Willpower or Weakness?
Are you in control?
Our culture says that it is up to us to make our own happiness. It is up to each of us individually to choose happiness, to choose our purpose in life, to choose what is going to motivate us. From what I can see around me most people would agree with these statements. I think there’s truth to these ideas but it’s not the whole truth. Perhaps the most deceiving lies are those that have a lot of truth in them.
God has given us intelligence as well as free will. The Bible says that God has given humans control on earth, “Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth,and the small animals that scurry along the ground. So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27
You can’t save yourself
While you do have control over a lot of things you don’t have the ability to save yourself from yourself. I think part of our sin nature is that we want control. We want to be able to control our lives and our circumstances. It may seem logical to us that we are responsible for our own happiness. But what happens when you can’t seem to keep happiness in your life? We are either constantly chasing this elusive happiness or we are blaming our circumstances and others for why we don’t have it. I know I’m tempted to blame my upbringing for why I behave a certain way, or the pressures of my life for why I can’t be content, or other people in my life that are an inconvenience to my plans. The truth is, we can’t set ourselves free because the bondage is ultimately in our own hearts.
“Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world…All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature…” Ephesians 2:1-3
“As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one.” Romans 3:10
It’s only when we admit our need that God is able to come into our lives and make us new. Contrary to what we may believe, it is our weaknesses that God wants to work through. Listen to who Jesus says the blessed people are:
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.” Matthew 5:3-5
God isn’t telling you to work harder, to power through the pain, to motivate yourself to victory. God just wants you to come to Him with your burdens so that He can lift you up out of darkness and give you life like you could never have imagined.
“ I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” Luke 5:32
We need to practice going to God
Honestly, it’s hard to take my weaknesses to God. It’s often not until I’m at my worst state that I go to God with my struggles. My first reaction to my failures is that I can do better next time; if I just work harder, if I just try this new plan, if I just do this new thing then I will find freedom within myself, by myself – I CAN DO IT. Taking my weak points to God is hard because I want to be in control. As long as I try to make myself successful through my own efforts I won’t see God’s glory and power in my life. As long as I try to maintain control of my life I won’t know the freedom God wants to give me.
God says that He wants your weaknesses, He wants your struggles, He wants your burdens. He wants to empower you with His Holy Spirit.
“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
“…I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.” Isaiah 57:15
I want to encourage you to reach out to another Christian that you can confide in and share with them the things you are struggling with or just share that you are struggling. Praying with others is one of the ways through which the Holy Spirit will work in your life. You’re more than welcome to leave a comment or send me a private message and I will pray with you too!
“They will come home and sing songs of joy…They will be radiant because of the Lord’s good gifts…Their life will be like a watered garden, and all their sorrows will be gone.” Jeremiah 31:12
-New Living Translation used-