to” will abandon the fight and choose an easier quest.
But when we have counted the cost, and with the cross clearly in our viewfinder, say, “I will, Lord,” He then supplies the do that is necessary for us to prevail. And so, the reason why I say, “I will” is because I can!
I will, because He supplies the do, and His do is my I can!
I will, because “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Phil.4:13).
I will, because “He has made us able ministers of the new testament” (2Cor.3:6).
I will, because God is working in me, and He is working in me, because I said, “I will!”
I said, “I will,” and He said, “You do!”
“Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily” (Col.1:29). And His working is mightily working in me, because I said, “I will.”
Because I said, “I will,” He said, “I am able to do exceeding abundantly above all that you can ask or think, according to my power that works in you” (Eph.3:20). I do more—super abundantly more—then you ask of Me, because when I asked of you—you said, “Lord, I will.”
So now, “I will make you perfect in every good work to do my will, working in you, that which is well pleasing in my sight” (Heb.13:21). Because your willingness has opened the dynamo of My performance, and as you have experienced My ability effectually doing the work in you and through you, your confidence has soared to expect the exceeding abundantly above all you can ask or think of the working of My mighty power on your behalf.
“Being confident of this very thing, that he that has begun a good work in you will perform it…” (Phil.1:6). And so My do has far exceeded your wildest dreams, though you humbly and obediently said, “I will, Lord,” not imagining how great the challenges you would face—nor perceiving the greatness of My overcoming power.
From that time, you have freely given voice to “I will” as I have called you to one task after another. And your response has become as easy and trusting as the leap of a little child into her father’s open arms. “Through faith you have received strength, because, you judged me faithful who promised” (Heb.11:11).
And because you said, “I will”—Then you shall! Because I am faithful—I will see to it!
“Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it” (1Thess.5:24). My Child, I do because I can.
Because I am.