Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The War Has Been Won, The Battle Still Rages

Romans 7:15, 21-25

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

This passage speaks volumes to us about the human condition.  Paul – a godly man – struggled with doing the right thing from time to time.  He wrote: I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  He wanted to do the right thing – he wanted to obey the laws of God – he wanted to follow after the example of Christ – but there were times he didn’t.  He knew of the human condition.  He is the same person who wrote: 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  I think Paul would have agreed with what I normally say after reading this passage – but the old hasn’t gone too far.  The battle rages!

Don’t hear me wrong.  We have victory – eternally – over the human – sinful – nature – through Christ our Lord – PTL!  The war has been won – but the battles still rages.  Our battle – our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12  There is a battle raging in our lives each day as we strive to do the right thing.

Our struggle is an ongoing battle.  I have often referred to an angel being on one side of us and a devil being on the other trying to persuade us to make the right or wrong decision.  I know this sounds simplistic – but I actually think a battle rages something like that episode of The Flintstones where Fred has an angel on one side and a devil on the other as he decides what to do with a sweepstakes ticket.  Each decision is a battle raging as we strive to reflect Christ to a lost world.  The devil wants to hinder our witness – even if he can’t rob us of our eternity.  He strives to tarnish our witness so others will not see the light of Christ in us.

We do not always pick the right decision – thank God for grace – but the more we spend time with Jesus the more often we will make the right decision I think.  Paul wrote in another Epistle: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2

Today – spend more time with Jesus – dig into the Bible – spend time in prayer – surround yourself with other believers – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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July 19, 2012 - Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I always wondered which episode your example of Fred, the angel and devil came from and now I know. Great example and great Scriptures. Thanks!


    Comment by JR | July 19, 2012 | Reply

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