Willpower vs. Wordpower

thWillpower! 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, 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 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!

About mitchteemley

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

22 Responses to Willpower vs. Wordpower

  1. Amen! Love this. “Wordpower,” amen! Somebody smart once quipped, “you should probably not use the same willpower that got you into trouble, to get you out of trouble.” That makes me laugh, that really is the definition of insanity, but so often that is what we try to do. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. smzang says:

    I’ll be looking for the next segment.
    I have the app and the manual that goes with it,
    but that growth thingie is so important.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. EXCELLENT!! 👍🏻🎉✝️💖

    Liked by 2 people

  4. WILLPOWER = my will + God’s power.
    I can’t do it without the latter; He won’t do it without the former.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. So true!! God’s word is living and alive and has the power to change us!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Knowledge of Sacred Teachings is indeed necessary, if one is to head in the right direction.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I spent time in my childhood going to church with my Baptist friend and memorized lots of scripture. I love that I retained most of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Good and timely, Mitch. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Yes! This has certainly proven to be true in my own life, Mitch.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. numrhood says:

    missing deuteronomy 30:13
    quote deuteronomy 55:36, 38, 39
    deuteronomy 33:03

    Liked by 1 person

  11. diman5 says:

    I find that God’s plan is for willpower to work with and for word power
    Will is of the mind but the word is spirit. The will is a tool for the spirit for living
    And ought not to be it’s competitor or alternative .

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Nancy Ruegg says:

    I, too, am SO thankful for God’s Word-power and His Spirit working in me to develop the fruit of will-power/self-discipline, contributing greatly to the abundant life Jesus talked about (John 10:10). Like you, Mitch, I recognize it’s not fully developed yet, but I’ve certainly seen improvement. Praise God he never gives up on us!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sandi Staton says:

    Great reminder Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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