Beyond Willpower

(Republished with permission from Press Service International, for Christian Today Australia)

The gift of free will is powerful, and the strength of human willpower has been demonstrated many times throughout history. Yet, willpower alone cannot accomplish everything. Where willpower wanes, we see a need for something beyond human strength. Hope; and it is hope in God and His ability to heal, restore and make new that is most powerful.

. . .

I will, I will

Our world is full of choices. We may choose our clothes, our education, our hobbies, our friends. There are also some things we cannot choose, things chosen for us by other people, and many things that are simply beyond any human control.

The Bible gives us many examples and principles to guide us in the choices we might make in life. It reminds us that we can choose how we treat our family, what we put into our bodies, what we look at, and what we strive for in life. Most importantly of all, it reminds us that ultimately, we have a choice to love God, or love someone or something else.

Many times, I have determined to choose the right things. I set out to succeed in doing devotions and prayer time, to experience fullness of joy, to encourage others tirelessly. I put things in my schedule, I plan, I write lists and draw out my intentions. I try to live in righteousness, and I fail, because my best human effort and organisational skills are not enough to conquer sin. Only Jesus can do that.

If we love God, we should strive to make decisions in life that honour Him. However, I have also learnt that living to honour God must take more than my own strength. I need God to be my strength, Jesus to be my salvation, and the Holy Spirit to transform my heart.

. . .

Not my will, but Yours

There are so many things I like to do, and there are so many things I need to do. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the quantity of things that call for my attention: relationships, prayer requests, work, hobbies. I know God should be first, but so many things threaten to get in the way of spending that quality time with Him. A gentle whisper brings peace to my heart.

Not my will, but Yours Lord.

It is a moment to pause, a moment to speak, a moment to listen.

Not my will, but Yours Lord.

It is commanding of all I am to surrender completely to God, to trust His plans for my life, and to trust that He will show me each step at the right time.

Not my will, but Yours Lord.

It is a realigning of heart priorities, a remembering of what really matters. 

. . .

Only God can

Willpower may be strong, but it can still be broken. I know my own strength cannot sustain me through the challenges and choices of life. I know I need a Saviour. I know that pride, sin and stubbornness can get in the way, but I know that God can help me overcome.

Only God can make a way where there is none. Only God can change the hardest heart into a stream of living water. Only God can fully save, fully heal, fully restore. He is my strength, my life and my salvation, and I will hope in Him.

“And I will run to You
To Your words of truth
Not by might, not by power
But by the spirit of God
Yes, I will run the race
‘Til I see Your face
Oh, let me live in
the glory of Your grace”

(Chorus, “I Will Run to You”, by Hillsong Worship)

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