As human beings we are willing to do a lot of things. We are willing to trust the bank with our money, we are willing to get up in the morning and go to work, we are willing to sacrifice for the sake of our children and the list goes on and on. We understand that there are times we are going to have to be "willing" to do some things that may difficult or do things that don't come so easy.
There are also times we are "stirred" to do something. We are watching T.V. and a commercial stirs us to buy a certain product, investigate a new prescription medicine or call in a pizza at Dominoes. We were just sitting there watching the T.V. and now we are stirred.
And then we attend church on Sunday or a Wednesday and we are singing with the congregation and the lyrics of a particular song stirs us..... or.... point number three of the pastor's sermon grips our heart. We then hear a challenge during the invitation and our hearts are stirred and we find ourselves at a crossroads.....are we willing to follow the stirring of our heart by the Lord?
In Exodus 35 Moses is sharing God's plan for the construction of the Tabernacle. As Moses speaks to the multitude of people he challenges them to "give" to the project. The people could give an offering of gold, silver and bronze...they could also give all kinds of thread, rams skins, badger skins and acacia wood among other things. There was one stipulation we find in Exodus 35:5 and that was this... "whoever was of a willing heart, let him bring an offering to the Lord." God was looking for willing hearts to provide the materials for the tabernacle. A free will offering, if you will (play on words lol).
Next we hear in Exodus 35:10 that God was looking for gifted artisans to serve. The people had gifts and talents and there was an invitation for willing and gifted people to serve in the construction of the Tabernacle which was the "tent of meeting".
Then we hear in Exodus 35:21 "then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the Lord's offering for the work of the Tabernacle of meeting, for all its services, and for the holy garments." The people needed to be stirred and willing to serve. We find later on that all kinds of people came forward with their offerings and all of the materials for the construction of the Tabernacle and holy garments for the priests were provided. The people were stirred and willing to give to the Lord and serve the Lord.
Today, the Lord is building His kingdom. He is building up His family. The word Tabernacle means "dwelling". When a person is born again, the Lord indwells them, He Tabernacles with them. God is also looking for His people today to be "stirred" by His command to reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. He stirs us to "give" of our time, talent and treasure so the gospel can go forth. However, to be willing to give and serve we must also be willing to give up some things that hinder us from obedience.
For instance, God's people today need to give up their earthly/temporary mindset. It's hard to be stirred to follow after God if our mind is on things that are non-essential. To be in a position where we can be stirred, we need to make sure we surround ourselves with the things of God and opportunities to hear from God. With that said, from a pastor who has led churches for 20 years, here are few things a Christian can do to put themselves in position to be "stirred and willing" to do God's will.
Pray Regularly. Praying is the most spiritual thing a Christian can do, and praying regularly keeps us in touch with God. God wants to hear from us in prayer.
Read God's Word Regularly. Staying in God's Word will help a Christian hear from God on a regular basis. His will for our lives can be heard as we regularly read God's Word.
Attend Church Regularly. When a person is hit or miss in their church attendance it becomes hard for their heart to be stirred by the Spirit of God. Attending worship services and Sunday School/Bible Studies promotes a Christian to be stirred and motivated to do the will of God. If you wake up on Sunday morning and ask yourself "do I want to go to church" the enemy just won a victory. Make the decision once and for all...."on Sunday's me and my household are attending church, period." Being stirred and being willing to do God's will comes easier with regular church attendance.
Give Regularly. In Exodus 35 everyone was encouraged to give. Not everyone could give God or silver but everyone could give something. God wants you to give. He really wants your heart. When you and I love people, we give to them. If you love God, give regularly to the Lord. He appreciates your sacrifice and your gifts to His ministry. Again, He is looking for a willing heart.
Serve Regularly. If you are a born again Christian, you have at least one spiritual gift. And if you don't know what that gift is....get busy serving the Lord and He will steer you in the right direction. Don't wait until its convenient to serve....serve the Lord today and continue to serve Him regularly. Again, we serve the people we love. If you love the Lord, serve Him.
Today, we would see revival in our churches if we would all serve the Lord willingly and put ourselves in a position where we could hear from Him and be stirred. Read Exodus chapter 35 and listen for the Holy Spirit leading you to willingly "give and serve".