Willpower vs. God’s Power

Have you ever set a resolution or personal goal, only to find yourself quickly falling short of the transformation you desired? Maybe, as we approach the end of the year, you’re reflecting on the achievements you set out to reach in January. It can be discouraging to realize we’re not as far along as we would have liked; however, it can also lead us to acknowledge a very real truth:

In and of ourselves, we simply don’t have the power to realize transformation.

Whether you’re craving a physical transformation, a mental transformation, a social transformation, an emotional transformation, a financial transformation, or even a spiritual transformation, there’s only one source we can turn to Who has the power to bring it about. Why is it, then, that when it comes to most areas of life, we try to do things in our own strength? Many of us understand that we need God’s help to grow spiritually; but if we want to get more physically fit, we rely on our own discipline and efforts to get the job done.

This won’t work, because the same truth still applies. We need God’s help. And we need to realize that God desires our transformation even more than we do—in all areas of life! In Acts 16, we find the story of Paul and Silas escaping from the prison. The prison guard, taken aback by the mercy they’ve shown in not immediately leaving him to die, asks, “‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.’”

The word for “saved” in this verse means “total transformation.” Not only the guard’s spiritual life, but every aspect of his existence would be changed when He came into contact with Jesus. We serve a powerful God—His influence isn’t limited to one area of our lives. Our faith cannot be compartmentalized. He wants our total transformation, and is the only One who can provide the means for it!

So, if God wants us to be made whole in every area of our lives, we need to develop a theology of total transformation. In other words, we need to develop a theology that encompasses physical health; finances; relationships; and every other sphere of life. We need to see even the way we care for our bodies as a spiritual discipline. Only when we surrender every area, and lean into His power, will we see His hand at work, changing and transforming us from the inside out.

Real change only comes by virtue of God’s power. So, the next time you sit down to write a list of your goals for the next season, invite Him into that space.