Self-will is another reason for your CONFUSION about life even as a staunch Christian church member.
Self-will is not like unbelief or doubt. Self-will is even more dangerous. It is a trait; we exalt so much that we do not know how much it leads us out of the sight of GOD.
What does self-will mean? Self-will is knowing what to do, believing what to do and still wanting it your way. We think it’s an admirable trait, especially when non-Christians display it in their wealth of worldly wisdom and riches until we taste a pinch of the wrath of GOD.
Are you ready to learn about self-will? And are you prepared to walk out of it into GOD’S will? Then, keep reading.
What is self-will?
Let’s look at a few definitions of self-will.
- Self-will is the quality of obstinately doing what one wants despite the wishes or orders of others.
- It is also stubborn or willful adherence to one’s own desires or ideas.
- Self-willed people are determined to do what they want without caring what others think.
Biblically, self-will is insisting stubbornly and arrogantly on one’s way as opposed to following the will of GOD. Self-will has always been part of human nature, and it strives to make man’s desire, the self, the centre or point of attraction.
A self-willed man is hell-bent on having things his way. These people believe that their ideas, opinions, judgments or plans are superior to everyone else’s idea, especially when it opposes theirs.
Why do you struggle with self-will?
As we said earlier, self-will is such an admirable trait that we have exalted it so much that it pulls people out of the sight of GOD onto the path of frustration, CONFUSION and, at worst, depression and death.
Self-will brings self-satisfaction. However, looking deep into it, we see that we only honour or conform to social status among peer groups or organizations without knowing it.
If you know the will of GOD for your life and believe, but you cannot stand by it, you think it is you being wise or playing GOD, but that is you simply spelling out to HIM that you can do it on your own. Do you know how scary that is?
We would have asked the prophet Jonah, but unfortunately, we cannot.
You struggle with self-will because you think the will of GOD is not pleasurable. And of a truth, it is not, because how can you explain to your friends that you made plans to travel to Asia with and paid all expenses even with your last money, how do you explain to them that something is telling you to travel to Sokoto, Nigeria?
We call it something; that’s how much we ignorantly belittle the voice of GOD.
How do you explain to your family that the medicine you are studying, even halfway through, is not God’s plan for you?
How do you explain to your family that the rich man you once met, loved and cherished is no longer the man you want to be with, but the wretched pastor and you would even contribute money for your bride price?
How do you explain to people that you closed your shop for a whole year to answer a call they do not understand?
We can go on and on, but you and I know it is hard. IT IS HARD. But, GOD doesn’t even give us a hand to oppose HIM, which is SELF-WILL outrightly.
How does struggling with self-will contribute to CHRISTIANS’ CONFUSION about life?
In Battlefield of the Mind, Joyce Meyer referred to it as “I’m going to do it my way, or not at all.”
We call it stubbornness. But do you know what the Bible calls it? It is a sin of witchcraft.
1 Samuel 15: 23 KJV
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
Throughout the Bible’s history, most kings failed because self-will introduced other strange things like pride, idolatry, lust and other fruits of the flesh. STUBBORNNESS AND REBELLION ARE PURE DISEASE.
Living in self-will will lead you to struggles; Bishop Benson Idahosa calls it sweat. Why? Because we do not believe in miracles.
How can you know GOD and give HIM a second place, even after your SELF?
Self-will leads to frustration; you need to have what it takes to guide you through that route. It will choke you, no matter how flowery it initially looks.
A Christian who struggles with self-will is no different from someone who does not believe in GOD. The Christian is outrightly at war with GOD (many times without knowing). You may not see it as that.
A young boy is standing on a road facing his earthly father, but the father commands him to leave the place to the other side of the road, but he vehemently refuses. After a while, an accident happens; it doesn’t claim his life, but he incurred severe injuries.
Where has his stubbornness led him? Straight to the four walls of the hospital! So, now the child is in excruciating pain; the child has cost his father, bills, energy, pain and even time.
That is what we put GOD through. We subtly waste resources without knowing it.
If you are a Christian and enjoy things your way, CONFUSION is the fruit you are reaping; it does not look like it amid enormous wealth until the consequences are full-fledged.
SELF-WILL IS THAT DANGEROUS. What if you do not know whether you are struggling with self-will? Let’s learn when to know.
When to know you are struggling with self-will
If, really, as a Christian, you have a life of GOD in you, you most certainly battle with yourself anytime you are going against the will of GOD for your life. You can lie to people about your true feelings, but you cannot lie to yourself. Most specifically, you cannot lie to GOD.
- Anytime you are going against the will of GOD, the first thing that hits you is self-guilt. That sadness that is deep down, you cannot phantom it or express it, but it burdens you.
- Lack of fulfillment: This peace comes with doing the right things for the right reasons, just as Psalm 24:4 (CEV version says). However, doing the wrong things for the right reason or doing the right thing for the wrong reasons doesn’t blend with the life of GOD in us. No matter how significant the achievement is, you will never find the peace and serenity of genuine achievement.
- Loss: You struggle with self-will when you cannot get the hang of what you are up and about. Even if you have communed, dined and had intercourse with the HOLY SPIRIT before, I am saying this from a place of experience. Suddenly, your life looks so tiny that nothing matters to you anymore. You no longer care about even the things of GOD. Self-will has not just crept in; you are dining with it.
- Impatience: Another sign that shows you are trailing in your own will is that you are or become impatient. You are more interested in the result than the process.
Earlier this year, I was so devastated that I didn’t know what else to do. Around 12:00-1:00 a.m., I called on GOD. I wanted an answer and heard, “You are more focused on the result than the process.”
I thought that was me speaking to myself until I got a live notification from one of the men I respect and listen to.
Myron Golden is his name. I joined in, and the content of his message was how he made more money just by focusing on the process. That was enough to confirm that GOD wanted me to go through and focus on the process.
Tell you what; it is now that I am partnering with the WORD. My life right now is unhurried.
Note: not without the sense of urgency that I need to pace up to meet GOD’S demand but unhurried that when GOD says wait, I wait in joy, in sober reflection, I remain in reverence of HIM, I wait to recalculate my life, I wait counting my blessings and waiting in preparation too.
- No assistance from the HOLY SPIRIT: Another sign you struggle with self-will is when the HOLY SPIRIT does not assist you.
Humans are not that smart; unassisted by spirits, we are as good as nothing. But the question is, which spirit is assisting you? Spirit of GOD or devil? There’s no sitting on the fence; you are either with or for GOD or helping the devil to bring the kingdom of GOD down.
The past few months taught me how much I need the ministry of the HOLY SPIRIT to live my life and be helpful in the kingdom. At some point, I lost all my senses to write here in Young Dreams Matter, and it was like a nightmare.
I yearned for the presence of the HOLY SPIRIT. I told HIM I miss HIM. I realized how empty I was. I struggled, I wallowed in deep CONFUSION, but did that stop me from being a Christian? No! But I lost my bearing; thank GOD for the system called RESTORATION.
Consequences of self-will
The above are still clear consequences, but let’s briefly have a run down. Shall we?
- Self-will introduces strange things in our lives; even self-satisfaction is strange, and the applauses and glory from people become strange.
- Self-will strangles every iota of humility in us. And if at all, there’s any humility seen in the appearance, it is PDA, a public display of affection.
- Also, self-will will be an open hall into the web of CONFUSION and a slaughterhouse of depression.
- Self-will reduces our sense of empathy and humanity. We no longer feel for people because we judge them from the lenses of our pride.
- Self-will is DEATH even because you are living on your own. Just as James 1:14 says, “We are tempted by our desires that drag us off and trap us. Our desires make us sin, and when sin is finished with us, it leaves us dead.” Our desires drags us off GOD’S will and make us go contrary to HIS will.
Again! Self-will is that dangerous.
But, let’s say you give up self-will; what are the advantages?
Advantages of giving up self-will
- When you give up self-will, you become a vessel unto honour.
- When we give up self-will, we please GOD; the reward is instantaneous. It is not always seen. Your instant reward could be peace, joy or even the love of GOD filling your heart.
- Giving up self-will makes us usable and useful. You can be available in GOD’S presence and not be usable and valuable. These many men of GOD have said. So, be available, usable and useful. It is not enough to be only available.
Joyce Meyer wrote in her book Battlefield of the Mind that “The LORD demands that we learn to give up our own way and be pliable and moldable in his hands as long as we are stubborn and rebellious. He can’t use us.”
- Giving up self-will helps us advance in the kingdom of GOD.
- You will enjoy peace, be satisfied, and you will have fulfillment.
If these and more are what we stand to gain when we get rid of self-will, why do Christians still struggle with self-will?
Why do Christians struggle with self-will?
Let’s not forget GOD’S ways, and our ways are not the same. In other words, it contradicts. We cannot agree with the will of GOD with our human senses. No wonder GOD wants us to be spiritually minded.
God’s will is beyond human reasoning, and even as a Christian, if you are not spiritually-minded, you are most likely going astray, head-on in your own ways, that is if you are not in the middle of this chaotic thing called CONFUSION.
In other words, because many Christians are carnally minded, it is hard for them to be in God’s will. That is why many Christians struggle with self-will. The Bible says to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life.
How to overcome self-will
You can only overcome self-will by submitting your will to GOD, holding firm to God’s instructions, and withholding nothing! We sing it in songs, yet it is so hard to do.
The Bible reminds us that obedience is the whole duty of man.
- Constantly ask GOD how much you are still in HIS will.
- Check yourself anytime you begin to battle with your inner man.
- When you lose your peace, return to your place of prayer to find solutions or answers.
- Remind GOD how much of a mortal you are and how it is only HIM you are living for and nobody else.
As a Christian, CONFUSION is imminent when you struggle with self-will. Self-will is much appreciated in our time, but whenever you see yourself battling with your inner man, check again. Is it holding you back, or are you the one holding yourself back?
Does the HOLY SPIRIT want a yes, but you are hell-bent on No? Does He want a NO, but you were quick to say YES to that job offer, that marriage proposal, that house or lifestyle?
Mind you, our decision not only affects us, it affects others. Jonah’s decision delayed and involved all the people on the ship. Again, remember how just eating an apple landed us here. Imagine someone in your family paid the great price you are paying now to be spiritually free, mentally sound, financially free and even emotionally sound. Will the burden be this weighty?
“Your decisions to obey GOD affect other people, and when you decide to disobey GOD, that also affects others.”—Joyce Meyer
Dear reader, allow GOD’S will to prevail, and you may be on your way to pure, unadulterated clarity. Our next series will reveal why you may be in God’s will and still stand a chance to fail. ALWAYS REMIND YOURSELF HOW VALUABLE YOU ARE BECAUSE YOU ARE VALUABLE.