Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC
Romans 7:21-25 (NLT)
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
“Why did I say that?”—“Why did I do that?”—“Why did I think that?” Do you ever find yourself at war with your own mind? I know I do, and the process is indeed frustrating and miserable as Paul describes it in Romans 7. We can know what is right and even want to do the right thing, but still find ourselves doing the opposite. Paul relates and wonders who can possibly save us from such a cycle.
Paul found his answer and victory in Jesus Christ our Lord and tells us to do the same! Jesus is life-giving. Our identity changes when we surrender our life to Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The Gospel saves us and by grace gives us eternal life in heaven when we die. The Gospel also breathes life into our daily life.
In Christ, we no longer have to give into the battles. Anger, addiction, pride, bitterness…the list of battles with sin we face goes on and on. However, Romans 8:12 tells us that because the Spirit of God lives in us, “you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.” In Christ Jesus we are victorious and free to choose joy, peace, and hope by way of the Gospel.
Our Savior Jesus Christ died for our sins and made a way for us to be reconciled with God. Daily however, we will still battle our sin nature and so daily we have to be diligent and intentional about fighting it. Willpower is not enough. God’s Word is our weapon and is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). Daily through the Holy Spirit, we must walk and talk with God and seek His will–it is our offensive and defensive strategy. And as we do, God molds and shapes each follower of Christ, so that each day we begin to look more and more like Jesus whose image we bear. Paul is a great example of this.
Perhaps memories of his humbling conversion experience on the road to Damascus came to mind as Paul wrote this letter to the church in Rome. He is vulnerable with us and lets us see into his heart. Paul had seen first-hand what his human nature was capable of, but it no longer held him captive. The powerful difference between his past and present was Jesus, the One who loved him enough to pursue him when he deserved it the very least. The same is true for us today. Is your sin nature at war with your mind today? Don’t settle for misery. Fight back with prayer and God’s Word. Find your power like Paul did in Jesus Christ our Lord!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Lord, who am I that you would love me enough to suffer and die on the cross for my sins? Yet in your incredible love and grace for me, you did just that. And set me free from the law of sin and death! I don’t ever want to take that for granted. Show me the way out when I am tempted to choose my way over God’s way today. Teach me how to live like you Jesus. Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.