Will To Power
John 7:17 – “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.” This verse, from a paragraph in John’s Gospel (7:16-17), is a testimony from the Lord Himself which emphasizes the enormous power the Creator has put within His human creatures. The exercise of our wills in harmony with God’s will gives us the mighty power to know and to do those things which will lead us to Heaven. Although Colleen O’Steen’s book “From Will to Power” was published two years ago, only in recent months have I discovered and read it. My copy is filled with copious notes where my experiences match the principles Colleen writes about. It is with her permission that I write this article.
Dee Bowman’s foreword to the book contains these intriguing words: “You are about to embark on a new adventure—one filled with the delight of new perspectives, the thrill of new thoughts to ponder, and the joy of new possibilities to entertain. You are about to find a connection between will and power—your will and your power to use it.” This reader certainly found these predictions to be true. Paul’s dilemma in Romans 7:13-25 illustrates the great struggle which we all have as we try to match our wills with the power to do right. His conclusion is that he must have help and that his help comes through Christ. His solution is our solution! Jesus Christ will give us the fortitude to be faithful.
We gain strength as we deliberately decide to continuously concentrate on the development of our Christian character, especially those attributes which we need to further develop. Books on self-discipline or time management may be useful. Thinking of Bible characters/stories (Joseph, Daniel, Ezra, various judges from the book of Judges, and many others) will give us good examples to follow in our determination to live godly lives that are developing into the image of Him. Paul’s statement in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” becomes our goal for our earthly sojourn.
God does not control us as one would program and control a robot. However, it is His good pleasure to help us in our desire to serve Him. He created the will within us, it is up to us to control and use the capacity (power) within us to do His will.
God expects us to make gains, to grow, to develop into disciples who may make other disciples and assist in their development. Having a goal for the development of the good in our lives and the elimination of the bad is essential for our spiritual development. Mary A.S. Barber in her song “Prince of Peace! Control My Will” gives us a prayer to pray:
“Prince of Peace control my will,
Bid this struggling heart be still;
Bid my fears and doubtings cease
Hush my spirit into peace.”
Let us pray that we will take the time to really think of where we are spiritually and set our wills to do better.
Extraordinary measures may be necessary in order to attain mastery of our sinful attitudes and actions. We may have rationalized an evil thought pattern, a secret sin, an evil habit, an uncontrolled passion—the list could go on. Jesus tells us that drastic action may be necessary: “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” Matthew 5:29, 30
Only a will turned over to God for help can unleash the power within us to do very difficult things in order to please God. Remember the phrase from the old song: “Each victory will help you some other to win.”
The need for frequent assessment of our progress comes through in Colleen’s book. That assessment is parallel, it seems to me, to Paul’s inspired insight into his own spiritual growth as he writes in Philippians 3:12-14 – “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
The thoughtful Christian will realize the need to teach the next generation the wonderful truths he has discovered in following God. We must learn to recognize the will within us. Learning to control and develop the power to live for God gives us the ultimate human experience. The faith that will serve our needs until the end is our commitment to God through Jesus Christ. What a way to live one’s life!
Mrs. C. H. Morris, in her great song “Sweet Will of God” has written:
“My stubborn will at last has yielded;
I would be Thine and Thine alone
And this my prayer my lips are bringing,
“Lord, let in me Thy will be done”
“Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee;
Sweet will of God still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee.”