Do You Have  Willpower?

There are many books for beginning readers, but Frog and Toad are my favorite. They give entertainment with a lesson.
Watch the u-tube of them as they try to show willpower.

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Toad bakes cookies and shares them with Frog. They can’t stop eating them.
Frog suggests putting the cookies in a box, but Toad says, “We can open the box.”
Frog suggests tying the box. But Toad says, “We can cut the string.”
Frog suggests putting the cookies high on a shelf. But Toad says, “We can climb the ladder, cut the string and open the box and eat a cookie.”
Finally, Frog gives the cookies to the birds. There’s no going back.
Toad doesn’t want that much willpower. He goes home to make a cake.

Are you Frog or Toad?
Too many times, I’m Toad. I want my cookies and I want to eat them too.

What habit are your trying break? Are you trying to lose weight? Exercise? Stop gossiping? Trying to forget or forgive the past? Do you struggle with bad memories?

Books have been written on breaking habits. Programs like AA or Weight Watchers Anonymous give accountability.
All those are great.

But they cannot help you if you don’t have one thing: the WANT TO.
The Apostle Paul struggled with this. It wasn’t about eating a cookie. His struggle was about wanting to sin, even when he knew he shouldn’t. Making sin a habit. Like what we talked about last week, the forgiving and forgetting of past wrongs done to you.
Did it help that he knew that sin would lead to death? No. 

What he wanted to do…he didn’t do. What he shouldn’t do, that’s what he did. “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.” (Romans 7:19-20)

War waged inside him that kept him doing or thinking wrong.
“Wretched man that I am!”
“For my thoughts are not (God’s) thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8)

“Who can set me free from the body of this death?”
God didn’t leave us struggling with this battle that we can’t win.

“For what we couldn’t do … God did, sending His own Son … as an offering for sin … so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit ... For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace ….” (Romans 8:4-7)

When we don't even know what we need, God does.
"In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27)

God  helps us with the "want to."
"It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." (Philippains 2:13)

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31)

How do we fight against wrong?
Those thoughts that tell you to hold on to the hurt instead of forgive, to pick at the wound instead of leave it alone.
Those thoughts that tell you that you can’t break the habit, or lose the weight or try again.
Those are fortresses in your mind that keep us from doing what God wants us to do.

What do we do with them? DESTROY them.
Paul answers that, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

“By taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Cor 10:5)

When those thoughts come (and they will), give them to God. Let Him hold it captive.
Instead focus not on the cookie, or the hurt, but on God.

The pull of those fortresses will weaken and you will stand strong by God’s strength.

Cookie? I gave it to the birds. But this time, I’m not rushing home to make a cake. I’m thanking God that He feeds even the birds.

How do you make yourself do what you don't want to do?

Great encouragement Sonya!

It is SO so true that we can't do it ourselves. I can't even begin to do it myself. Thanks for the reminder where to go when we need will power, for He is the only source.

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