The War Within ~ Romans 7:15-25

Today’s apple slice comes from Romans 7: 15-25 in the ESV version.

15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Wow! That’s quite the dilemma, Paul! How many times do I find myself in this very situation though! I’m sure everyone can relate. We know what is good; we know what we should do. And yet, we find ourselves doing the very opposite of what we know we should! I’d like to ask why? Why do we bolt in the other direction of what we know God wants for our lives?

I’d like to take a wager that fear is a big factor. We are scared of failing, coming up short, or being judged by others. That fear tends to cause us to return the “things we hate.” Another reason why is our lack of trust in God. We don’t believe in our core that He has only the best intentions for us. (But, can I tell you a secret? He does!) Then again, the simple truth of why we don’t do what we should and do what we hate is because we are human.

“Oh wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Jesus! It is in Him we find our identity and learn who we really are. It is in Him that we discover that we have the power to decide to say no to what we hate doing. (Remember, we are free!) “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” The next time your flesh and the Holy Spirit are playing tug-of-war with you mind, soul, heart, or desires, remember that every victory is already won for you through Jesus. All you have to do is accept that and surrender yourself to God’s will. Trust me, surrender works out better than fighting God tooth-and-nail!

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