Most of us have willpower as strong as a wet piece of tissue. There’s something we want to do, a goal to achieve, a place in our lives we want to arrive at. We set our sights on that mark and make plans to get there.
And then our weakness shows up and that carefully planned goal is set aside for another time. Sometimes it’s tossed out the window.
My weakness has always been food. Recently, I held a one day fast. No food, just coffee and water. I stayed at home and did a few chores, but mostly relaxed. I didn’t have too many hunger pains and thought I was doing fine. In the evening, we were watching a show and one of the characters starts talking about her favorite food: Nachos. My stomach grumbled in agreement. Then the character and her husband start eating nachos, ever so slowly. I could smell the salty, toasted tortilla chips. The melted cheese glowed like the gold of heaven’s streets. My mind began to map out the closest food places that sell nachos. How quickly can I get there? Would they mind if I’m wearing pajamas while I order a plate? How big of a plate can I get?
I didn’t go, but the example shows how quickly food could change my mind and obliterate my goals. My example of was on the light side, but we know a lack of willpower can be a serious problem. Some of us can spend money at the drop of a hat. Some of us will eat food for entertainment. Have you ever heard the saying, “You don’t need to be hungry to eat”? Some of us have trouble with motivation to do basic things around the house or at work or in our relationships.
Everyone battles with the dichotomy of weakness and willpower. But is there a way to fix this?
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus an encouraging promise,
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. – Ephesians 3:16
Paul knows all of us are weak. We all have our limits. And guess what? God doesn’t shame us for who we are or what we can’t do. Instead, God wants to empower us with His strength to do what we need to do. And unlike our limited strength, God has no end of resources to give us.
Imagine a company selling batteries that never need to be changed out or WIFI that always provides top speeds or one pill that that always keeps you healthy. My house is filled with LED light bulbs because they last for years. YEARS!
Imagine a God who provides all the strength we need when ours is dried up like dust. Imagine a God who already knows what we need before we even ask. When our willpower leaves us, God remains to strengthen what little we have left.
I think of Jesus on his way to Golgotha. His body was stripped open. Raw and bleeding. He was forced to carry his cross as people jeered at him. What kind of willpower could keep his feet moving towards his own execution?
There’s a song called, Same Power by Jeremy Camp. Here’s the chorus:
The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us, lives in us
He lives in us, lives in us
We have hope
That His promises are true
In His strength
There is nothing we can’t do
Yes, we know
What keeps us from reaching out and believing God will or can help us through our weaknesses? He’s given us His Holy Spirit and wants us to ask, but pride can get in the way. I can only encourage you to practice asking God frequently for His strength and power. Constantly asking Him when things are easy can help when things get difficult.