This week in BIG Life Mentoring, we’re talking about willpower. Now what I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. If I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, isn’t it obvious that God’s command is necessary?
Does that sound like an entry from your journal? Your own battle with willpower and following through on your commitments. I’m here to remind you this morning that God fully understands your battle and he wants to help you. What I just shared with you are not my own words. That is scripture directly from Romans 7: 18-20. This is not only your battle, this is the battle of every living being. We make a decision, then we act against that decision and sabotage ourselves, doing the very things we said we wouldn’t do. This makes it obvious that God’s command is necessary.
Do you have God’s command over your life? What is God’s command? It’s his strong position over your life. It’s his power outsourced to you through his Holy Spirit. And this is the key for every single one of us who struggle with staying strong and steady on the right path of life, making the right decisions and following through with our commitments … God’s command over us.
Are you trying to do this on your own? Is it your own strength and might you’re relying on here? How’s that working out for you? Don’t you know God wants to partner with you in this? Your willpower will fail, His power will not. Your willpower is a limited resource, His power is not. With one cry for help and the next moment of complete surrender, you have access to an unfailing and unlimited power that will strengthen you and guide you in making the next right choice.
I Corinthians 10:13 says “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
What does this mean? This means you will be tempted. Likely the same exact day you make a commitment to start doing the right thing, temptation will come stare you down. It never fails when I make a 30 day commitment to not buy any extras, the very thing I’ve had my eye on for a purchase goes on sale. Temptation. I make a commitment to eat right and stay on plan and boom, family party with all my favorite goodies are sitting directly in front of me. Why? The temptation is everywhere. Have you ever noticed when you make a commitment to wake up early the next morning, you have the most restless night of sleep ever? It’s almost comical how ironic life can be sometimes.
But what does that scripture say, with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape. God will always give you a way out. Always. Temptations will come, but God has already made a way for you to overcome the temptation and escape without utter destruction of your commitment. When your willpower is not enough, tap into his power.
I’m serious here, if you’re trying to be healthy and your absolute favorite food is tempting you beyond your ability to resist, have you ever thought about praying about it before you stuff your whole face in that plate? I know that sounds foolish, but God tells us he will always provide a way of escape, maybe we haven’t been finding it because we haven’t been seeking it. We’ve been in full on surrender mode every time temptation shows up, all while the power to overcome has been within us.
Have you been praying about your marriage and God has been convicting you of your mouth? You’ve been harsh with your words instead of loving. Then your husband goes and does something world class stupid and you’re about to fly off the handle … wait … God, provide a way of escape for me here. I want to be loving with my words but I’m not sure my willpower to bite my tongue is enough here, will you help me?
Now why aren’t we doing that? Why aren’t we taking that powerful pause before yelling? Why aren’t we taking that powerful pause before taking that bite? Why aren’t we taking that powerful pause before buying?
You are not pitiful. You are not weak. You are not helpless. You are a daughter of the king, a real life princess, and you can do hard things. You can resist temptation. You can follow through with your commitments. You can experience success. Yes, you can. How? Call on the power of your God who is faithful and start seeking the escape he has provided.
A work of the enemy is to convince us that what we want right now is more important that what we want most. We are impulsive. My eyes see it, I want it. Temptation calls, I answer. But it doesn’t have to be this way. God has given you willpower. You do have control over what you do and the ability to resist your impulses.
2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
This is the power God has given you. This is available to you today. Tap into it. Let him be in command over your life. Put him first. Seek him in all things. And when he provides the escape from your temptations, take it.