Galatians 5:16-17 (New Century Version)
16 So I tell you: Live by following the Spirit. Then you will not do what your sinful selves want.17 Our sinful selves want what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is against our sinful selves. The two are against each other, so you cannot do just what you please.
Galatians 5:16-17 (New International Reader's Version)
16 So I say, live by the Holy Spirit's power. Then you will not do what your sinful nature wants you to do.
17 The sinful nature does not want what the Spirit delights in. And the Spirit does not want what the sinful nature delights in. The two are at war with each other. That's what makes you do what you don't want to do.
For those of you that are a little older, you may remeber a song that Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and others used to sing. It was a French pop-song that Paul Anka heard in the late sixties, that he later wrote English words to. That song went like this:
And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I'll say it clear,
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain.
I've lived a life that's full.
I've traveled each and ev'ry highway;
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.
We live in a culture that insists on doing things there way. I too often find myself struggling with this. I say that I trust in God and I rely on His direction, but when it comes down to it, I am often doing it "My Way".
It doesn't matter how long you have followed Jesus Christ, we all struggle with not surrendering oursleves and following the guidance of God. Jesus told us that He would send us a Friend (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Comforter-John 14:16), the Holy Spirit, that would be with us an keep us following the truth. Problem is that we often ignore Him and follow after our own will. Why do we do this?
The passage above from Paul's letter to the church in Galatia makes it pretty clear. Saved or not, we have a sinful nature. When we commit ourselves to serving Christ, although we are now inhabited by the Holy Spirit as promised, we still have our sinful nature. There remains a constant battle, a struggle, between that sinful nature of self-will and the new Spirit of Truth that is now seeking to help us, and to guide us in our new life as a Christian.
If you are like me, and you struggle with this issue, it is time we truly trusted in God for the outcome of our lives. We need to repent in prayer and seek His forgiveness for trying to do everything "our way". We need to confess daily something like this:
Dear God, I confess that I always seem to try to control and follow my own way. I have not surrendered every area in my life and my will to you, and to your Lordship and leading. I ask you dear Father to forgive me, and help me to turn to you in all things. Holy Spirit, fill me with your peace and joy, and help me to fully trust in you. Help me to recognize your presence, and to hear your voice as my guide.
I know you love me, and you have promised that you will work out everything for my good. Help me to know and to be confident that no matter the outcome, you are in control dear God. I am your child and you want what is best for me and those in my care. Help me to daily seek your will for my life, and to humbly surrender daily to you.
Thank you for your grace and mercy, and for Jesus Christ who has saved me from my sins. I lift these things up to you in His Name. Amen