Have You Let Jesus Change Your “Want to?”

“He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like His own, using the same power with which He will bring everything under His control.” (Philippians 3:21 NLT)

Our progress in conforming to the likeness of Jesus is in direct proportion to our willingness to obey His commands. Ultimately, our goal is to allow Jesus to own us and control, not only our behavior – what we do – but our mind – how we think!

Yes, I get it. That’s really scary to think about and can be a big turn off to those who have yet to yield their life and allegiance to Jesus. Our minds flash back to a “Jim Jones” kind of cult where people become mesmerized by a charismatic person who demands things of them, they may not like, but allow due to the pressure of others.

That’s a complete 180 to what Jesus is asking of us. Obedience to anyone will never be helpful if it’s done with an attitude that “I have to.” Jesus doesn’t desire us to be His “robots,” that when properly “programmed” become compliant with His every wish. Obedience in and of itself is never the desired end, love is.

Our church family has a saying regarding giving that I find appealing and affirming. They say: “We don’t give because we have to. We give because we get to.” I believe that’s an attitude I want to adopt for every area of my life as it pertains to my obedience to Jesus.

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When we begin to understand that Jesus isn’t out to “get us,” rather He’s out to “love us,” the whole complexion of our life and living can be drastically changed for the better. Obedience to the commands of our Lord isn’t designed to force conformity, but to move us in the needed direction of desired conformity. What’s the difference?

It’s the difference between cults and Christianity. Cults force obedience to maximize the power of the leader. Christianity allows obedience to maximize the potential our Leader has died to give us. We don’t obey for Jesus’ benefit. We obey for our benefit. The more submissive we become in the capable hands of our Savior, the more fulfilled we are in living the life we were designed to live.

God’s desire isn’t to choke the life out of us, rather He desires to infuse us with His life-giving Presence in the Person of His Holy Spirit. The sooner our “have to” becomes our “want to,” the greater measure of contentment and enjoyment we’ll have in our walk with Jesus.

On some levels our walk with the Lord is much like our walk with our spouse. Men and women are very different in a lot of ways, but as we begin to allow our differences to complement our relationship, the happier and more satisfied we become.

For example, men tend to be more physically strong than women, thus, better fitted for things like doing yard work or working on the car. While women tend to enjoy cooking, decorating, etc. However, those aren’t the only factors to consider. What if my wife is a mechanic and loves fixing cars, or I’m a chef, and a whiz in the kitchen? What’s my point?

God has uniquely designed and gifted us to complement one another. So, the roles we play in marriage and in the Body of Christ aren’t determined by expected roles, but by what we enjoy doing. That’s the beauty of submission to Christ’s authority in our lives. He doesn’t “pigeonhole” us, He allows us to discover the ways in which we can most significantly and appropriately respond to His love for us by allowing us to function in a role that isn’t a burden, but a delight.

That whole process begins to come together when we allow the Lord to change our “have to,” to our “want to.”

Blessings, Ed 😊

One thought on “Have You Let Jesus Change Your “Want to?”

  1. Rich!
    Cyndi and I are adding this to our time together!

    We watch the Verse of the day video in YouVersion Bible and the verse of the day in I-Bible.

    Thx much, rd

    Liked by 1 person

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