Monday, August 30, 2010

I Don't Want To

My three year old nephew walks around saying, "I don't want to..." for almost everything. "I don't want to eat that. I don't want to walk. I don't want to go that way. I don't want to go to sleep. I don't want to watch that..." he says. So on Saturday I said to him, "Just because you don't want to doesn't mean you don't HAVE to. There's a lot of things Auntie doesn't want to do as well, but I have to do them anyway."

Then Sunday morning an associate pastor preached a message he entitled, "I Don't Want To." My sister, the mother of my three year old nephew, turns and looks at me and laughs. We both softly mouthed her son's name. At the end of the message however, I substituted my name for her son's name. I thought I've been pretty obedient to the Holy Spirit. There's a lot that I do that I don't want to do, especially in recent months. There's a lot that the Lord asks me to do that I don't want to do in my flesh but that I do anyway. But the Holy Spirit was prodding me, convicting me and saying to me, "There's more and it's on-going."

I went to bed around 1:30am this morning and the Holy Spirit woke me up at about 5:45am to pray. I said, "I don't want to get up yet." Then I remembered the message yesterday. What's more ongoing however, is something the Lord reminds me of every now and then when I don't want to do something He's telling me to do. He says, "Didn't you tell me that you would do whatever I asked you to do?" He gently reminds and rebukes me. It gets me moving to do His will when my flesh says, "I don't want to."

Romans 12:1 is also ever present in my mind, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as LIVING SACRIFICES, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship." Can I be transparent here? God forgive me if I'm wrong for saying this, but sometimes I think it would be easier for me to just die one time and be over with it than to continue to be a LIVING SACRIFICE. I suppose this is along the lines of Paul's struggle in Philippians 1:21-23 where he says, "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain...I am torn between the two. I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far, but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body." Well, let me temper my little diversion here by saying, that I do rejoice in the honor that is mine to serve Christ and explore the depths of having life more abundantly. It's exciting really, but dying daily to my flesh is not easy, i.e., "offering myself as a living sacrifice" is not easy; it's just worth it.

I don't want to wake up early,
but I'm always glad to wake up.
I don't want to get up and pray,
But Oh, how sweet it is when I press my way into His presence.
I don't want to read the Word of God,
But Oh, how sweet it is when He speaks to me through it.
I don't want to worship Him,
But it is the "garment of praise" that lifts the "spirit of heaviness."
I don't want to talk to people,
But I learn so much and grow when I do.
I don't want to eat right,
But it keeps me out of the doctor's office.
I don't want to forgive,
But God won't forgive me if I don't forgive others.
I don't want to face conflict,
But blessed are the peacemakers.
I don't want to...........

How am I any different from my three year old nephew? I do it anyway. Because love motivates me to be obedient. After all, it's not about me. It's about glorifying His name.

Every time my flesh says, "I don't want to...," to God, it's a test of my faith or trust and obedience to him.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work
so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4)


  1. What a wonderful devotional! I love how you tied in your 3-year-old nephew's "I don't want to ..." with your own. What an incredible revelation the Lord gave you. I can fully relate to what you said. As Christians we "don't want to ...," but we have to according to God's Word. Jesus said if "you love me you will obey my commands." God promises to bless us in all we do when we obey Him. "Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. ... But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does" (James 1:22, 25). Amen!

    BTW ... I am brand new to blogging. I just launched my site this week. I haven't begun to market it yet, but will do so this weekend. Come visit me. My site is devotional as well to encourage and inspire. You can visit me at Hope to speak with you soon!

  2. Welcome Judith! Thanks for the feedback. How did you find me? I will check you out.