2 John 6—And this is love: that we walk according to His commands. This is the command as you have heard it from the beginning: you must walk in love.
The first Biblical reference to love God is recorded in Exodus 20:6. Moses teaches the Israelites to keep God’s commands and thereby demonstrate their love for Him. So, when John defines love in his letter to his readers, he is not sharing with them a new concept. But, as we all know, it is hard to walk in love with God. How do we strengthen willpower to be better God-lovers and, in the process, improve loving others and ourselves?
Andrew Murray wrote in Absolute Surrender, “We cannot do the will of God except by the power of God.” My first action to increase willpower is to pray, God please help me to live according to Your will by strengthening my self-control! Jesus told His disciples, “I assure you: Anything you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete” (John 16:23,24). Trust God to answer your heartfelt request for help.
Second, I need to set realistic goals. To aim at nothing is to hit nothing. Every year I set a goal to read through the entire Bible and I have completed this goal for over forty years. Scripture teaches me how to walk in love so it makes sense to stay immersed in it. Additionally, I spend time daily talking to God and, when I remember, trying to listen better. It is hard to get into sin if I am spending time worshiping Him, thanking Him, confessing my sins, seeking His direction, and sharing requests. My willpower is further improved by spending time with people who work hard to walk in love. Conversely, it helps to avoid the company of those who have no desire to please God and who are habitually in the practice of living unwisely.
Third, I find that exercise, a healthy diet, and sufficient rest are essential. Sloth breeds a sluggish mind. Unhealthy food feeds sickness. Fatigue leads to a critical spirit and degraded self-c0ntrol. I also find that when I am unwisely inactive, or stuck in a monotonous routine, I am more likely to entertain temptation. To walk in love requires vigilance!
Chip and Dan Heath share in their book Switch, that scientists have discovered through numerous studies that self-control is an exhaustible resource. Willpower is not something to be taken for granted. We must take the time to examine our lives and be disciplined enough to take the necessary steps to ensure that we are truly doing all we can to obey God’s will and walk in love. Something to think about . . . in reveration!
The results couldn’t be clearer: Self-control is a vital strength and key to success in life.—Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierney in Willpower
©2017 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)