The starting point for spiritual breakthrough lies in the will. Spiritual discipline is the process of submitting our will to the desires of the inner man of the spirit. Our spirits can only rule over our body and soul through an act of our will. The will is the vehicle that God uses to establish faith and govern our minds and emotions. We must turn our will over to God in order to live in the spirit constantly.
“It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure,” says Philippians 2:13. Before God can do anything with us, He has to get a hold of our will. If someone refuses to put their will under the rule of God, He will not do anything. It is the will that acts on the mind and that forms attitude and approach. Our feelings follow in the same way our will engages.
It is sometimes difficult for Christians to understand that our will is cold-blooded. It should be very rarely emotionally influenced. We can make a cold-blooded, unemotional decision to do something, and our faith will rise. If you are searching for some kind of emotional context in order to feel like doing something, it will never happen. Your will does not need your emotions to function. Obviously, they can and will combine, but it has to be under your will’s direction and rule. Your emotions cannot be allowed to rule you.
God works on the will first, and then through it, He renews the mind, gets a hold of our emotions, and transforms us. As that transformation happens, our faith rises. God gave us a will so that we would never be at the mercy of our emotions, which are influenced by so many different things. Spiritual warriors are willing to allow God to touch them, believing He is doing it even when they don’t feel it. “God says it, I believe it, and that jolly well settles it.” Sometimes faith is just that cold-blooded.
God loves our emotions, but He has created a context, a divine order, in which they may be experienced. That order is that the will is paramount in our approach to God and believing. The will adores God and is designed to receive Him. God works in the will in order to upgrade faith.
As faith arises, we worship, trust, and obey. Once faith is present, we can be transformed in our thinking to experience who God is for us. Feelings can come to the party, but they cannot organize it. Breakthrough is an act of the will.
Sometimes the will may use our emotions, at other times our thinking is given an upgrade. There are also times when the will goes it alone with God, and we do things that don’t make sense and make us nervous. There is plenty of precedent here in Scripture with Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Joshua, David, Peter, and Paul. All had immense challenges, impossible circumstances, and faced overwhelming odds; yet they found the Lord to be real, true, and powerful. They overcame. They knew that the starting point for breakthrough is always in the will.
Any thought or emotion not centered in the will is going to talk us out of faith into logic. The development of our will as a key source of anointing is one of the major disciplines in our relationship with God.
Discipline is about enjoyment. It is concerned with loving the learning that is present in all situations. Love your trainer! You will learn better and faster.
–An excerpt from Manifesting Your Spirit
For more resources on manifestation and faith as it relates to spiritual warfare, be sure to check out the The Warrior Series which is on special offer at Brilliant Book House through the end of April.