By Craig Groeschel
My first car — an old Buick Century — was the “Sport Coupe” model. It said so right under the spoiler. Or it had before the accident. The guy who’d fixed it painted “Turbo Coupe” instead of “Sport Coupe.” Whaaa? My Sport Coupe was now a Turbo Coupe? Yes!! A Turbo Coupe had a turbocharged engine! Way. More. Power.
Despite what it said on the back of my car, my Buick Century did not really have more power.
Because willpower doesn’t work, you and I really require more power. We can think we’re a Turbo Coupe, but we’re still just a Sport Coupe.
Paul’s Need for God’s Power
Paul knew he needed more power. That’s why he asked in Romans 7:24, “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” (NLT). That is the question we all need to answer.
But Paul answered his own question with his next sentence in verse 25: “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (NLT).
Paul understood, I can’t get myself unstuck, so I need a power I don’t possess. The power he found was Jesus. Paul discovered, I can’t. But God can.
Discovering that same truth transformed my life.
My Need for God’s Power
I finally realized I couldn’t do what I couldn’t do because I was trying in my power. Then I learned how to turn to God and access his power. It worked. He worked! I could do what I couldn’t do—by his power. I could stop doing what I couldn’t stop doing—by his power.
“Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
It was all God. God’s power.
The good news is that the same power that helped Paul and helped me is available to you. Actually, this is more accurate: the same power that got Jesus out of a grave, resurrected from death to life, is available to you.
Your Need for God’s Power
Let’s look at something Paul wrote in another of his letters: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins” (Eph. 2:1).
Wow. The reality is, we don’t just feel stuck, we are stuck. Worse than stuck, we are dead.
Have you noticed dead people don’t have a lot of power? Ask a dead person to help you carry a heavy box or arm wrestle. Not gonna happen. Dead people don’t have a lot of power. And we are dead. Powerless.
That’s discouraging. But Paul provided some hope-inducing truth. “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead” (Eph. 1:19–20 NLT).
The same power God used to raise Jesus from the dead is available to you!
If you feel dead in some area of your life, you don’t need to stay dead. Why? Because resurrection power is available to you. If you feel stuck, you don’t need to stay stuck. Think about it. If God can get Jesus unstuck from death in a grave, he can certainly get you unstuck.
In the next chapter of Ephesians, Paul wrote, “But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” (2:4–5 NLT).
There are several Bible passages, like this one, that describe how we’ve messed things up and gotten stuck. Reading them, you can start to feel depressed, but then this amazing word appears—“but.”
You’ve probably never been thankful for God’s “but.” But you should. Because when God puts his “but” into your situation, it changes everything.
What was is no longer what is because “but God.”
What’s behind you is not what’s ahead of you because “but God.”
Your past doesn’t have to be your future because “but God.”
We were dead, “but God” gave us life, new life, in Jesus. Why?
Because God is “rich in mercy” and “loved us so much.”
Paul then described God’s grace. Grace means to get the opposite of what you deserve. God loves us in spite of us, not because of us. He loves us not because of what we do but because of who he is. When we’re at our worst, God’s love is at its best.
Paul wrote that because of God’s grace, you have been “saved.” Saved is a verb. You can write a verb in past, present, future, or perfect tense.
Past tense speaks of something that has already happened.
Present tense describes something happening right now.
Future tense refers to something that will happen eventually but hasn’t yet.
Perfect tense speaks of something that has happened in the past, is still happening in the present, and will continue in the future. It draws attention to the continuing effects of something that has happened in the past.
Paul wrote “saved” in perfect tense! You were saved by God’s grace in the past, but the effect is still happening. His grace is always going to impact your life. God will continue giving you new life in your dead places until his work is complete in you.
You never have to feel defeated.
You can never give up.
Because God didn’t just save you. He saves you. He is constantly saving you.
You can’t, but God can. And God will, if you turn to his power.
Adapted from The Power to Change: Mastering the Habits That Matter Most by Craig Groeschel. Click here to learn more about this book.
Feeling stuck no matter how hard you try to make positive changes in your life? You can start living the life you want through the practical, biblical, and highly doable strategies in The Power to Change.
Few things in life are more frustrating than knowing you need to change, wanting to change, and trying to change, but not changing. Craig Groeschel knows what it’s like to be caught in that demoralizing cycle. That was his own story—until he discovered practical principles for experiencing lasting change. Since then, Craig has helped countless others find true change in their relationships, habits, and thoughts.
In The Power to Change, Craig helps you understand:
- How God’s power, not your willpower, leads to true transformation
- The real reasons you do what you do
- Why falling isn’t failure
- The power of creating small habits that lead to big change
- How to choose what you want most over what you want now
A powerful blend of biblical wisdom and fascinating psychology, The Power to Change includes helpful exercises, real-life stories, and life-changing spiritual insights. Whether you are trying to lose weight, breathe new life into your marriage, read the Bible more, get out of debt, or give up an addiction, Craig’s step-by-step, time-tested strategies will equip you to start living the life God wants for you.
Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor of Life.Church, one of the largest churches in the world and the creator of the free YouVersion Bible App. The New York Times bestselling author of fifteen books, Craig hosts the top-ranking Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast and speaks to hundreds of thousands of leaders around the world annually through the Global Leadership Network. Craig and his wife, Amy, live in Oklahoma. Connect with Craig at www.craiggroeschel.com.
Looking for More?
Sign up today for the Zondervan Books Growth monthly email newsletter and receive the PDF eBook A Spectacle of Glory: The First 28 Days by Joni Eareckson Tada, taken from Joni’s devotional A Spectacle of Glory: God’s Light Shining through Me Every Day.
Each month you’ll receive an email with a deal, a feature article, and book samples designed to help you find more incredible books for your reading and listening lists.