Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Where Do We Struggle The Most In Our Lives?

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.

Where do we struggle the most in our lives? Have you ever felt one way and yet ended up going another way? Silly question – right? 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. I know I have more times than I wish to remember. And I keep trying to find a way to be faithful to what I know to be right.

Where do we struggle the most in our lives? For some it is with what we put into our bodies. That could mean drugs – or alcohol – or it could mean overeating. Anything we do to excess and can be harmful to us. We know certain things are wrong and harmful – 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. Again – I have a mirror up as I type this devotional seeing myself!

Where do we struggle the most in our lives? For some it is our behavior. Some of us have trouble with interpersonal relationships. Some have tempers – some use foul language – some have faithfulness issues – some are gossips – some see most things from a negative point of view – and more. We probably know we should do better – and may even desire to do better – but the flesh is weak it seems.

Where do we struggle the most in our lives? 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 (politics come to mind) – 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.

Where do we struggle the most in our lives? 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 do we struggle the most in our lives? 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 do not always resist sin. Turn to Christ – not only for the strength to resist sin but also for His grace.

Where do we struggle the most in our lives? 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 graceRomans 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! Join me as I say – I rebuke my sinful nature and will strive – by God’s grace – to walk in the Lord!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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July 9, 2018 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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