So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. Romans 7:14-15
Many of us are familiar with this chapter in the book of Romans, the one that talks about our struggle with sin. Some choose sin, and use these scriptures to justify their actions.
There is definitely a sin nature in us; we are prone to do wrong, and to defy the laws of God. Once we receive the holy spirit of God in our spirit, we begin to be changed by God; but the truth is that we also have a natural man which fights with the spirit man. We are changed in glimpses, throughout time. Progressively we become who God intended us to be.
By nature we are self focused, self absorbed, self dependent, self involved and self centered. But what happens when God challenges us to put him first, and to die to our flesh?
We must deny ourselves, and this is not always as easy or simple as it sounds.
We must control our desires, balance our pleasures and let go of the carnal mind. The carnal mind is full of hostility against all that God is. God is love, the flesh is lust. God is peace, the flesh is unstable. God is meek and just but our flesh is envious and vengeful. God forgives and forgets, and our flesh forgives but doesn’t forget.
We are in a constant fight, and this is a daily battle based on decisions we face often. We have natural tendencies, and have been programmed by life, culture, society and others; We adopted behaviors and attitudes from the world, and God asks us to leave that behind.
Yes this takes work. It takes discipline. It requires decision making. And these decisions give birth to fruit in our lives. Some good fruit and some bad.
If we study for an exam, we will pass; if we do not then we will fail. If we sow apple seeds, we will reap an apple tree. If we give God our lives and our hearts, he will give us fruit that will remain. Fruit that will abound, and exceed our own expectations. But if we give ourselves to our passions, and pleasures and focus on carnal things, we will simply reap temporary things, and more than likely we will birth sin.
God, I come before you in humility. I acknowledge the fact that, yes, I am still battling, and I cannot say that I have been changed. I am changing, and will continue to be changed: today I simply ask you to strengthen me. I ask you for mercy, and for grace to go through these battles and come out victoriously. I present my heart to you, and all of it’s desires- change the desires that will break your heart and that may destroy my future. I present my mind to you Lord, that you may clean my mind and show me to be reverential of you and your presence. May I glorify you in word and in deed. May you hide me in you, protect me from the enemy, from the world and from my own wickedness in Jesus name I pray, Amen.