Want to and Choose to are very different dispositions of the will. Want to is desiring things to be different without a commitment to change, for example, wanting to be fit without a commitment to exercise. Choose to involves follow-through to do whatever it takes. While many Christians may want a transforming friendship with Jesus, few choose it. Fast-paced lives devoid of margin, and distraction fueled by addiction to technology choke out our availability, and attentiveness to Jesus. Making our home in Jesus results from a choice, not just a desire.
William Law’s devotional writings were a catalyst for cultural change in 18th century England, including his most famous book, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, which remains in print today. Law makes the point that we will study intensely for university, work tirelessly for a promotion, and invest endless energy in building a career or family. But rarely do we approach our faith with that level of dedication or intent.
Through our lack of sincere intention to live in fidelity to Jesus, we experience setbacks in our lives which are so easily overcome by his gift of grace. Let’s be honest: We fail to experience a transforming friendship with Jesus simply because we do not really intend or choose to partner with him. The reason our lives are marked by personal consumption, moral laxity, a lack of grace toward others, arrogance, and so little desire for God and his purposes is that we never truly intend to be other.
What do you really intend in your relationship with Christ? This might be an interesting question to discuss with Jesus in prayer.