In the book, Messages to Young People, pages 151-154, we find some of the most important concepts relating to our personal salvation that have ever been written. “Pure religion has to do with the will. The will is the governing power in the nature of man, bringing all the other faculties under its sway. The will is not the taste or the inclination, but it is the deciding power, which works in the children of men unto obedience to God, or unto disobedience.” Notice that the will is not our emotions or our fallen nature. It is the deciding power, the switch, that determines which way our thoughts will go.
The statement continues with a warning. "You will be in constant peril until you understand the true force of the will. You may believe and promise all things, but your promises or your faith are of no value until you put your will on the side of faith and action. But you need not despair. You must be determined to believe. Believe, although nothing seems true or real to you."
This is precisely where the will is different than the emotions and feelings. When Jesus was dying on the cross, were His feelings positive or negative? One of the most amazing inspired statements I have ever read says, "Hope did not see through the portals of the tomb." (DA 753) Christ felt like He was never going to live again. What did He have to do? He had to turn a switch on in His mind--the switch of His will--which said, I will believe although nothing seems true or real to me. Even though I feel like I will never see My Father's face again, I choose to trust Him to do the best thing.
Inspiration adds, "You cannot control your impulses, your emotions, as you may desire, but you can control the will." Until we understand this principle, we truly will be in constant danger, because we will keep hoping and promising and we will continue failing. When everything seems impossible and our feelings are out of control, what are we to do? When we wake up feeling discouraged and down, we must remember that emotions and moods are not reliable. Our business at that point is to turn on the switch of the will. Emotions may not be under control, but the will can be controlled. By steadfastly keeping the will on the Lord's side, every emotion will be brought into captivity to Christ.
Who can control the emotions and impulses? I simply don't have that much power. But God can move in both to will and to do. Before that can happen, however, I've got to decide that I want His power more than anything else. My will--my determined choice--is the springboard for everything else. Even when I decide--I won't do anything, I'll just do whatever comes naturally--that is a decision of the will which will direct what happens next. Everything we do--positive or negative--results from decisions of the will. This is why sin--the sin for which we will be lost--is not just a state of being because of our birth inheritance. Sin is always an act of the will, and I am always responsible for my choices.
God promises, "By steadfastly keeping the will on the Lord's side, every emotion will be brought into captivity to the will of Jesus." There is God's promise to all of us who are hassled constantly by our emotions and impulses. If we surrender the will to Jesus, He will take care of our feelings. "You must remember that your will is the spring of all your actions."
Jesus says, 'Yield yourself up to Me; give Me that will; take it from the control of Satan, and I will take possession of it.' Could it be that many of us are trying to give our will to Christ without realizing that since the fall of our first parents, the will is under the control of Satan? We want to think that we are in control, that we are the captains of our own ships. Do we stop to think that if our will is not in Christ's hands, then Satan is controlling us? Since none of us can keep our hearts beating and our lungs breathing, then we must acknowledge that we are subject to higher powers. Our will of necessity will be controlled either by Christ or Satan, and our only choice is who will have it. We must first choose to take the will out of Satan's hands and give it to Christ. We must openly say, I take this will that you have given me out of the hand of Satan. He has no more right to it. I choose to submit my will to the control of Jesus Christ.
Now, today is Kevin's time! And it needs to be a second by second submission of my will!!!!!! He'll do the rest!