How many times have you wanted to change and turn from an old bad habit, but ultimately you fail? That repeated failure to change begins eating away at you, robing you of your power and confidence, causing you to settle for less than you were created for and capable of. Romans 7:19 describes it perfectly. It says “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.”
Our willpower is weak at times. Whether it be trying to give up sugar or cigarettes, quit drinking, quit cheating, quit over spending, quit over sleeping, or start working out and start showing up to work on time, our willpower seems to come up short. We know what we should do and we even WANT to do the right thing, but we simply don’t. Not always.
Now I hate to admit this, because I know what a total powerhouse God created you to be, but sometimes you lack the power to truly change. I know his plans for you are so big they will blow your mind. I know you have all the potential in the world inside of you. But I also know your willpower isn’t going to be enough. Mine isn’t either. You can’t deliver yourself.
Romans 7:24 says “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?”
You’re not the only one who struggles. We often hide out convinced every one else has their crap together and we’re some sort of epic failure flawed to the core.
Nope, you’re human. We’re all human. We aren’t robots and we aren’t perfect. Our journey to becoming who we were created to be will take our entire lives. If you’re not struggling, it’s because you’ve given up. Join the rest of us who struggle, and let’s continue the fight darn it!
We don’t have to sit in misery. We have an answer and it comes in the next verse, Romans 7:25 “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Jesus is your answer. And how many times have we heard that? Yeah, so many times it sounds cheap, so let me dig deeper and be more specific.
Have you really asked God to HELP you with the area where you struggle? Have you fully surrendered to him? This is where change really happens … where you surrender to God, ask him for help, and make a true commitment.
EXAMPLE 1: You woke up late, you left for work late, you’re surely going to be late. But you’re praying. Oh yes you’re praying, “please Lord let all the lights be green. Let me somehow make it there on time.” Nope. God isn’t interested in magically transporting you to work in record breaking time so you won’t be late, but he would totally be game for helping you get your butt out of bed if you would ask him. Seriously have you ever ASKED God to help you get out of bed when you’re laying there trying to decide how many times you’re hitting the snooze button?
EXAMPLE 2: Here’s what we typically do when we’re trying to be healthy and lose weight – It’s Friday morning, weigh in time. We step on the scale and we pray “please Lord, please let it go down. Please, come on God. Let the number be less.” Now why didn’t we pray on Monday morning that God would help us resist the doughnuts in the office? Seriously, why didn’t we ask God for help when it mattered instead of when we’re stepping on the scale?
We want God to pull off a miracle without our participation. God doesn’t work that way.
How many times have we prayed for God to let us get by with our wrongdoing instead of praying God would help us to STOP our wrong doing? You see, God has zero interest in helping you get by with it, get away with it, or continue life one more day settling for bad habits, sinful decisions, and little life living. In fact, it’s disgusting to him. Why would he want to help you hide it? Why would he want to help you reap the benefits from something you weren’t willing to do?
God isn’t interested in your comfort – he’s interested in your character. He wants YOU to be better. He wants you to live up to the potential he placed in you. And you can’t do it on your own.
So here’s where that leaves us. SURRENDER IT ALL TO GOD. Right here, right now this morning, surrender to God. You can’t do this without him. You can’t change without him. You’ve tried this already on your own. Now it’s time to invite God in and ask him to strengthen you. Ask him to provide the power to break the habit, to turn the other way, to resist the temptation.
God will be faithful. The answer is Jesus. There is power in his name. Call on him.
I’ve shared the zip it challenge with you before. The challenge to not nag, complain, nit pick, bicker, fight or speak negatively. It’s a tough challenge, especially when you’re in a conversation with someone you love so much but you’re pretty darn convinced they’re wrong and you’re 100% right. I’ve found the key to zipping it is to ask God to help me in the very moment I’m wanting to unleash the “truth” on this loved one. Lord, help me be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Help me speak in love or help me not speak at all. And you know what … it works!!!!!
What are you struggling with? Where have you been giving up? Where have you tried to change and you simply keep failing?
You don’t have to pray that God would keep you from getting lung cancer as you smoke another cigarette. Nope, you can ask God to strengthen you to stop smoking TODAY. That can happen today.
You don’t have to pray that God would keep you from getting in an accident as you continue to fiddle with your cell phone driving. Nope, you can ask God to help you stop and think about your actions and make better choices.
You don’t have to pray that God would magically help you reach that deadline as you waste your time, procrastinate and delay. That’s ridiculous! God’s not interested in stretching time or turning back time for you to fiddle fart around. Nope, but you can ask God to help you focus and use the time you do have to do your best work.
You don’t have to pray that God would keep your husband from knowing about your affair. God’s not interested in helping you hide. You can pray that God would strengthen you to end it now and begin making things right. Will it be hard? Yes. Will there be a big mess to clean up? Absolutely. But this is it. This is where you ask God to help you change, not help you get away with it.
You don’t have to pray that God would miraculously drop a check or the winning lotto numbers in your hand. You can pray that God would give you the willpower to stop spending money on all the extras and be faithful with the little you do have.
The senseless cycle of doing that which you know you shouldn’t do, then feeling horrible about yourself, beating yourself up convinced you’ll never change … well that cycle can stop today. You’re not helpless or hopeless.
You know where you feel convicted to change, it’s the same area of your life the enemy has been trying to convince you you’re incapable of changing. God is standing by to get in the middle of it now and help you experience true change.
Want to shut the enemy up … this is how … CHANGE! Change the very thing he’s always told you you couldn’t. Change the thing he’s used to hold you back for years.
Is God interested in these changes in your life? He absolutely is. He’s been waiting for you to invite him into the process.
He has power available to you today. His power combined with your willpower, that’s where it’s at. Learn to tap into his power through praying continually as you make choices and strive to do the next right thing.
Wherever you’ve been struggling, God desperately wants to help you. He wants to strengthen you. He wants to empower you. He wants to help you change. Thank God, our answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus, we need your help today as we make our decisions.