The disappointment of willpower


How many times have any of us set out with fire in our bellies over a newly set goal!  We are filled with excitement, commitment, and dreaming of endless possibilities we can achieve when we attain our goal?  One of the key factors in getting started on any new, positive, lifestyle change is willpower.  The simple definition of willpower is:

  • : the ability to control yourself : strong determination that allows you to do something difficult (such as to lose weight or quit smoking)

Achieving a goal is kind of like a math equation.  There are many factors and variables that must be added together in order achieve and then maintain a goal.  Most people understand that they must have the goal written down:

Habakkuk 2:2
Then the Lord answered me and said, “Write the vision And engrave it plainly on [clay] tablets So that the one who reads it will run.

Usually the excitement in which you made the goal will carry you for a short period of time (most people have 24-48 hours for that excitement to sustain them.)  Then your willpower needs to kick in for your commitment to be sustained.  But what happens when your willpower runs out?  Slowly but surely the battle in your mind and your body takes over and you abandon your goal.  This leads most people into a cycle of feeling guilt and condemnation because they failed once again.  Why is this the never ending cycle that most people live theirs lives battling?  They are missing the most important aspect in the equation…..God.  He is our creator, yet we forget to involve Him when we are attempting to re-create His creation:
Proverbs 3:1-8 Amplified Bible

1 My son, do not forget my [a]teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;

For length of days and years of life [worth living]
And tranquility and prosperity [the wholeness of life’s blessings] they will add to you.

Do not let mercy and kindness and truth leave you [instead let these qualities define you];
Bind them [securely] around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

So find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.

Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

[b]In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,
And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil.

It will be health to your body [your marrow, your nerves, your sinews, your muscles—all your inner parts]
And refreshment (physical well-being) to your bones.

I believe the definition of willpower should be, doing something in your own strength without the supernatural power of God.  That, my friend, will always be a short-lived goal with negative results.  How do we begin to welcome God into each and every goal we set?  First of all, let Him set the goal.  Anytime God has placed a desire in your heart, you can be assured that it is achievable with His help!  Check your goal for selfish ambition, pride, lust and greed.  Minus those things out of your goal, if you still believe it is God-inspired.  Then as it states in the above scripture, allow Him to download to you the steps for success.  God is not a cookie cutter Creator so your steps most likely will not look like someone else’s path to the same goal.

Proverbs 3:13-18 Amplified Bible

13 Happy [blessed, considered fortunate, to be admired] is the man who finds [skillful and godly] wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding and insight [learning from God’s word and life’s experiences],
14 For wisdom’s profit is better than the profit of silver,
And her gain is better than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies;
And nothing you can wish for compares with her [in value].
16 Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are highways of pleasantness and favor,
And all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy [blessed, considered fortunate, to be admired] is everyone who holds her tightly.

Be blessed


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