‘Empowered’ Willpower [v207]

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MAY 2016

‘Empowered’ Willpower

Last month I discussed how to change a habit—and make it ‘stick’. The post focused on what is called the “habit loop,” with the ‘reminder’ being the trigger to initiate the desired change in a current behavior. I also mentioned that experts say that ‘easy’ habits take six to eight weeks to develop, though some behaviorists say it will take up to three months to make it become ‘automatic’—though some ‘very difficult’ things can sometimes take years to change. So, to make a new habit a ‘behavior’, it takes a lot of determination and self-control—it takes ‘WILLPOWER’!


We have many common names for willpower: determination, drive, resolve, self-discipline, and self-control. But psychologists characterize willpower, or self-control, in more specific ways. According to most psychological scientists, willpower can be defined as:

– The ability to delay gratification, resisting short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals or objectives
– The capacity to override an unwanted thought, feeling or impulse
– The ability to employ a “cool” cognitive system of behavior rather than a “hot” emotional system
– Conscious, effortful regulation of the self by the self
– A limited resource capable of being depleted


Many people believe they could improve their lives tremendously if they only had more of that ‘mysterious’ thing called willpower. With more willpower we would all eat right, exercise regularly, avoid harmful drugs and excessive alcohol intake, save for retirement, stop procrastinating, and achieve all sorts of noble goals.

Too often though, we assume that willpower is about having strong moral fiber or gritting our teeth and ‘staring down’ the threat. But that’s wrong. Willpower is really about properly directing the ‘spotlight’ of attention, learning how to control that short list of thoughts in working memory. Although we might not be able to resist the delicious temptations of the world, we can ‘outsmart’ them by finding ways to avoid that internal conflict in the first place. The only way to boost willpower is to recognize the inherent ‘WEAKNESS’ OF THE WILL.


In her book, “The Willpower Instinct,” Stanford Health Psychologist Kelly McGonigal describes the ways we use our willpower by breaking it into three categories—each of which use a different part of the brain.

The first is “will” power. It is what we use to ‘force’ ourselves out of bed when the alarm goes off, to make it to the gym, or to stay late working at the office when all your friends are at ‘the’ party.

Any time our natural inclination is to stop or give up, but we make a conscious decision to take some kind of action, we are exerting this form of willpower. This is the power to say “Yes.”

The second is “won’t” power. This is the ability not to ‘give in’ to temptations, such as food and shopping sprees. It is what we use to control our emotions and hold our tongue when involved in a dispute. This is the power to say “No.”

The third is “want” power. This is the most important form of willpower that we possess. It is the ability to see the ‘higher purpose’ behind our actions, and to work toward long-term goals.

Any time we feel like there is just no way we can ignore a temptation or persevere through a challenge, yet we find something deep ‘within’ ourselves to do the right thing, we are exerting this form of willpower. This is the power to say “Whatever it takes!” So, when one has an overarching goal or ‘inspiration’ in mind, it is much easier to ‘exert’ one’s willpower to achieve it.

Some people, when developing a plan to accomplish a goal, begin with “I have to” do this stuff to achieve the goal. Meanwhile, your brain is subconsciously ‘paying attention’ to this, by saying you “have to” do something, you are claiming that there are better things that you ‘want to’ do, but you are ‘restricted’ by your plan. Then, when it’s an ‘obligation’, your brain will devise excuses to skip doing something, especially if you are low on willpower (usually at the end of the day).

That’s why you should change your perspective, and switch your motivation to “get to.” This will shift your brain from using your “will” power to using your “want” power—which is much more ‘powerful’.

McGonigal also points out that one of the most replicated findings about willpower is that it seems to be finite—that is, we only have so much and it runs out as we use it. Willpower like a muscle—it can get exhausted by overuse. But, just like our physical muscles, there are some researchers who believe we might be able to strengthen our willpower by ‘training’ it.


Willpower is considered a laudable and coveted personality trait because it indicates that individuals are motivated to succeed, which translates to getting tasks done and accomplishing goals. This trait of is often associated with similar characteristics of resilience, which is the power to overcome setbacks rather than give into them.

Sometimes, even though people lack extraordinary talent, they accomplish great feats through feats of sheer willpower:

– It took Thomas Edison over 1,000 tries to make a working light bulb
– Beethoven composed five of the best-loved symphonies of all time while he was deaf
– Abraham Lincoln had dozens of failed businesses and failed attempts at public office before becoming President
– Henry Ford had five businesses fail before he created the Ford Motor Company
– “Colonel Sanders” was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant tried his chicken recipe
– Walt Disney had many failed businesses before founding the Disney Company
– Bill Gates dropped out of college to start a company that failed, but later founded Microsoft
[ Other examples: http://www.onlinecollege.org/2010/02/16/50-famously-successful-people-who-failed-at-first/ ].

Being determined to make things happen requires a commitment to a ‘purpose’. It has been said that, “Real leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination” (Author unknown).

The human being has proven it can do ‘amazing’ things by having a lot of willpower, by being determined, and not giving up. However, there is a ‘power’ available to us that takes ‘willpower’ to a WHOLE NEW ‘LEVEL’! That would be the ‘empowerment’ of the HOLY SPIRIT of God.


To do REALLY ‘AMAZING’ THINGS in this world, WILLPOWER IS JUST NOT ENOUGH! Just think of Moses parting the Red Sea, the apostle Peter walking on water, and Joshua stopping the sun for 12 hours—these could not have been done with ANY AMOUNT of willpower! The Holy Spirit ‘empowered’ them to do these things.

Pastor Rick Warren stated that, “Living by faith means you are attempting to do something you cannot do yourself. Anything you can do by your own efforts obviously does not require faith. But in the areas of your life that seem unchangeable—the intractable problems, the persistent areas of failure, the stubborn bad habits that won’t respond to willpower—these things require power greater than you possess.” He was discussing the Holy Spirit.

Even though psychologists say we can “train” ourselves to have more willpower, paradoxically, the Bible says that we will have the most willpower when we actually ‘SURRENDER’—to the Holy Spirit. Living under and by His power is freeing, calming, and settling. In the final analysis, growing in willpower means totally and unequivocally TRUSTING the Holy Spirit and His power to lead us.


So, how does one receive this ‘power’ from the Holy Spirit? Well, first off, He focuses on God’s ‘children’—someone who has ‘surrendered’ their life to His Son, Jesus, thus making peace with Him. [ More about this in a previous Life’s Deep Thoughts post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/know-peace-v201/ ].

The moment you ‘invite’ Jesus into your life as your Savior and Lord, you experience a spiritual birth (John 7:37-39), and at that specific ‘moment’ of salvation you became a child of God and are ‘filled’ with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:3). You are then given this ‘power’ to live a holy life and to be a fruitful ‘witness’ for God. The Holy Spirit takes up residence ‘inside’ you—permanently! (John 14:15-17).


By surrendering our will to His, and by asking Him to live His life in and through us (Galatians 2:20), we strengthen our willpower by having regular ‘contact’ with Jesus and God The Father.

It is an evidence that the Holy Spirit has come into your life, when your conscience in ‘sensitized’ to sin—awakening in you a new desire of not ‘giving into’ sin.

The power to become sensitized comes not by our willpower, efforts, talents, or ‘schemes’—it comes only through the power of the Holy Spirit.

His indwelling presence enables Christians to be changed from the inside out. Resolutions, willpower, and the best intentions are not enough. Only the Holy Spirit has the power to make the required changes God wants to make in our lives (Philippians 2:13).

The thing is, if you’ve ‘blown it’, take heart—only when we come to the ‘end’ of ourselves are we able to receive the Holy Spirit and experience His power!


[ NOTE: If you, at this time, would like to become a child of God, a suggested “reconciliation” prayer is below ].


As our divinely indwelling “Helper,” the Holy Spirit performs a function no human counselor can even approach. He is constantly there, pointing the way to the truth, applying the truth directly to your ‘heart’, prompting you to conform to the truth. In short, He ‘sanctifies’ us in the truth (John 17:17). “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).


The Holy Spirit’s main role in the Christian is that of teacher: “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

The more you saturate your mind with what you learn about the Holy Spirit from the Bible, the more He ‘controls’ your thoughts. By yielding yourself totally to the Word of God (the Bible) and letting it permeate your life, you’ll be controlled by the Spirit’s desires. The Bible says that we should be “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). What does that mean?

Well, it actually means to be constantly and continually controlled and empowered by His ‘presence’. The Holy Spirit overrides your normal abilities and actions, instead of doing things only with our own strength or ability. To live a “Spirit-filled life” means to yield yourself to the control of the Spirit to occupy every part of our lives, guiding and controlling us. Then His ‘power’ can be exerted through us so that what we do is ‘fruitful’ to God. The “filling” of the Spirit does not apply to outward acts alone; it also applies to the innermost thoughts and motives of our actions. Instead of doing only what we ‘want’ to do, we now are ‘guided’ by Him to do what we ‘should’ do. An illustration might clarify this.

A high jumper typically tries to clear seven feet. He backs up, gets in his stance, takes off running, lifts his foot, and then jumps over the bar with all of the effort that he can muster. He tries to go as high as he can go. The high jumper believes he can do it, and he does as much as he can. If he knocks over the bar, he goes back again and tries a little harder next time.

On the other hand, when a pole vaulter is planning to clear the bar, he will typically try to get over a much higher level—sometimes triple that of an Olympic high jumper can achieve. This is because the pole vaulter has a ‘helper’—a carbon fiber pole—and he is not merely depending on his own ‘ability’ to make it. He is ‘confident’ in the pole–trusting the pole has enough strength and elasticity to do what is needed in order to propel him over the bar. The pole vaulter is depending on what he is ‘attached’ to rather than simply relying on himself. Because of this, he is able to go higher and farther than he ever could have on his own. This could be a metaphor for the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s life.

When you rely on the Holy Spirit, He will give you abilities to do much more than you could ever imagine. He “is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” [ Ephesians 3:20 ]. The power IS IN YOU—you just need to learn to ‘access’ it! That happens when you YIELD every aspect of your life to the Spirit’s control.


Now, when one mentions the “power” of the Holy Spirit, many people think of miraculous demonstrations and intense emotions. But, most of the time the Holy Spirit’s power is released in your life in quiet, unassuming ways that you aren’t even aware of or feel. He often ‘nudges’ us with “a gentle whisper” or “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12), that most of the time is not ‘auditory’.

However, there was a very ‘impressive’ example of what the Holy Spirit can do back when Jesus left this earth. It is called “Pentecost.”

This was a VERY, VERY ‘UNIQUE’ instance—the ‘beginning’ of the Church—when God signaled the beginning of the immense change from the “Old Covenant” to the “New Covenant.”

Nothing like this had ever happened, before or since, in the history of the world—not even during Moses’ time or even Elijah’s time. What happened at Pentecost was to point to the apostles as the ‘messengers’ of God—and mention of this kind of thing happening faded out after the apostles passed away.

Prior to Pentecost, the saints of God were empowered both selectively and infrequently. But, just before Jesus left this earth, He promised the apostles: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” [ Acts 1:8 ].

The apostles were given extra ‘power’ for special service: “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.” They were given an “extra filling” to meet the tremendous demands that were going to be placed on them as they ‘founded’ the Church.

Immediately after the Holy Spirit “descended upon them,” the disciples spoke to the crowds gathered in Jerusalem (50 days after the “Feast of Passover”). These people hailed from a variety of nations, and therefore spoke many different languages. Imagine their surprise and wonder when the disciples spoke to them in their own languages! Clearly, this was not something the disciples could have accomplished on their own without many months—or even years—of study. The Holy Spirit’s power was made manifest to a great number of people that day, resulting in the conversion to Christianity of about 3,000 people!

[ NOTE: Jesus had done many “signs and wonders” with the Holy Spirit ‘empowering’ Him in a special way to demonstrate to people that He was not just a mere man, but that He was the Messiah of God that had been prophesied (Luke 3:22). So, He was given some unique ‘supernatural’ abilities that the apostles were not given (they never did any ‘miracles of nature’, as Jesus did, like multiplying food or stilling a storm). This was done to demonstrate and authentic Jesus, His ministry, and His Messiahship—therefore it is irreproducible and unrepeatable. ].

God did something REALLY ‘SPECIAL’ at Pentecost—something that is NOT EXPECTED to happen like it again until the “Tribulation” period.


So then, how does this all happen in our lives? Well, primarily through the choices we make. We choose to do the right thing in situations and then trust God’s Spirit to give us His power, wisdom, faith, hope, and love to do it. Since God’s Spirit lives ‘inside’ of us, these things are always available for the asking.

In the field of psychology, it generally refers to willpower as “self-regulation”—something that the apostle Paul knew about way back in the first century, when he listed “self-control” as a “fruit of the Spirit”—something that is CRITICAL for human flourishing. Without self-control—or “willpower”—we are vulnerable to the ravages of temptation and SIN.

We all have a natural ‘inclination’ to do the wrong thing, and a natural ‘resistance’ to doing the right thing—because sin is ‘fun’ (you wouldn’t do it if it was a ‘bummer’!). But that will only last for a while. The author of the Book of Hebrews said: “…enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin only for a season” [ Hebrews 11:25 ]. There are always ‘consequences’ of sin. After you have your ‘kicks’ there will be ‘kickbacks’! You will eventually ‘pay’ for it, and it won’t be worth the short-term pleasure!

To explain this a different way, the ‘law’ of sin can be looked at as the spiritual counterpart of the physical law of gravity—they both pull you down! As you can expect, it’s much easier for a person to pull someone else down from a ‘ledge’ than it is to be pulled up to the ledge—because then you are working ‘against’ the law of gravity. It is the same thing with sin—it is much easier to be ‘pulled down’ and do the wrong thing than it is to be ‘pulled up’ to do the right thing. An illustration might help here.

You say to yourself that you are going to ‘ignore’ the law of gravity, and you are going to ‘will’ yourself to be able to fly. So, you just jump off a cliff and start ‘flapping’ your arms really fast to make yourself fly. Well, you know what’s going to happen—you’re going to ‘meet’ the ground in a way that you would rather not! The law of gravity is ‘stronger’ than your human desire and ability to fly.

The same is true in the spiritual realm. When you try to do the right thing simply by your willpower, you’re just ‘flapping your wings’. It might happen for a little while—a few weeks or months—but eventually you’re going to ‘crash’! You eventually get tired and stop ‘flapping’. You are not going to ‘beat’ the law of gravity physically, and you’re not going to ‘beat’ the law of sin spiritually. It’s going to create great ‘frustration’ in your life! If you continue to try to overcome your ‘temptation’ with your own willpower, you will become frustrated and you will lose hope—which will then lead to discouragement and despair.

This “Frog and Toad” animation (“Cookies”) presents the ‘tests’ of willpower better than I can say it:


The reason for all of this is that a Christian has two “natures” inside them—which are in constant conflict. The “old nature” which you were born with, and your “new nature,” which was given to you when you became a Christian. The new nature always wants to do the right thing, but the old nature (“flesh”; “carnal self”; “old man”) will ‘war’ against it. It sometimes might actually feel like there’s two ‘people’ inside you. An Indian legend says this well:

“An old Cherokee Chief is teaching his grandson about life. ‘A fight is going on inside me,’ he said to the boy.

‘It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.’ He continued, ‘The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.’

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, ‘Which wolf will win?’

The Chief simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’”


So, even though the Christian tries to do right, your old nature will always be there trying to be prideful, self centered, lustful, or exaggerate—and willpower WILL NOT be strong enough to ‘defeat’ your old nature. If you think you are going to change by just ‘wanting’ to change, or ‘learning’ to change, you are going to be sadly disappointed! Knowing ‘what’ to do is not enough to change you.

The apostle Paul emphasized this when he said of himself: “So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me, loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in!” [ Romans 7:25 ].


You CAN’T ‘BEAT’ SIN with willpower. After a while you will get frustrated and the temptation will ‘overcome’ you—and you will go back to you old ways. You then will be at the ‘end of your rope’, totally defeated, and just want to give up—and that’s good! Yes, I said, “that’s good.” Because THERE IS A ‘CURE’!

The answer is not a ‘principle’, a ‘program’, or a ‘pill’. It’s not the latest ‘motivational’ book, going to a week-long ‘self-help’ retreat, or getting a prescription for anti-depression ‘medicine’. It’s a ‘person’—the HOLY SPIRIT—and He doesn’t just want to be a ‘resident’ in your life, He wants to be ‘President’ of your life! He wants you to ‘surrender’ it all to Him, and stop trying to do everything with your own ‘willpower’—because it’s impossible! All of own best intentions are not good enough. But, He can ‘empower’ you to win the internal ‘battle’. Let Him do it for you!

The apostle Paul said it this way: “So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves” [ Galatians 5:16 ].

You can have all the best intentions and make all the ‘promises’ to yourself that you aren’t going to do something, but your willpower will not be enough—you need the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will help you do the things you can’t do on your own, and will fulfill in you what God desires to do in your life.

Resolutions are great, and a good ‘start’, but to really ‘eradicate’ something in your life, you need to be ‘EMPOWERED’ BY THE HOLY SPIRIT!


The Bible tells us that God wants to ‘empower’ Christians to do things we cannot do by ourselves: “Your help will not come from your own strength and power. No, your help will come from my Spirit” [ Zechariah 4:6 ]. ‘Amazing’ things like the parting of the Red Sea, walking on water, or stopping the sun only happen very, very infrequently—when God is doing something really ‘special’ in the history of mankind—so, not all of us should ‘expect’ to do things like these.

But, if you are a Christian, you CAN EXPECT the Holy Spirit to regenerate you, participate in your justification, sanctify you, confirm your adoption as a ‘son’ of God, indwell you, and immerse you into the ‘union’ with other believers (called the “body of Christ” or the “Church”).

The Holy Spirit also gives you spiritual “gifts” to equip you in ministering to one another. He strengthens your ‘inner man’ for all righteousness. He guides you. He delivers you from sin. He illuminates the Scripture to your understanding, and He produces right ‘attitudes’ in you.


When the apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through [Christ] who strengthens me,” he was talking about the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence (Philippians 4:13). What this means is that within the believer is an indescribably rich power source. The Spirit works through people to get done what is impossible for them to accomplish alone. In fact, the Bible says that He can do “far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20)—and the apostle Paul certainly proved that with his prolific ministry.


What is God ‘calling’ you to do that’s “far more abundantly beyond all you think you can achieve”? Well, within you lies UNTAPPED POTENTIAL—not your own strength and abilities, but the unlimited ‘might’ of the Holy Spirit! His power will be ‘unleashed’ in response to your ACTING BY FAITH.

Now, just because you have this amazing ‘power’ inside you, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be able to do the things the apostles did—like ‘absolutely’ being able to heal others or yourself of any physical affliction. But, when the problems do come, the person with the Holy Spirit can help you ‘deal with’ any adversity with a calm and confident attitude.

In addition to all the things previously mentioned that the Holy Spirit provides, He also functions as “fruit-producer” in our lives. When He indwells us, He begins the work of harvesting His “fruit” in our lives—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). These are not works of our flesh—which is incapable of producing such ‘fruit’—but they are ‘products’ of the Spirit’s presence in our lives. The “fruit of the Spirit” is the character of Jesus, and the primary reason a Christian is ‘given’ the Holy Spirit’s power—is to make them become more ‘Christ-like’. It’s God’s purpose that the Christian would “become mature, attaining the full measure of perfection found in Christ” [ Ephesians 4:15 ]. The “fruit of the Spirit” is God’s ‘primary’ expectation for how we live out our lives.

[ For more detailed info about the “fruit of the Spirit,” read this previous Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-fruitful-life-v204/ ].


As one starts to ‘bear’ fruit—as God’s Word begins to ‘refine’ them—they receive more ‘power’ from the Holy Spirit. As we cannot produce ‘fruit’ (godliness) apart from the Holy Spirit, He ‘infills’ the Christian to “put to death” the old ‘nature’ helping them to ‘clothe’ themselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12).


Hopefully, by now, you understand that no ‘believer’ should attempt to live the Christian life or relate with the ‘world’ without the involvement of the Holy Spirit. Doing so will lead to a life of frustration!

But, some Christians feel they are ‘lacking’ in this power. All I can say to you—and me—is that if you feel that way, it’s not God’s fault. The power IS WITHIN YOU–all you need to do is turn on the ‘switch’!

Being ‘filled’ with the Holy Spirit is like having your house wired for electricity. The lights won’t come on until you flip the ‘switch’, and let the ‘power’ flow.

One of the things that keeps the Holy Spirit from being ‘manifest’ in your life is when you live for yourself rather than for Him—you are not ‘connected’ to Him so He can empower you. This illustration might help.

Let’s say you notice that your refrigerator is not working—the ice cream in the freezer is melting. So, you go online and research how to fix it. You find the manual for your exact model, and it shows you all the parts for your refrigerator. You spend a lot of time studying the manual, reading it thoroughly. Then, you go to the refrigerator and start adjusting things—applying what you learned. But, no matter how much you try what the manual said to do, nothing seems to be working. In fact, all you have done is frustrated yourself and wasted a bunch of time—while your ice cream is making a larger puddle.

After a few hours of effort, someone comes up behind you and says, “Hey, it’s unplugged!”

This is just like your spiritual life with the Holy Spirit. If you are not connected to His ‘power’—or don’t allow Him to empower you—you will waste your time trying to make your life ‘work’! You must develop an intimate ‘relationship’ with Him, so He can empower you and maximize the ‘destiny’ God has intended for you!


Of all the ‘gifts’ given to mankind by God—after that of Jesus—there is none greater than the presence of the Holy Spirit. So, my prayer for you is that you would be willing to ‘surrender’ to the Holy Spirit, be “filled” by Him, and be ‘used’ by Him for God’s glory! Also, that you would be constantly aware of His ‘presence’ and be sensitive to Him. In doing this, mixed with a little bit of faith and some practice, you will begin to regularly experience intimacy with God on an ENTIRELY NEW ’LEVEL’—making the reality of His Kingdom ever more present daily in your life, and in the lives of others you interact with!


The thing is, the Holy Spirit’s ‘voice’ is often a “gentle whisper” to our ‘hearts’—and ‘hearing’ Him requires the discipline of taking time to ‘listen’ carefully.

So, how do we become more sensitive to the ways of the Holy Spirit? Well, we have to develop a ‘listening ear’—to ‘still’ our spirit enough to not allow other ‘voices and hindrances’ from getting in the way of our hearing the Holy Spirit. It is not by accident that “He that has an ear, let him hear” is repeated 16 times in the New Testament—and of those, seven times the words “let him hear what the Spirit is saying” are added (ex: Revelation 2:29).


Jesus promises that when we ask the Father He will increase the work of the Spirit in us: “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” [ Luke 11:13 ]. SO, ASK!!! He wants to GIVE IT TO YOU!


Though psychology researchers tell us that human willpower is finite, the ‘empowering’ and ‘filling’ of the Holy Spirit in a Christian is LIMITLESS! It is not how much of the Spirit we have, but how much the Spirit has of us—and that’s UP TO US!

Sadly, because we are ‘sinful’ creatures, we will never experience ‘all’ of the great power of the Holy Spirit has to offer on this earth, but, through intense prayer, we CAN ‘TAP’ into His ‘power’ enough to OVERCOME OUR WILL—with HIS ‘WILLPOWER’!


Developing your willpower will definitely help you accomplish ‘great’ things in this life—but they are not going to last forever (“The earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” – 2 Peter 3:10 and “For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” – 2 Corinthians 4:18b).

The apostle Peter emphasizes this by going back to the Old Testament (Isaiah 40:6-8) to reiterate that your “new life” (being a Christian) will last forever, because you ‘follow’ the teachings of the “eternal, living Word of God” (the Bible):

“People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the Word of the Lord remains forever” [ 1 Peter 1:24-25 ].


We are going to be on this earth about 80-100 years—a ‘blink of the eye’ in comparison to eternity! So, if you want to do something that WILL LAST FOR ETERNITY, the Bible tells us how and what to do: You must be ‘right with God (be “born again”), then you will be ‘empowered’ by the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit’s help, He will ‘sanctify’ you by developing in you “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” [ 1 Corinthians 13:13 ].


As a reminder, the Holy Spirit’s goal is to develop in you the ‘character’ of Jesus—the “fruit of the Spirit.” It just so happens that the first ‘quality’ of the “fruit of the Spirit” is “love”—one of those ‘things’ that will LAST FOREVER!


Jesus was also pretty ‘direct’ about what we need to do: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” [ John 3:5 ].

So, I pray that “God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13); that “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26); and that “from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit” (Ephesians 3:16).


[ Excerpts from: Tony Evans; Rick Warren; John MacArthur; Wayne Mack; Kelly McGonigal; Dr. Bill Bright; American Psychological Association ]


If you would like to ‘give’ your life to Jesus, you can do it right now—right where you are. There’s no magical words to say, you just need to believe in your ‘heart’ that God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, is God in the flesh, rose from the dead, and is alive today—and when He died on the cross, He took your place as your substitute sacrifice for your sins. If you sincerely believe this, then admit you are a sinner, confess your sins, and that you will trust Jesus alone for your salvation, committing your life to His service.

You could say something like the following (in your own words if you would like):

Dear Lord Jesus,
I understand that I am a sinner, and I can’t save myself. I sincerely repent of my sins, and ask You for forgiveness and mercy. I believe that You died on the cross as my substitute, paying my sin debt in full so that I could receive Your forgiveness and have eternal life. I ask You to come into my life right now and become my personal Savior. From this day forward, I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to take control, and guide me be the kind of person you want me to be. Give me a ‘new beginning’, and help me to live for You. Amen.



(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)

So, if you DESIRE TO HAVE the attitudes and character of Jesus, you may want to consider using the “FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES” PLACARD:


[ NOTE: Get FREE DAILY ‘REMINDERS’ of the “Fruits Of The Beatitudes.” You will receive three Beatitude/fruit of the Spirit ‘pairings’ each day (just two simple ‘phrases’)—one at 8 am, one at 12:00 noon, and one at 4 pm (EST)—to give you that ‘REMINDER’ that is essential to making a ‘positive’ change in your life. Click here to get them:

E-MAIL: http://bit.ly/FruitsOfTheBeatitudesEmail
(Tell me if you would rather receive a text message).

FYI: They start on the 1st of the month and end on the 10th of the month. Since habits usually take at least 21 days to ‘stick’ (and sometimes longer), the reminders will then ‘restart’ from the beginning on the 11th through the 20th—and then from the 21st to the 30th. You will get a ‘special’ message on those months with 31 days. Also, I will not send you anything else (not related to the “F.O.T.B.”), I will not ‘share’ your e-mail address with anyone else, and you can unsubscribe at any time ].


The following is what you will receive in your e-mail. One ‘pairing’ (“Beatitude” and “fruit of the Spirit”) each day, for nine days (just two simple ‘phrases’). The first two ‘actions’ at 8 am, the second two at 12:00 noon, and the last two at 4 pm (EDT). The ‘summary’ will be sent on the tenth day. Since habits usually take at least 21 days to ‘stick’, the reminders will then ‘restart’ with the first ‘pairing’.

(Note: The first ‘set’ of reminders start on the 1st of the month and end on the 10th of the month. They ‘restart’ from the beginning on the 11th through the 20th, and then ‘restart’ again from the 21st to the 30th. You can discontinue them anytime you want).


E-mail Subject Line:

E-mail ‘Body’ Text:
LOVE: Does not ‘harm’ anyone

Click here to get them:
E-MAIL: http://bit.ly/FruitsOfTheBeatitudesEmail

[ If you are interested in how I came up with the “FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES,” read these past posts of “Life’s Deep Thoughts”:

“THE BEATITUDES”: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-blessed-life-v203/

“FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT”: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-fruitful-life-v204/

“FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES”: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/causal-associations-v205/ ].




Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire: What Happens When God’s Spirit Invades the Hearts of His People
By: Jim Cymbala

The Times Are Urgent God Is on the Move Now Is the Moment to … ask God to ignite his fire in your soul! Pastor Jim Cymbala believes that Jesus wants to renew his people―to call us back from spiritual dead ends, apathy, and lukewarm religion. Cymbala knows the difference firsthand. Thirty-five years ago his own church, the Brooklyn Tabernacle, was a struggling congregation of twenty. Then they began to pray … God began to move … street-hardened lives by the hundreds were changed by the love of Christ … and today they are more than ten thousand strong. The story of what happened to this broken-down church in one of America’s toughest neighborhoods points the way to new spiritual vitality in the church and in your own life. Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire shows what the Holy Spirit can do when believers get serious about prayer and the gospel. As this compelling book reveals, God moves in life-changing ways when we set aside our own agendas, take him at his word, and listen for his voice.


The Holy Spirit: Activating God’s Power in Your Life
By: Billy Graham

Exciting, revolutionary power is available exclusively to you as a Christian . . .

It is the supernatural power:

To transform human nature
To be the salt of the earth, and the light of the world
To bring about a dramatic but peaceful revolution in those around you
To face any crisis
You cannot buy this extraordinary power, nor can you find it by searching the earth for it. As a Christian it resides in you already, an awesome gift from God that you have only to claim and use once you know and accept its Source.

Christians are powerful people, Billy Graham reminds us in this inspiring and insightful book, because “we have the mighty power of God available to us through…the Holy Spirit,” He comes to us with no conditions attached. Jesus simply said, “If I go, I will send Him to you.”

With prayerful reverence and focused wisdom, Dr. Graham puts an understandable face on this mysterious third Person of the Trinity: The Holy Spirit is “not an impersonal force, like gravity or magnetism. He is a Person, with all the attributes of personality. But not only is He a Person, He is divine as well . . . . He comforts us. Guides us. Sanctifies us. He tells His servants what to preach. He directs missionaries where to go. He helps us in our infirmities. . .”

Read this amazing book and see anew how this Person can transform your life and give you the power “to be truly good” and “to live victoriously.”


Who Is the Holy Spirit?
By: R.C. Sproul


The topic of the Holy Spirit sparks much interest these days, but also much confusion. Thanks to extra-biblical assertions about the Spirit’s person and work, ideas abound as to who the Spirit truly is, how He operates in time and space, and what precisely He does.


The Third Person
The Life Giver
The Advocate
The Sanctifier
The Anointer
The Illuminator

Part of the Crucial Questions booklet series


Holy Spirit Power
By: Charles H. Spurgeon

Spurgeon shows that the Holy Spirit wants to be our Comforter, Teacher, and mighty Helper. The miraculous new life the early Christians lived amazed the world and turned it upside down. You can know Him personally and experience His miracles.

Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit
By: Charles F. Stanley

Is the third Person of the Trinity a distant mystery, a vague cosmic force?

Many believers acknowledge Him as a component of faith?but perhaps not as a reality in their daily spiritual walk. Yet the Bible is clear: the Holy Spirit is a vital, equal part of God, promised by the Father to all Christians.

In Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit, beloved pastor and Bible teacher Charles Stanley reveals the inner working of the Spirit with simple, straightforward wisdom. With this book, you can better experience this awesome gift of God as you discover:

– What holiness is?and is not
– Seven works of the Holy Spirit in your life
– Three potentials God desires you to develop
– How to remain full of the Holy Spirit
– Four great questions to ask God every day

If you are faltering, or easily fall prey to temptation, maybe you’ve forgotten to rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit and begun to rely only on yourself. The Christian life is meant to be increasingly dependent on His power working within you. Learn today to live in the power of the Holy Spirit


Experiencing the Power of the Holy Spirit: You Can Live God’s Best Each Day
By: Lloyd John Ogilvie

Bestselling author and pastor Lloyd John Ogilvie has spent years observing―and experiencing himself―the deep needs of Christians, and why those needs for love, comfort, guidance, or discernment often go unmet.

In Experiencing the Power of the Holy Spirit, he draws on Scripture to illuminate the living and active work of the Spirit. Because many believers have a limited view of their great Advocate, Counselor, Helper, and Companion, they don’t realize that in day-to-day life they can depend on Him to…

– Encourage, guide, and correct them, and prompt them to speak or act appropriately
– Help them identify deep motives and penetrate to the root of personal struggles
– Help them discern in prayer what is best in a situation

When believers build their lives upon reliance on the Spirit, they can live confidently in life’s stressful situations and relationships, knowing they have a Friend who is always there to help.


Holy Spirit And Power
By: John Wesley

The Holy Spirit and Power contains ten Spirit-empowered, original, sermons of John Wesley from John Wesley’s “Standard Sermons,” excerpts from John Wesley’s testimony, material from “The Journal of the Rev. John Wesley,” portions from his letter to Dr. Conyers Middleton. To further help you there are points about Holy Spirit power at the end of each message, a subject index, and a full index of complete Holy Spirit passages from The King James Version of the Bible. Learn what the Holy Spirit does and how to have Him increasingly work in your life.


How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
By: A. W. Tozer

Before we deal with the question of how to be filled with the Holy Spirit, there are some matters which first have to be settled. As believers you have to get them out of the way, and right here is where the difficulty arises. I have been afraid that my listeners might have gotten the idea somewhere that I had a how-to-be-filled-with-the-Spirit-in-five-easy-lessons doctrine, which I could give you. If you can have any such vague ideas as that, I can only stand before you and say, “I am sorry”; because it isn’t true; I can’t give you such a course. There are some things, I say, that you have to get out of the way, settled.


Spirit Rising: Tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit
By: Jim Cymbala

What will God do when you open your life to the Holy Spirit?

Christianity is impossible without the Holy Spirit. So why do we talk so little about him? In Spirit Rising, Pastor Jim Cymbala combines biblical insights with stunning stories of the Holy Spirit’s work to help you experience God’s power in a new way.

Nothing will change your prayer life, your church, or your study of God’s Word more than opening your heart to the Spirit. So if you want more excitement and joy, come discover a deeper understanding of how the Holy Spirit moves—and how you can join him.

“Jim Cymbala invites you and me to raise our sails and ride the warm winds of God’s Spirit. His careful study and personal credibility merge to create this guide to power-packed living.” [ Max Lucado, Pastor and bestselling author ]


Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit
By: Francis Chan and Danae Yankoski

A follow up to the profound message of Crazy Love, Pastor Francis Chan offers a compelling invitation to understand, embrace, and follow the Holy Spirit’s direction in our lives.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and … the Holy Spirit. We pray in the name of all three, but how often do we live with an awareness of only the first two? As Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised to send the Holy Spirit—the Helper—so that we could be true and living witnesses for Christ. Unfortunately, today’s church has admired the gift but neglected to open it.
Breakthrough author Francis Chan rips away paper and bows to get at the true source of the church’s power—the Holy Spirit. Chan contends that we’ve ignored the Spirit for far too long, and we are reaping the disastrous results. Thorough scriptural support and compelling narrative form Chan’s invitation to stop and remember the One we’ve forgotten, the Spirit of the living God.


The Holy Spirit Unleashed in You: Acts
By: Kay Arthur

Acts is a gold mine of truths about living and walking by the Spirit. Readers will discover the dynamic working of God’s Spirit in the lives of early believers–and in the lives of believers today.


40 Days With the Holy Spirit: A Journey to Experience His Presence in a Fresh New Way
By: R.T. Kendall

The Holy Spirit is greater than our theology, bigger than our denominations, and truly beyond anything we can imagine. In Forty Days With the Holy Spirit, respected preacher and theologian R. T. Kendall takes you on a journey through daily readings from his book, Holy Fire, that will:

– Present inspiring insight into the Holy Spirit
– Provide a scriptural basis for deeper study
– Direct your prayer time as you seek to know and encounter Him in a fresh new way
– Provide journaling space to record your experiences with Him

If you desire to increase your knowledge of this most misunderstood member of the trinity, or if you long to experience His presence in your life in a deeper way than ever before, this book is for you.


Holy Fire: A Balanced, Biblical Look at the Holy Spirit’s Work in Our Lives
By: R.T. Kendall

The Holy Spirit…
Greater than your theology, bigger than denominations, beyond all we can imagine, God’s gift to the church and to you

Debate about the Holy Spirit has been around for a long time. In Holy Fire, best-selling author and respected theologian R. T. Kendall sets the record straight about the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives and in the life of the church.

If you want to increase your knowledge of this most misunderstood member of the Trinity, or if you long to experience His presence in your life in a deeper way than ever before, this book is for you.

Are you charismatic? He is bigger than your signs-and-wonders events. Are you Reformed? He will not be limited by your theology. As Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “He blows where He will.”


Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
By: Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney

Pioneering research psychologist Roy F. Baumeister collaborates with New York Times science writer John Tierney to revolutionize our understanding of the most coveted human virtue: self-control. Drawing on cutting-edge research and the wisdom of real-life experts, Willpower shares lessons on how to focus our strength, resist temptation, and redirect our lives. It shows readers how to be realistic when setting goals, monitor their progress, and how to keep faith when they falter. By blending practical wisdom with the best of recent research science, Willpower makes it clear that whatever we seek—from happiness to good health to financial security—we won’t reach our goals without first learning to harness self-control.




CLICK ON THE LINK to download a nicely formatted ‘PLACARD’ that has the Beatitudes on one side and the corresponding fruit of the Spirit on the other. Each ‘pairing’ also has a few suggested ‘action’ items to help you ‘develop’ them in your life. (Maybe tape it to your bathroom mirror to give you a reminder of what ‘paring’ you want to focus on that day):


[ Mark Besh ]



If you think it would be helpful to do something ‘physically’ to remind yourself during the day that you want to focus on the particular “Fruits Of The Beatitudes” you are doing that day, I could get the 9 ‘pairings’ printed onto some SILICONE BRACELETS pretty inexpensively. Tell me if you are interested. [ I will be wearing a ‘converted’ Xiaomi Mi band, that will ‘force’ me to physically change the pairing each day—to make me read the ‘pairing’ and ‘emphasize’ the reminder before I start my day ].

Click here to get them:
E-MAIL: http://bit.ly/FruitsOfTheBeatitudesEmail

[ Mark Besh ]



[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what the Bible has to say about producing certain traits in our lives, visit the following link:
http://4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q11_d5_1of10.html ].


LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v207) for MAY 2016
If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net



Spirit of The Living God
Spirit of The Living God
We Only Want To Hear Your Voice
We’re Hanging on Ever Word 2X

Come And Speak To Us O Lord

Spirit of The Living God
Spirit of The Living God
We Only Want To Hear Your Voice
We’re Hanging On Every Word 2X

Because When You Speak, When You Move.
When You Do What Only You Can Do
It Changes Us, It Changes What We See And What We Seek

When You Come In The Room
When You Do What Only You Can Do
It Changes Us, It Changes What We See And What We Seek
You’re Changing Everything
Spirit of The Living God
Spirit of The Living God
We’re Leaning Into All You Are Everything Else Can Wait
Spirit of The Living God
Spirit of The Living God
Come Down And Breath Upon Our Hearts
Come Down And Have Your Way

Because When You Speak, When You Move.
When You Do What Only You Can Do
It Changes Us, It Changes What We See And What We Seek

When You Come In The Room
When You Do What Only You Can Do
It Changes Us, It Changes What We See And What We Seek

When You Move, You Move All Our Fears
When You Move, You Move Us To Tears 2X
When You Fall, We Fall On Our Knees
When You Fall, We Fall At Your Feet 2X

Because When You Speak, When You Move.
When You Do What Only You Can Do
It Changes Us, It Changes What We See And What We Seek

When You Come In The Room
When You Do What Only You Can Do
It Changes Us, It Changes What We See And What We Seek

Spirit of The Living God
Spirit of The Living God
We Only Want To Hear Your Voice
We’re Hanging On Every Word 2X



1. It means focusing on your heart’s desire(s) and not giving up on your goal(s) when you are forced beyond your comfort zone or when inevitable setbacks or disappointments happen.

2. It means focusing on changing the things you can and not complaining about or focusing on the things you cannot.

3. It means taking action and doing what is hard & necessary to get things done and not expecting others to do it for you.

4. It means facing your fears and battling doubts, but refusing to give in to either.

5. It means making mistakes, falling down, or suffering embarrassment—but learning from these experiences and using them to push forward towards your goal—not letting them weaken your resolve or overcome you.

6. It means taking steps every single day, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, and no matter how small your steps may be, to move towards your heart’s desires.

7. It means focusing on the bigger picture—making sacrifices and delaying gratification in order to invest in where you intend to go.

8. It means letting go of trying to please or be “friends” with everyone.

9. It means potentially (likely) stirring things up, causing a “ruckus”, drawing complaints, or attracting “haters” due to your actions—and pushing forward regardless.

10. It means dealing with the criticism from friends, family, colleagues, competitors, or anyone at any time who may cross your path and judge you or laugh at you or tell you “you can’t” or “you won’t”, but not letting it stand in the way of you and your goal.

11. It means living with integrity—sticking up for your beliefs & values and being honest with yourself and others—even when it’s uncomfortable or your views or goals appear unpopular.

12. It means constantly seeking ways to improve yourself and your “craft” and better ways to do whatever is necessary to achieve your goal.

13. It means not giving up when a door is slammed in your face or you are told “no” 99 times—instead, you focus on finding alternative paths to your goal—some way, somehow to get to the person behind the 100th door that says “yes”.

14. It means if you are offended, betrayed, or belittled by people who are close to you or you discover others working against you, not letting it derail you from reaching your ultimate goal.

15. It means continually and deliberately reaching beyond your comfort zone and doing what others won’t in order to achieve your goal.

16. It means understanding both your strengths and your weaknesses—and maximizing one while trying to minimize the other.

17. It means fueling your own fire and being a significant source of your own motivation—utilizing your passion for what you’re doing to achieve your goal.

18. It means finding a way, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable what you’re doing may be, to enjoy and learn from the process and journey—to live in the present and appreciate what you’re doing or any positive impact it may have on others.

19. It means believing in yourself and a goal that may appear “unrealistic” or against the odds to man—but knowing deep down that it’s not only possible, but that you can do it.

20. It means living up to your own standards.

Giving up is the easiest thing to do. In fact, many times people are happy to accept quitting as long as one appeared to put in some effort—even if it wasn’t their best—“It’s ok, you did the best you could.”

Some may even tempt you with, “No one will think any less of you for quitting.”, but…

If you’re truly going after your heart’s desires and you truly believe in yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish, then it doesn’t matter what other people think because you’re not doing it for them—you’re doing it for you.

[ Zero Dean ]


Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down
Oh, Comforter and Friend
How we need Your touch again
Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down

Let Your power fall
Let Your voice be heard
Come and change our hearts
As we stand on Your word

Holy Spirit, rain down

No eye has seen, no ear has heard
No mind can know what God has in store
So open up Heaven, open it wide
Over Your church and over our lives



The sixth in the foundational attributes of sales effectiveness is Determination.

Determination follows the first attribute, self-discipline. Self-discipline provides the foundation for the ability to persevere, to keep trying even when things aren’t working.

Determination follows the second attribute, optimism. Optimism enables determination by allowing you to continue to try without being discouraged.

Determination stands on top of the third attribute, competitiveness, enabling you to continue fight and to win in a tough contest.

Determination follows the fourth attribute, initiative, sustaining the desire and the ability be proactive.

Determination follows the fifth attribute, resourcefulness, allowing you to persevere until you finally find a way to succeed or until you make one.

[ Anthony Iannarion ]

(Parody of “Spirit In The Sky” by Norman Greenbaum)

When He died and was raised from the dead—taught us all 40 days then He said
Well my friends, It’s time to fly, but wait up for the Spirit to arrive
Go wait up for the Spirit from on High
That’s who you’re gonna know when I fly
When I fly and you may be depressed
He’s gonna grow you in faith to pass the test.

Prepare yourselves, but don’t get so rushed—God’ll have a Friend come teach ya
Don’t you know that when I fly—I’m gonna recommend He put the Spirit in you guys
Gonna recommend He put the Spirit in you guys
To show you miracles, make you wise
When I fly if you wait you’ll be blest
He’s gonna blow through this place in just a bit.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven
and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed
to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other
tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Never been a preacher but ever since I got that Friend from Jesus
Don’t you know I’ve been on fire ’cause God has filled me up with the Spirit inside
God has filled me up with the Spirit inside
That’s why I’m gonna go far and wide
Far and wide with the faith I confess
I’m gonna go every place and tell the rest—Show ’em the way that’s the best.

[ ApologetiX – “Jesus Christ Morningstar” album ]



Willpower: I’ve spent much of my life curious about why some people have it, and some don’t. Some say they’re going to lose 10 pounds and they do it without struggle.

The rest of us struggle to some degree. Should I have the fries or the salad? We argue with ourselves, and the angel and the devil on our shoulders seem to be in cahoots to keep us going in circles.

Willpower Is a Learned Skill
I spent two years researching the topic of willpower in the fields of psychology and neuroscience. I discovered that willpower, a quality I thought was reserved for a certain set of people, can be learned. Here is a sampling of mindsets those with strong willpower possess.

1. Clearly define what you want.
How do you know you’re “giving in” or “resisting” if you don’t even know what outcome you desire? Gaining clarity on your goals eliminates room for negotiation, a fierce willpower killer.

The first step to developing great willpower is to get crystal clear on what you want your life to be like and why. This helps you clearly define what actions to take and what to avoid. (Hint: it helps greatly if your “why” ties into a higher purpose that’s much bigger than you.)

2. Believe you can.
While we don’t have control over everything, we have total control over what kind of behavior we expect of ourselves. Whatever we believe is true, because our choices reflect what we believe.

If your belief is “It’s too hard,” then you will act in line with that belief. Doubt prevents us from making real effort. People with extraordinary willpower know that you will achieve what you believe. When you think you’ll succeed, you’ll find ways to do just that.

3. Solve problems instead of giving up.
Change is uncomfortable, and so when most people bump up against an obstacle, they’re happy to throw in the towel and see that as an excuse to maintain the status quo.

Those with great willpower see a bump in the road and take a moment to figure out how to get around it. With practice, anyone can become a creative problem solver, and it’s a lot more fun than giving up and staying stuck.

4. Take full responsibility.
The fastest way to get trapped in unhealthy habits is to blame circumstances and people for that which you have control over.

People with extraordinary willpower fully accept the statement, “I alone am responsible for my actions, my habits and my life.” No matter how you were raised or what kind of day you had, instead of looking to blame, divert your attention to how you can succeed and how you can follow through with healthy decisions and actions.

5. Be willing to pay the price.
When we fear the pain that change brings, we get stuck inside the tiny bubble of our “comfort zone” that represents familiar behaviors, thoughts and feelings.

People with extraordinary willpower know they’ll endure a certain level of discomfort to get what they want. They understand that stretching and pushing themselves out of their comfort zone is simply part of the system of change.

6. Be fully present to your emotions.
Many of us will grab a pint of ice cream or a glass of wine at the first sign of distress. (Wine and snacking in front of the TV were my go-to stress relievers prior to my research.)

Emotions? Yuck! Except for the happy one, right? Well, no, not really. Emotions help us navigate through life. As Albert Einstein said, “Discontent is the first necessity of progress.” When you feel your feelings and stay in touch with your own needs and desires for your life, you focus on making improvements rather than avoidance.

7. Be open to positive possibilities.
Our brains are like a filter, clinging to all the negative experiences we have as we go through life as “learning experiences,” while tossing aside the positive experiences as “flukes” or coincidences. Psychologists call this the negativity bias, and we’re all inflicted with it.

When you become conscious of this tendency, it gets easier to flip the equation and focus on what’s working and what you’re doing right, which is an essential motivating element of sticking to your plans.

8. Love yourself unconditionally.
Many of us think we can whip ourselves and our lives into shape by punishing ourselves with diets or routines we don’t even like. That’s a miserable way to live, and it sets us up to swing in the direction of overindulgence once we’ve had enough torture.

In order to form habits, a key component is pleasure. We’ve been wrongly conditioned to think that hard work, healthy food and exercise aren’t pleasurable. What we often forget is that healthy habits and productive actions can easily be enjoyable when we consciously frame them that way.

To strengthen your willpower, get creative in finding pleasurable and healthy ways to show yourself unconditional love.

9. Focus on values, not perfection.
When we act from a place of expecting perfection, we keep our lives restricted by rules to maintain a false sense of control, which results in a fear of making mistakes. Perfectionism is a pass/fail game that cannot be won. When we inevitably make mistakes because we’re only human, we experience a crisis of confidence, hopelessness or shame.

When we drop perfectionism and instead we focus on our values — which encompasses the big picture and our “why” of point number one — we’re better able to learn from mistakes. This promotes wisdom, improvement and growth. We get better over time at recognizing how certain behaviors add to or subtract from our positive experience of life and it gets easier to steer our choices accordingly.

10. Don’t judge others negatively for having what you want.
Frankly, it’s much easier to criticize others than it is to go after what we really want in life, but while we’re busy judging and comparing, we have way less time and energy left over to make our own lives great.

People with extraordinary willpower look objectively at other people’s success, admire the hard work that went into it, and use that as inspiration. Rather than begrudging others for having what we want, we can develop extraordinary willpower by directing our energy towards figuring out what we want in life and making it happen.

Katie Morton helps people overcome sabotaging and numbing behaviors in order to live big, blissful lives. Get her free eBook, 10 Steps to a Blissful Life, to learn how to break bad habits and start living big.

[ Katie Morton ]


There’s nothing worth more that would ever come close,
No thing can compare, You’re our living Hope,
Your presence, Lord.

I’ve tasted and seen of the sweetest of loves,
When my heart becomes free and my shame is undone,
Your presence, Lord.

Holy Spirit You are welcome here,
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere.
Your glory God is what our hearts long for,
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord.
The presence Lord

Let us become more aware of Your presence.
Let us experience the glory of Your goodness x 3




“Willpower is the key to success. Successful people strive no matter what they feel by applying their will to overcome apathy, doubt or fear.”
[ Dan Millman ]

“Indeed, the best way to think of willpower is not as some shapeless behavioral trait but as a sort of psychic muscle, one that can atrophy or grow stronger depending on how it’s used.”
[ Jeffrey Kluger ]

“We can use decision-making to choose the habits we want to form, use willpower to get the habit started, then – and this is the best part – we can allow the extraordinary power of habit to take over. At that point, we’re free from the need to decide and the need to use willpower.”
[ Gretchen Rubin ]

“Most of life’s actions are within our reach, but decisions take willpower.”
[ Robert McKee ]

“Willpower is trying very hard not to do something you want to do very much.”
[ John Ortberg ]

“Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from indomitable will.”
[ Mahatma Gandhi ]

“Will is character in action.”
[ William McDougall ]

“Never go backward. Attempt, and do it with all your might. Determination is power.”
[ Charles Simmons ]

“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”
[ Og Mandino ]

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal—a commitment to excellence—that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
[ Mario Andretti ]

“I’ve always found that anything worth achieving will always have obstacles in the way and you’ve got to have that drive and determination to overcome those obstacles on route to whatever it is that you want to accomplish.”
[ Chuck Norris ]

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.”
[ Tommy Lasorda ]

“I’ve known entrepreneurs who were not great salespeople, or didn’t know how to code, or were not particularly charismatic leaders. But I don’t know of any entrepreneurs who have achieved any level of success without persistence and determination.”
[ Harvey Mackay ]

“Time can be an ally or an enemy. What it becomes depends entirely upon you, your goals, and your determination to use every available minute.”
[ Zig Ziglar ]

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.”
[ George A. Sheehan ]

“Never give in—never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
[ Winston Churchill ]

“Without the Spirit of God, we can do nothing. We are as ships without the wind, branches without sap, and like coals without fire, we are useless.”
[ Charles H. Spurgeon ]

“Stubbornly persist, and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits.”
[ Robert Brault ]

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
[ Calvin Coolidge ]

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
[ Ralph Waldo Emerson ]

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”
[ Gail Devers ]

“With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.”
[ Thomas Foxwell Buxton ]

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.”
[ William Feather ]

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”
[ Confucius ]

“Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.”
[ Winston Churchill ]

“Never stop. One stops as soon as something is about to happen.”
[ Peter Brock ]

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing.”
[ Abraham Lincoln ]

“The Wright brothers flew right through the smoke screen of impossibility.”
[ Charles F. Kettering ]

“Your opponent, in the end, is never really the player on the other side of the net, or the swimmer in the next lane, or the team on the other side of the field, or even the bar you must high-jump. Your opponent is yourself, your negative internal voices, your level of determination.”
[ Grace Lichtenstein ]

“When you are possessed by evil spirits, it is crafty manipulations that you follow; but when you are posessed by the Holy Spirit of God, it is wise discretions you pursue!”
[ Israelmore Ayivor ]

“Act as if it were impossible to fail.”
[ Dorothea Brand ]

“Human will-power alone is not enough. Will-power is excellent and we should always be using it; but it is not enough. A desire to live a good life is not enough. Obviously we should all have that desire, but it will not guarantee success. So let me put it thus: Hold on to your principles of morality and ethics, use your willpower to the limit, pay great heed to every noble, uplifting desire that is in you; but realize that these things alone are not enough, that they will never bring you to the desired place. We have to realize that all our best is totally inadequate, that a spiritual battle must be fought in a spiritual manner.”
[ Martyn Lloyd-Jones ]

“The wizard [of Oz] says look inside yourself and find self. God says look inside yourself and find [the Holy Spirit]. The first will get you to Kansas. The latter will get you to heaven. Take your pick.”
[ Max Lucado ]


I hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can’t. I do what I don’t want to–what I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience proves that I agree with these laws I am breaking. But I can’t help myself because I’m no longer doing it. It is sin inside me that is stronger than I am that makes me do these evil things. I know I am rotten inside as far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t. When I want to do good, I don’t; and when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. Now if I am doing what I don’t want to do, it’s plain where the trouble is: sin still has me in its evil grasp.

It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war within my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin!


So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me, loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.”
[ Romans 7:15-25 ]


“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
[ Romans 8:26-27 ]


“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, Who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, Who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognize Him. But you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you.”
[ John 14:16-17 ].


“When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own but will tell you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future.”
[ John 16:13 ].


“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;”
[ Acts 1:8a]


Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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One Response to “‘Empowered’ Willpower [v207]”

  1. New ‘Identity’ | LIFE'S DEEP THOUGHTS Says:

    […] this pervious “Life’s Deep Thoughts” posts: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-spirit-v174/ https://markbesh.wordpress.com/empowered-willpower-v207/ […]


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