Christian Counseling: Will Power

We all want a strong will, but not so strong that we become stubborn or difficult and not too weak that we don't have the power to keep our integrity intact. Balance, that is what we need. The lines between too strong, strong and too weak are muted or fade when we directly look at them. Once again, we are called to depend on our sense of refined judgment to know the difference.

By our will we attempt to be self-controlled. Of course, we also depend on God and His Spirit and perhaps others to help us remain healthily self-controlled. But despite our best efforts we discover a truth--the will is no savior. At some, sure point our ability to be self-controlled by will power crashes. That is guaranteed to happen, just like any computer. More than 90% of people who go on a diet regain the weight and then some. Will power lasts for an imperfect season. If it were possible for us to always to follow the power of our will, Jesus would have come in vain, and we could have said, "Thanks Jesus, but I can do it!" whatever the "it" may be. But experience teaches us otherwise. In the end, we are not excused from the individual responsibility to grow will power and self-control.

Herein lies one of the chief problems in living by will power. Unlike God who willed (Greek - desire and pleasure or determination and choice) the earth and heavens into existence, He didn't have to content with self-opposing thoughts or emotions. He is free of those human encumbrances. How we all wish we were free of the inner resistances that sabotage our intentions, limit our heartfelt determination and sometimes altogether stop us from exercising our will. However, in this life we will continue to struggle with it all for as long as we draw breath. We are and always will be a dual-natured being; that is, until we are perfected in heaven.

The best we can hope for is to gain as much understanding about our opposing natures as possible and seek resolution. In focusing on spiritual things and becoming more like Jesus we limit the opposing natures. We quiet the inner tension and battle. In overcoming any and all fears one is given power to will and help ensure self-control.

This freedom from opposition will be ours. It will come to a complete end and it will be nothing short of heavenly. In the hereafter we will have one mind and heart and one clear and sure direction. There will be nothing that opposes our good will, save God’s will. In all this, we will have freedom, liberty and joy. Today we wrestle. Wrestle well!

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