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Ephesians 2: 22 & 24

In reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self . . . and put on the new self.

Here we are in February. How are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions? How is your willpower holding out? Well, here’s the deal, willpower isn’t the thing anyway. In fact, one might go so far to say that it is rebellion from God.

We are not supposed to be self-willed. I think you can see that in the verse above. We are supposed to be people who are surrendered to God. We are instructed to lay aside our old self and the power we think we have. “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord,” (Zechariah 4: 6). Christians are supposed to succeed not by their own might, nor by their own power but by the Spirit of the Lord. So, willpower is the exact opposite of the power we are meant to employ.

Every year we condemn and criticize ourselves because our willpower has failed us. Or, even worse, maybe we enjoy some success by utilizing the force of our own will. That, my beloved, is the greatest failure of all, and it grieves me. I hear people summoning up their will to accomplish some task and I know they will ultimately experience the greatest failure of all.

Success is in surrender. I know this will make you uncomfortable. It does me as well but then, I find that a great many of the things our Father asks of me make me uncomfortable, initially. It is more comfortable to rely on our own strength and determination than to meekly and humbly surrender control to anyone, even God. It takes humility in our hearts and honesty to surrender control to God. It is truly a humbling experience. It is also one of those experiences which is best lived daily. Every time we surrender a bit of ourselves, if we are honest and truly give in to the process, we find there is more surrender needed.

Our greatest strength is in admitting we have none. Even Jesus said he could do nothing without the Father and yet somehow, we believe we can lose weight, resist sin, be kind to others, and so on, in our own strength.

Please, take a moment to think about the goals you set for yourself for this year. What are you going to do to accomplish them? The answer you should now know is that you are going to give them to God and ask Him to show the way. Give him your goals, dreams, and ambitions. Ask Him to help you be the person you want to be. You cannot change yourself. You make think you can, but you are fooling yourself. He is the master and creator and if we will give our hearts to Him, He will create all that we want. Let Him work in your heart. Lay yourself open in surrender. Give Him the problems you would like to see changed. Vanquish willpower. Give away all your power because it is vanity and futility anyway. The Lord said only by His Spirit shall a thing be done, so there is the one sentence instruction and command for succeeding in all things.

Willpower and self-determination are idols raised up against the will of God. The power of self is an affront to the command of God but also to the love, grace and saving blood of our Lord Jesus. It’s not what you can do that is important. It’s what you can let go of that makes the difference. Surrender your power. Surrender your heart. Let Jesus be Lord.

Did this make sense to you today? Do you have questions or need help? Engage in personal coaching at Ivey Ministries.

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