“Personal will” is actually a spontaneous byproduct of putting off the old man and putting on the new man. Eph 4:22-24. This putting off, as you know, is done when we have died with and are dying with Christ. 2 Cor 4:8-11. We don’t put the cross on ourselves. Satan puts it on us as he did with Jesus. Bad things happen to us. Death happens to our egoic self-centeredness. Now we come to our part and what we do: WE FAITH IT THROUGH the death events by trusting God’s agape love for us and having faith that God will raise us up out of the circumstances Satan has wrought. This is why it is faith alone and not faith plus personal will. We don’t do something. Something is first done to us. We then respond with faith to what someone else has initiated against us. The only thing we do is to, BY FAITH, not resist what Satan does to us until we are raised up, transformed and Satan is defeated. “Resist not evil.” Matt 5 KJV. Satan is defeated by his own activity. And we have then put on the new man. The new man is Christ living in us and through us.
Our good works are no longer dead works. They are a SPONTANEOUS BYPRODUCT OF THE PUTTING OFF AND PUTTING ON that has happened within us. Col 3:9-10. When the old flesh voice says “I need to lie to protect myself” and the new Spirit voice says “lay down your self-protection and tell the truth,” we are motivated, inspired and enabled by God’s resurrection power within us to make the right choice and take action based on that choice.
As we abide in the vine we can’t help but bear fruit. As we abide in His death, resurrection power will move us forward from within. Apart from Him we can do nothing! Our job is not to “do” something but rather to stay connected to Him and in union with Him. He will then flow His life giving sap through us. The example of Mary over Martha in Luke 9 or 10 comes to mind. Martha was up frantically serving while Mary was abiding in the vine.
The term “personal will” smacks of what my football coach said before a game, “tonight we are going to impose our will on them.” That is good in football but bad psychology in following Christ.