Moving from Willpower to Real Power

I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe in him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. –Ephesians 1:19-20 (NLT)

If you’ve ever been to a funeral, I’m pretty sure you’ve informally gone through the following process: you sit quietly in the funeral service and grieve the loss of a life, and in that quietness you resolve to sharpen your goals. The reality of death awakens something in you and in that moment you want to focus on what really matters most. Maybe you go home and change the way you treat your close friends or family. That happens often for a day or two, then the resolve fades. Why?

Easy answer! It fades because you go back to relying on your own willpower rather than on God’s power. I know this because I’ve gone through this spiritual ping-pong match many times myself. And my willpower isn’t enough for what matters most.

To be successful at this, we must move from willpower to real power. This is where we depend on God to help us define and achieve what matters most.

Today’s Scripture passage gives us insight into how God’s power–real power–is available to us. It means that, as a Christian, since we have the Holy Spirit in our lives, we have access to His power. It’s the same power that defeated death on Easter morning! It’s the same power that created this incredible playground we call Earth! This same power is available to you, to help you live a life with meaning, to heal relationships, work in your family and on the job, rescue your life when you need it, and to focus on the things that matter most!

But there is a condition to obtaining this power. Did you notice it in the verses from Ephesians? It states, “the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe in him…” The power is available only to those who believe. If you’re not a believer, this might sound like some bad news. But it can easily be changed into good news if you believe in Jesus and put your faith in Him. All you have to do is say yes to Him today.

God’s power is available to everyone. This includes you! When you believe in Him and depend on Him to give you His power, He’ll help you live the life you were created to live. God will give you all the power you need to gain a fresh start. He will help you make up for lost time as you finally begin to pursue what matters most!

1. What do you value most?

2. What percentage of your time do you feel you spend on what you value most? Is it enough time? If not, why not?

Romans 8:11; James 4:14; Psalm 90:12

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Doug Fields

Doug Fields is the senior director of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of leaders, teenagers and parents each year. He’s also the author/co-author of 50+ books including: Parenting in a Screen Saturated Culture; Intentional Parenting; 7 Ways to be Her Hero – the One Your Wife Has Been Waiting For; and To Have and To Hold. In addition to Doug’s speaking and writing, he is also the co-founder of and the youth pastor at Mariners Church. Doug has been married for more than 35 years to his wonderful wife Cathy, and they live near their 3 married children and 3 grandchildren in Southern California.

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