In today’s Scripture verse the distinction between permissible and beneficial is the difference between good and great. Don’t settle for what’s permissible. That’s the path of least resistance. Go after greatness by going the extra mile!
The first and second virtues of manhood we looked at in these devotions were tough love and childlike wonder. The third is will power.
Will power means not my will, but “your will be done” (Luke 22:42). It’s a will that has been fully surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ. It’s a sanctified stubborn streak that refuses to compromise its convictions.
At a pastors gathering not long ago, Jack Hayford shared his secret sauce. It’s so simple yet so profound: Make decisions against yourself.
We want success without sacrifice, but life doesn’t work that way. Success will not be shortchanged. You have to pay the price, and it never goes on sale. The best decision you can make for yourself is making decisions against yourself. You have to discipline yourself to do the right things day in and day out, week in and week out, year in and year out. And if you do, the payoff is far greater than the price you paid.
Now let’s bring this idea down to earth for you. If you want to get out of debt, you’ve got to make decisions against yourself financially. It’s called sticking to a budget. If you want to get into shape, you’ve got to make decisions against yourself physically. Join the gym. If you want to grow spiritually, you’ve got to make decisions against yourself. Try fasting.
Of course, you could just let things go, keeping busy with whatever pursuits you’re comfortable with. And those things may not necessarily be wrong in themselves. They might be quite good. But if you want God’s best, you have to say no, not just to things that are wrong, but even to second best—whatever’s merely good instead of truly great.
What decision against yourself do you need to make today?