She asked sincerely, “I want to change what I’m doing. Is my willpower powerful enough?”
Your willpower is powerful, but it’s not all-powerful. One of our most self-deceptive, self-destructive, and yet widespread beliefs is, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” Sometimes, it’s said this way, “If you will it, you can do it.” No you can’t.
In counseling people for years, I’ve found that most of those seeking help have tried to use their own willpower to fix their problems and have finally given up on their willpower and turned to outside help.
For many, willpower is often productive in dealing with the easy stuff, but powerless in handling the most important parts of our lives—relationships, love, forgiveness, security, inner peace, death, and eternity. In those areas, we need more than our will has to offer.
If anyone should have been able to overcome his problems using his willpower, it was Paul, the Apostle. Paul, one of the most powerful, self-controlled, educated, brilliant, aggressive, self-controlled, legal minds of his day, tells us that he tried to handle things by himself and failed miserably. After trying over and over again, he kept failing until he came to this transforming conclusion.
“I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does” (Romans 7:24-25 MSG).
Do you need to fail a few more times at trying to fix your deepest, most important problems before you are ready to come to that same conclusion? Or, are you ready now to make a change? If you are, remember these truths.
You don’t need to try harder. You don’t need someone else to blame. You don’t need more money or more education. What you need is a miraculous, inner transformation that you can never do for yourself. You need the living God to come into your life, like he did for Paul.
He can do in you and through you what you can never do. He can forgive any sin you’ve committed, provide peace in any storm you face, overcome any fear or uncertainty about death you have, and after you die, he can give you life with him for eternity.
No matter how hard I try, I can’t do any of that on my own. Can you?
Free offer. For more information about how your will works, how God can use your will to help you make good decisions, and to learn additional practical steps, Bible insights, and helpful examples on developing a healthy faith, I invite you to accept a FREE Introduction Chapter and Table of Contents of my new book, Healthy Faith: A Strategic Lifestyle Plan to Transform Your Head, Heart, and Hands.
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