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!

GOING DEEPER:
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?

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

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Doug Fields

Doug Fields

Doug is the senior director of HomeWord Center for Youth and Family. Doug speaks to thousands of leaders, teens and parents each year. Doug provides leadership and resources as a part of the Youth Specialties Team. He has authored 50 books and blogs at Download Youth Ministry. Doug, Cathy and their three children live in Southern California.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns and supported by Doug Fields, HomeWord and Azusa Pacific University have partnered to form The HomeWord Center for Youth and Family. Learn More »

  • About Azusa Pacific University

    APU is a leading Christian college ranked as one of the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Located near Los Angeles in Southern California, APU is a Christian university offering associate’s, bachelor’s, master's, doctoral, and degree completion programs, both on campus and online. Learn More »

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