Reminds me of a song by the Jesus Movement group Daniel Amos. Here's the chorus:
No bribin', no conivin', no strivin' will doYou can see the whole song and listen to it at the link above.
They'll never make no change in you
You can hold your breath, stand on your head
Still the changes won't come, till their Spirit led
Abidin', that's when the changes come
Abide in Jesus, He's the best at gettin' it done
The point is that we can't do it. We're powerless, and the sooner we realize it and abandon ourselves to hispower, the better off we are.