If we were being honest, we would admit that the Christian life feels hard most of the time. Life hurts, following Christ feels difficult, and we feel defeated. The Christian life is not hard at all it is in fact impossible. Day after day we face the bombardment of the enemy and fail to recognize that, on our own, we have no chance of experiencing victory, no hope for lasting personal change. Living like Christ is not difficult; let’s be real it’s impossible.
We need power. “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God,” Paul declared (Romans 8:8). Most people put way too much faith in their own ability to define who they are and what they can do, using their own reasoning and intellect. They depend on their self-efforts to improve their behavior and be a better person, and they get frustrated and confused when they fail repeatedly. If we really want to see transformation in ourselves, getting born again and accepting Jesus is the key. This act of faith radically changes our identity. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).
In ourselves, we have no resources to follow Jesus. No strength to be like Christ. No energy to serve Him or to lead our families as God expects us to. No power to change ourselves. Surely your own experience verifies the fact that sheer will power cannot conquer sin. On our own, living like Christ is not difficult; it’s impossible. But great power awaits us.
We are spiritual beings possessing a soul, (our minds, wills, and emotions), and living in a physical body. When we became God’s children, our spirits were immediately made as perfect as God’s Spirit, however, we can’t grasp who we have become in Christ without changing the way we think about ourselves. Salvation is only the first step in a lifelong transformation process. Studying the Bible helps us learn new attitudes and beliefs, and gradually brings them in line with our new spirit. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
There’s the power! “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you” (8:8–9a, emphasis added). That “however” signals hope—God’s Spirit is ready to give you the power to change. The reason we have this life-giving Spirit in us is to power the righteousness God desires to produce in us.
Our mortal bodies can’t get victory over anything, but the Spirit who dwells in us gives us life. The power to change comes to us through the Holy Spirit. Not by our efforts. Not by our will power. Not by our talents or schemes or support systems. We can only change through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Even the sharpest of minds are no match for the mind of God. When we depend on Him instead of our own limited mental capacity, we have supernatural insights to correct the flaws we didn’t even know we had. “For ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Relying on His mind gives us far better results than relying on our own. When we let Him change our mindset, we can experience real life transformation.
Apart from God, positive thinking cannot change us. The real power to achieve comes from Him. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). This isn’t boasting, it’s simply stating the truth. When we realize this, we’ll begin to see amazing results!