As believers in Jesus, we experience the battle of wills in this earthly life. On one side of the struggle is our new spiritual life in Christ; on the other is our old sinful nature. Luke 9:23 Then he (Jesus) said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Our spiritual battle requires us to surrender daily to the Lord to overcome our sinful nature.
If we are honest with ourselves, we know that living out our new nature in Christ is not easy. Sometimes we fail and need to ask the Lord’s forgiveness. As the Holy Spirit works in us, He leads us to repentance and restoration.
We Need the Spirit’s Help
Our spiritual battle is real, but God does not leave us alone to fight this battle because the Holy Spirit helps us. The Apostle Paul gives additional insight into our spiritual battle.
Galatians 5:16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. We need the Holy Spirit’s assistance and fellow believers’ encouragement to overcome the battle of wills.
Do You Need Encouragement?
I believe we all need encouragement, we are better together, and the Lord is with us in this cosmic battle. As you reflect on the battle of wills in your life, where is God at work? When we are tempted to sin or be selfish, is the Lord teaching us to call out to Him? Luke 22:42Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus spoke those words as He contemplated the suffering that awaited Him on the cross. Jesus knows what it is like to struggle and will help you through your struggles.
As difficult as it is to yield to the Lord, it is the only way to defeat our sinful nature, and this battle begins in our minds. Galatians 5: 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.We can only overcome as the Spirit leads us. Then, as the Sunday school song says, when we are weak, He is strong.
To learn more about the battle of wills, listen here: