Willpower Won’t Solve Your Problem
by Rick Warren
“I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.” (Romans 7:22-23 NLT)
You have a war inside of you that will rage for your entire life between who you used to be and who you’ve become in Jesus Christ. Paul, the most decorated missionary in the history of Christianity and the author of most of the New Testament, battled with it.
The Bible says in Romans 7:22-23, “I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me” (Romans 7:22-23 NLT).
I hate to tell you this, but you’ll always have this battle. You’ll never outgrow it. You can’t read enough Scripture to make the temptations go away. You can’t hide from them.
Until you get to Heaven, you’re stuck with an all-out battle between your two natures. I’ve been a believer for a long time, but my old nature is still there. My old nature wants me to be prideful, lustful, self-centered, deceptive, and just downright sinful sometimes.
The question is, what are you going to do about it?
Willpower won’t solve the problem. Just because you want to change and put everything into making that change doesn’t mean you’ll make the change. It may work for a bit, but you’ll get tired and stop the effort.
In your spiritual walk, you want to choose to follow your new nature, meaning you choose not to follow your old nature. For instance, if you’re tempted with lust but you immediately remove yourself from the temptation, you’ll starve the old self. If, when you’re tempted with pride, you remember your dependence upon God, your old nature can’t last long.
Talk It Over
In what ways do you see your old nature struggling with your new nature on a daily basis?
How can you set yourself up for success in these situations?
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Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller “The Purpose Driven Life.” His book, “The Purpose Driven Church,” was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2013 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
This devotional is based on the current Daily Hope radio series at http://www.rickwarren.org