The Spirit is Willing

“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  It’s a lesson Jesus teaches his students at a moment in his life when he knows his end is nearing, and being alert is of the utmost importance.

While perhaps there’s no stronger application of that phrase than in such a moment, I’d like to also broaden its usage into the less dramatic moments of everyday life.

Leading SLAM groups is not for the weak of flesh. On both sides of this photo you see not just the students in worship--but SLAM staff, teachers, small group facilitators, all worshipping God with everything. This same group of worshipers work a full-time job and facilitate moments like this for young people after hours. 

Leading SLAM groups is not for the weak of flesh. On both sides of this photo you see not just the students in worship--but SLAM staff, teachers, small group facilitators, all worshipping God with everything. This same group of worshipers work a full-time job and facilitate moments like this for young people after hours. 

You’ve felt the contrast.  It’s the difference in that moment when you have determined in your heart to get up at 6am to begin conquering the day and then your body’s response when your alarm clock goes off and all the excuses emerge.  It’s in those moments that the spirit and the flesh collide.

So much of doing good for the LORD has to do with our willingness.  Certainly the education to know how to do good, and why to do good is necessary, and one we get from the study of God’s Word.  But then the willingness to carry that ‘good’ out is the accomplishment that gives the study its meaning.

As this summer unfolded around our organization, you could feel it in the air.  People had options and choices of how they would spend their time.  Responsibilities to which they could say yes or no.  Tasks they would fulfill with the utmost excellence or just to the point of being acceptable.  No group of people is immune to having these options.

As part of the communications team, it is part of my job to document the activity in which our organization is involved.  I am here to witness to the reality that this summer I sensed a spirit of willingness amongst G.O.D. personnel, both here and abroad to put in the necessary work to overcome the limitations of the flesh and accomplish wonderful things.

While the interns receive some of their first lessons in choosing to live by the spirit and not the flesh, they are surrounded by a collaborative team effort that requires a lot of spirit. Putting on summer internship is no small feat, many people are involved in equipping interns for their tasks, and investing into their person at the same time. 

While the interns receive some of their first lessons in choosing to live by the spirit and not the flesh, they are surrounded by a collaborative team effort that requires a lot of spirit. Putting on summer internship is no small feat, many people are involved in equipping interns for their tasks, and investing into their person at the same time. 

Our work as an educational institution to teach people to model the life and example of Jesus, through both the Academy for G.O.D. and the Institute for G.O.D., is propelling people into lives of service both locally and at all 4 of our international hubs.

The flesh is weak; let’s not pretend it’s not.  But when so many people are bent towards the willingness of God’s spirit to meet needs and serve others, then overcoming that flesh is something we tackle together.

While we learn this phrase from Jesus towards the end of his life, we know he employed it consistently throughout, in moments when protecting himself, feeding himself, sleeping, and host of other fleshly needs might seem more sensible.  But his choice to consistently have a willing spirit has given us an example to always remind us that God will reward us with his presence as we show ourselves willing.