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Willpower is Powerless

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September 12, 2012 by eric echols

Reading in Psalm 51 today, I noticed a part of a verse I’ve overlooked before.

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit,to sustain me.” ~ Psalms 51:12

The truth is we can’t change. We cannot muster the willpower to stop sins power in our lives. This can only come through the Holy Spirit in us. This is the issue with a common brand of Christianity in our culture. Christian book stores are full of books focused on “me”. It’s the “pull yourself up by the boot straps”, your best life now, power of positive thinking type Christianity…

THE TRUTH: You CAN’T. On your own you cannot resist temptation, overcome sin, have a willing spirit to flee. You will not be sustained in your own power.

This is my problem. I try to sustain myself. I try to overcome sin in my own power. The result…I sin. I fall short. I slip back to the sin I hate. I disobey God, lose my temper, speak unkind words to others, and over-react with the kids. My willpower is powerless.

My power is insufficient but when God grants me His power…it sustains me. I’m given the power through Christ to overcome sin, resist temptation, and have the joy of my salvation restored.

This is becoming my daily prayer: “Father, grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. When temptation comes, give me a willing spirit to flee.”

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