“If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.”—–John 7:17
Over the past 7 months, part of our church has been going through the book of John. A few weeks ago we went through chapter 7 and ever since I have been thinking a lot about what Jesus was saying in verse 17. This concept of “willing to do His will” is a hurdle that we all must face and decide upon if we are to truly be follower of Jesus and walk in real faith.
Behind the concept of being “willing” is the challenge if we are teachable. In order to be teachable, one must put aside their own thoughts and opinions in order to seek the truth. Upon learning the truth, one must then adjust their life according to the truth. This often times means one must change the way they think and how to live their lives in order to be in line with the truth. And sometimes, this change can be pretty drastic.
Today, people seek truth in many different places including, but not limited to, politics, science, religion, and humanity itself. However, what Jesus was pointing to in John 7 was to weigh His claims against who He is, what He does, and what He teaches against what was written about Him previously in the Old Testament. Truth, therefore, must either be wholly embraced by the 66 books of the Bible or dismissed as falsehood; but no one can remain neutral.
Many, however, do attempt to remain somewhat ambiguous about Jesus and the claims of the Bible because of the implications for their own lives. If Jesus is true and the Bible is true and without error, then it requires that we must live accordingly. But because so many outside the Church, as well as a growing number inside our churches, are more concerned about living comfortable lives according to their own desires rather than living in obedience to God. The Truth ends up getting distorted and is subjective according to what each person believes to be their personal truth.
No wonder there are such extremes about what is true Christianity. When people, including pastors and leaders, feel they can cherry-pick verses and passages without taking them within the context of the Bible as a whole, it is easy to believe a pseudo-christianity without knowing it is actually false. For most, they just want to believe and act on the easy things in Scripture. Some merely want to focus on the teachings of Jesus and how to better humanity, but not on the person of Jesus being our Savior. But when it comes to the Bible challenging the way we must think and act as well as dealing with things that are sinful, well, let’s just cut and paste around them. Let’s just focus on the things that won’t cause conflict for people or ruffle to many feathers for that matter.
Jesus said, “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” In order to know for certain about Jesus, we must first be willing and teachable to “do” His will. We must be willing to believe, apply, and practice not only the things that may be easier, but also the things that we may have to dramatically change. If we are unwilling, then it is easy to dismiss Jesus for who He really is and make up our own version of what we want to believe Christianity to be. And for a growing number of people and churches, we are seeing this create-your-own-christianity belief system.
Jesus’ challenge was that if we are willing and teachable to seek out the Truth from the Scriptures and apply those things to our lives, then it will confirm that Jesus’ message was truly sent from God the Father and not something made up in Jesus’ own imagination. Doing God’s will isn’t always easy, and often times can be difficult in areas that we need greater change, but without being willing to walk in complete obedience to the Lord, how can we really say that we believe in Jesus?? We must each put aside all of what we want to believe, along with all that we may have been taught in the past, and weigh them against what the Bible tells us to see if they are in line with what God has said.
It all boils down to if we are willing. Are we willing to do all that God has said?? If so, then it will confirm even further that Jesus is the Truth and that the Bible is true. Or maybe the question is if we are we more concerned about continuing on in this world’s pleasures rather than putting our sinful ways behind us?? Jesus said that, “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” We must all decide if we want to do all of God’s will or if we want to live our lives according to our own desires and what we want to believe. Let’s all continually examine ourselves and make sure that we are people that are willing to obey all that God has said in His Word and put those things into practice in our lives.