If you want to get someone behind an idea, help them come to it themselves. They never resist their own ideas but they’ll almost always resist yours.
I believe this is why God came up with the idea of placing the Holy Spirit inside us when we accept His offer of forgiveness, redemption, and sonship. He saw how hard it was for the Jews (His own chosen people) to submit to His ideas about life. Things like loving Him first, loving others, having no other Gods before Him, always telling the truth, not killing, stealing, having envy, or fooling around on your wife. These were outside rules. They conflicted with people’s fallen nature and obeying them was hard.
But when the Holy Spirit came, God came to live inside of us. The Holy Spirit is His provision for us to live above our fallen nature.
Check out this excerpt from The Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life by Hanna Whitall Smith and published in 1870 . . .
“How often have we thought when dealing with our children, “Oh, if I could only get inside of them, and make them want to do just what I want, how easy it would be to manage them then!” How often in practical experience we have found that to deal with cross-grained people we most carefully avoid suggesting our wishes to them, but must in some way induce them to suggest the thing themselves, sure that there will then be no opposition with which to contend. And we, who are by nature a stiff-necked people, always rebel more or less against a law from outside of us, while we joyfully embrace the same idea springing up from within. God’s way of working, therefore, is to get possession of the inside of us, to take the control and management of our will, and to work it for us. Then obedience is easy and a delight, and service becomes perfect freedom, until the Christian is forced to explain, “This happy service! Who could dream earth had such liberty?”
Walking with God and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead is like a self-driving car. If we trust Him and don’t overrule His leading, He’ll take us where we want to go. But He gives us the freedom to grab the wheel, stomp the accelerator, or slam on the brakes. But the more we mature in our faith . . . the more we let “Jesus take the wheel” (thanks Carrie Underwood!), the straighter our direction, the more peace we’ll have and the greater will be our impact for His Kingdom.
Scripture: I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. (Ezekiel 36:27)