Earlier this year, my hard drive died on my computer and I took it to a computer specialist. The next day, the computer specialist called me to tell me my hard drive had died and I would need a new hard drive installed. Unfortunately, he continued, installing a new hard drive meant that all of my files would be lost. I was distraught at the thought of losing all of my work and music that I had stored on my hard drive over a long period. When I prayed to God about the situation, he explained to me that I should look at this as an opportunity to start over.
Naturally, we don’t know how to do the right thing. When we come to faith in Christ, we have built a lifetime of wrong responses, wrong attitudes, and more wrong-ness. Our system is faulty. And we need a clean start. Our minds must be renewed. Our hearts must be regenerated. And so begins the conflict: how do I learn to do the right thing when I have spent my entire life doing the wrong thing?
At one point in his life, the Apostle Paul was a man in the midst of a conflict: wanting to live right but not knowing how; desire to do the right thing, but not being equipped to do so. In Romans 7:15-25, he describes his inner conflict. He says,
“For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If then, I do what I will not to do, then I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the food that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into capitiviy to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:15b-25a).
Does this sound familiar? Have you ever found yourself praying: “Lord, I want to live right, but I just don’t know how? How do I do it? Will I ever experiences Christ’s promise of being ‘free indeed’?” It can extremely frustrating when you seek an answer to a dilemma and it feels like the answer is within reach, but when you reach out to grasp it, it eludes you. So what was the answer?
We need cleansing by the Blood of Jesus. We need renewal. We need a fresh start. All of this possible is Christ, as He promised us, “All things are possible to him who believes.” Do you believe it is possible? If so, are you will to endure this fight? It’s a difficult fight, but with Christ, we can do it. We can do all things through him. This includes overcoming bad habits and finding a life of freedom. It is possible. So, get back in the fight and/or stay in the fight.
Tomorrow: Psalm 119, “How We Are Cleansed”
- Three Enemies (pilgrimpassing.com)
- The Battle Within (pastorreeder.wordpress.com)
- What Would Jesus Not Do? (daviddflowers.com)
- A Quick Walk Through Romans 1-8: by Louie Lewis (briancoatney.com)