Recently, I read some research studies that indicate we have a limited amount of willpower and that it can be “exhausted”. I wrestled with this concept, believing God can give us the strength to say “no” or “yes” in every situation. I could see in the natural how it does work. Kids seem to know this about parents when they constantly ask for this or that until the parent finally gives in.
Then I felt the Lord reveal that He has given us just enough willpower to choose Him. If we had unlimited willpower in and of ourselves, we’d be the best Pharisees around, making consistently good decisions in our own power. But God didn’t create us like that. He created us for relationship and partnership with Him. We need Him.
This means that each day I submit my will to God, give Him rulership in my life. Then when decisions need to be made, I simply ask Him and then obey.
We weary ourselves out when it comes to decision making. “Should I exercise today? I really should. But I don’t feel like it right now and don’t have the time.” We go on and on, weighing the pros and cons, exhausting our ability to decide. But when we simply ask Jesus what we should do and listen for His still small voice, we flow in our day with Him. Our natural tendency is to think, “Jesus will always make me do what I don’t want to. He will make me exercise.” And yet, when we understand His true nature and love for us, He only wants what is best for us. Many times that might be exercise and He can give us the strength and joy in it. But other times, He might say, “Rest, My Child. Be refreshed in My love. Read a book instead.”
Of course, those things we already know are not a part of His will — deliberate sin, we simply say to Him, “I know this not something You have for me. Give me the strength to resist this temptation.”
When our kids are demanding this or that, instead of getting frustrated with saying “no” over and over, ask Jesus how He wants you to respond to your children. He might have a totally different approach you’d never thought of. He might show you the need your child has for your attention which is prompting the behavior and how to reveal His love to them.
Start each morning giving your will to the Lord, then let Him direct the many decisions you need to make each day.
“Dearest Father, today I give you my will. I choose You! Speak to me today in every situation I face, how to flow with Your Spirit. I find joy in partnering with you in every decision I make today, big or small. Thank you for giving me the strength to resist every temptation in Your power and might, in Jesus’ name.”