In Jude 24-25 is found one of the great benedictions proclaiming God is ABLE to keep you. “Now unto him that is ABLE to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”
In Hebrews 7:22-25 is found a passage on God’s keeping power. “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. (23) And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: (24) But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. (25) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
In Ephesians 3:20-21 is found a passage showing us God is ABLE to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (21) Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
You should have noticed in all three passages above that God is ABLE. Now think about this. Why would God say He is able and leave out “willing,” the obvious word? After all, if God is able, isn’t He willing?
There are people who are able to do exceeding above anyone else, but they are not willing to do so.
There are others who are willing to do whatever, but do not seem to have the ability.
Those two words, ABILITY and WILLINGNESS, must partner together. Every time I have read this passage in Ephesians, I ask myself, "God willing?" I say, "God, I have the 'ability' part down. I understand and know You are able. But, God, who is going to supply the 'willing'?" The entire Bible is a demonstration of God's ability and man's unwillingness.
God's ability plus man's willingness gets the job done! God never wondered if man was able to do anything, because He knew man was (and is) unable to do anything! Jesus said in John 15:5, "… for without me ye can do nothing." Nobody ever provided ability God is interested in considering, because God is not interested in man's ability. He is interested in man's willingness.
Prayer has a lot to do with a believer’s willingness. A believer goes to his prayer closet and says, "God, You are awesome! I will match Your ability with a willing heart. Here I am, Lord. I give You my willingness to match Your ability." At that point of surrender, prepare for God to test you.
Remember the three boys sentenced to die in the fiery furnace for standing? God was checking their willingness! Remember Daniel's choosing to pray under the threat of being thrown to the lions? God was checking his willingness! Remember Elijah's 63 word prayer that called down fire from Heaven? God was checking his willingness!
We must understand that these men were of like passions – just like you and me. Throughout the Bible God brings us example after example of men who prayed and got the answer. Then God tells us, "These men were ordinary men, frail men, sinful men, and yet by faith, righteous men. They were men of like passions as we are, but they prayed and their prayers were answered.” Therefore, dear frail Christian, take heart and ask great things from God. Just imagine what God could and would do today if His people were totally, 100 percent willing.
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