Willpower vs. Wordpower

thThe start of the new year always seems to be about willpower, even for those who don’t make official Resolutions. It’s the time to start over, the time to finally make those dreams come true. For people of faith it’s a time “to break that habit I’m ashamed of” or “to get serious about serving God and others.” Worthy goals…

Of which we almost invariably fall short.

In the Bible, God’s people fall short again and again: “We can’t do this. It’s too hard for us!” they complain. And so, after giving them the final words of the covenant, Moses offers the key to fulfilling it: “This commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach,” he says. No, “the word is very near you: it is in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it” (Deuteronomy 30:11, 12, 14). In short:

Willpower is not enough. Only wordpower will do. God fed the Hebrews for 40 years with a supernatural food called manna (literally “what is it?”). This, they were told, was “so he might make you understand that people do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3). In other words:

Don’t just read his word, let it be “in your mouth and in your heart” so that you can “observe” it, know it like you know yourself, make it a part of yourself, indeed, the very heart of yourself. The supernatural lives God calls us to require supernatural food!

Three years ago, I started a God’s word diet: memorizing, meditating upon, and praying his word daily. It has accomplished in me what willpower alone, no matter how achingly earnest, flyingnever could. The process is not over–I still have much growing to do. But, oh, how I’ve grown already. And, oh, how his word is changing me. Which is why my earnest prayer for you is that this year will not just be about willpower…

But about wordpower.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Willpower vs. Wordpower

  1. Excellent use of wordpower in this writing! A great reminder as God wants us to draw near to Him.
    Wordpower reminds me of God’s Living Word. God is still speaking is a phrase used by one of the denominations which supports your message. As for the resolution for this year…..I’m in no shape to exercise!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      Amen, Rick! God’s written word and Living Word are complimentary. In another post (linked to “God’s Word diet” in the post above) I suggest that one is the “app” that opens the other. Now, about that exercise plan… ;>)


  2. will power… another idol… but the fruit of the Holy Spirit is self control. this requires surrender to the only true and living God and His Word…not enough will power to do this? in subjection to Christ, there is plenty of strength to choose God and resist the Tempter. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” 2 Corinthians 12.4-5 …not will power…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. dawnlizjones says:

    “The supernatural lives God calls us to require supernatural food!” Awesome. May I quote you?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mlbnut says:

    We have been learning this important principle in our Wednesday night Bible study. I am going reblog this tomorrow if it’s OK. It is important for our fellowship to know that the Holy Spirit tell his truths to all who are listening! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. knabbler says:

    Thanks for this post, Mitch. Simple truth. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice post! I’m Hinduism we have a similar concept where we chant mantras for different purposes. However they all culminate into seeking strength through the Almighty’s name.


  7. BelleUnruh says:

    Wonderful. God’s word is truly alive, active and sharp.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. gwennonr says:

    Another excellent post. I wish I had read and understood these truths years ago!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love this! Unfortunately OR fortunately in my life I have learned this through adversities. I am grateful for it all! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mlbnut says:

    Reblogged this on Brentwood Family Fellowship and commented:
    This is from a blog I have started following. We have been learning about this most important principle. It awes me when I see the Holy Spirit leading others the way He is leading us. God is the same, whether you live in Texas or Ohio!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Roos Ruse says:

    Wonderfully put, Mitch. A great, challenging post! I love, “… let it be “in your mouth and in your heart” so that you can “observe” it…” This aptly pursues what I read from Bible Gateway/C.S. Lewis’s Selected Literary Essays this morning: “… You can read [The Bible] as literature only by a tour de force. You are cutting the wood against the grain, using the tool for a purpose it was not intended to serve…” I imagine trying to drive a nail with a shoe. I prefer a hammer.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    God’s power is in His words. That’s how the impossible is possible, right?
    Thanks for the reminder.

    In Christ,


    Liked by 1 person

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