Relying on God’s Power Over Human Willpower
Every individual grapples with the challenge of change at various points in their life. Consider the innocent confession of a child, who candidly admits she can’t obey all the time. This heartfelt admission mirrors the struggles many face in their spiritual journey.
The Apostle Paul, in Romans 7, poignantly captures this internal battle. He writes: “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” – Romans 7:19
This struggle isn’t unique to a select few; it’s a universal human experience.
At the core of this challenge is a common misconception: relying on one’s willpower instead of God’s power. While human willpower, regardless of its strength, is finite and flawed, God’s power is infinite and perfect.
John 15 offers a compelling metaphor of the vine and branches to elucidate this concept.
Jesus says:”I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. […] Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” – John 15:1, 4
A branch, when separated from the vine, cannot bear fruit on its own. Similarly, godly character cannot emerge solely from human willpower. It’s by remaining connected to Jesus, the true vine, that one can bear abundant fruit.
While human willpower may falter in producing lasting change, God’s unwavering power is capable of profound transformation. This divine strength can turn harshness into gentleness, discontentment into gratitude, and defiance into obedience.
However, the true challenge lies in harnessing this divine power. The secret is to “abide” in Jesus. This abiding isn’t a mere ritual but involves a deep, intimate relationship with Christ, continually seeking Him and relying on Him for strength and guidance.
In essence, for genuine and enduring change to manifest in one’s life, there must be a shift from the limited reservoir of human willpower to the boundless power of God. Only then can one witness the fruit of a transformed character and confidently proclaim, “I am changed through His grace.”