Willpower! It’s the key to rebooting our lives, to making all of our bad habits go away and all of our dreams come true. Right? And for people of faith, it’s the key to stopping “that behavior I’m ashamed of” or finally getting 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 them the true key to fulfilling it: “This commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you,” he insists, “nor is it out of reach; the word is very near you: it is in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it” (Deuteronomy 30:11, 14).
Then, as now, knowing something “by heart” is the key to knowing it at the deepest level, to feed upon it with our thoughts the way we feed upon bread with our stomachs. Why?
Because willpower isn’t enough. Only wordpower will do. God fed the Hebrews for forty years with a supernatural food called manna (literally “what is it?”). He did this, they were told, so they would understand that they “do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3). In other words:
The key is to not just to read His word, but to let it be “in our mouths and in our hearts” so that we can “observe” it, know it like we know ourselves, make it a part of ourselves, indeed the very heart of ourselves. It is the app, so to speak, that God activates via his operating system, the Living Word (God’s presence in us).*
The supernatural lives God calls us to require supernatural food!
Five years ago, I started a God’s word diet: memorizing, meditating upon, and praying his word daily. And it has accomplished in me what willpower alone, no matter how achingly earnest, never 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 still. Which is why my earnest prayer for you is that your hopes and plans will focus not just on willpower…
But on wordpower!
*If you’d like to know more about how to “install” God’s “OS” in your heart, let me know!