Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Where Is It We Struggle The Most?

Romans 7:18

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMHave you ever felt one way and yet ended up going another way? Silly question I guess – since we are all human and most know the right thing to do but have succumbed to the wrong way. We often know the right way – and yet yield to the wrong way. We fight temptations and evil – but at times we fail in our struggle.

Where is it that we struggle the most? For some it is what we put into our bodies. That could mean drugs and it could mean overeating – both are harmful to us – and we know it – yet some of us continue to abuse our bodies with what we put into them. We try diets – we try to be sober – we try to walk the steps – but – at times – we succumb to what is harmful for us.

Where is it that we struggle the most? For some it is their behavior. Some of us have trouble with interpersonal relationships. Some have tempers – some use foul language – some have faithfulness issues – some are gossips – and more. We probably know we should do better – and may even desire to do better – but the flesh is weak it seems.

Where is it that we struggle the most? Some of us are narrow-minded. Some of us are racists – some are bigots (not always the same thing) – some of us have trouble with anything or anyone that is not just like us – even though we don’t always like us either. Sin is ugly and it rears its head in our lives more often than most of us would like for sure.

Let’s look at today’s passage in partial context. Romans 7:14–25 – 14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: Although 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 me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Where is it we struggle the most? As we wrestle with our sinful nature – we must realize that our will power is usually not enough. Most of us want to do the right thing but the sin nature within us is powerful. As saved individuals (if Christ is our Lord and Savior) – we must rely more on the new nature in Christ than on our sin nature. Even as we do that – there will be times we fail (sin) it seems. That is when we rely on grace as well – God’s forgiveness. Christ died on the cross to pay for our sins. That is Good News – because even as we strive to follow Christ and push our sinful nature down – it will rear its ugly head from time to time and we will fail – we will sin. God’s forgiveness is our only hope dear readers – because we cannot save ourselves – we cannot always resist sin. Turn to Christ – not only for the strength to resist sin but also for His grace.

Where is it we struggle the most? I urge our readers to spend more and more time in God’s presence – remove more and more of the world’s influences and seek His face while desiring His grace. Romans 12:2 – Do not conform 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. The more time we spend with God the more strength we will gain over the sinful nature!

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

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August 5, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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