A self-willed person is obstinate, determined to do something anyway, regardless of reasoned wise advice. They are often difficult to handle or work with, as they are headstrong, rebellious, manipulative, unreliable and resent correction, with a ‘No one is going to tell me what to do’ attitude. The motivation of Satan’s heart was, “I will…”

Do I submit my plans to the Lord?                                       – Proverbs 3:6

(Isa 14:12,13). This insidious trait permeated the Garden of Eden for “By one man’s disobedience [all humanity] were made sinners, yet by the obedience of [Jesus] many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19).

King Saul was one who regularly did things his way, in spite of direct instruction to the contrary – this was his downfall (1 Sam 10:8, 13:8-14, 15:3-24). Determination is a desirable quality, provided we are operating according to the principles and commands of Scripture, with our stubborn self-will broken by the loving, redeeming act of God.  Then we will say “Not my will, but yours [God] be done”, being in willing submission to our Saviour (Lk 22:42; Jn 6:38). The Lord taught His followers to pray, “Our Father…Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” yet rebellious, self-willed man in contrast demands, ‘my will, not yours be done’ (Mt 6:9,10).

The pride which underlies self-will is dangerous as it risks us falling into error or even destruction (Prov 16:18). The prodigal son learned that blessings can be forfeited by

Does 'my will' or God's direct my life?

insisting on going our own way (Lk 15:11-31). While forgiveness is available we do not need to learn the hard way through a loss of blessing, wasted years and lingering consequences because of yielding to selfish desires (Rom 6:13). God’s way of wisdom is always superior to the shortsighted, carnal way. “May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing His will” (Heb 13:20,21).

See also: broken/brokenness, rebellion, stubborn, submission, will.



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