Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The War Within - September 18, 2012

Romans 7:15-25(GOD’S WORD Translation)
15I don’t realize what I’m doing. I don’t do what I want to do. Instead, I do what I hate. 16I don’t do what I want to do, but I agree that God’s standards are good. 17So I am no longer the one who is doing the things I hate, but sin that lives in me is doing them.

18I know that nothing good lives in me; that is, nothing good lives in my corrupt nature. Although I have the desire to do what is right, I don’t do it. 19I don’t do the good I want to do. Instead, I do the evil that I don’t want to do. 20Now, when I do what I don’t want to do, I am no longer the one who is doing it. Sin that lives in me is doing it.

21So I’ve discovered this truth: Evil is present with me even when I want to do what God’s standards say is good. 22I take pleasure in God’s standards in my inner being. 23However, I see a different standard at work throughout my body. It is at war with the standards my mind sets and tries to take me captive to sin’s standards which still exist throughout my body. 24What a miserable person I am! Who will rescue me from my dying body?

25I thank God that our Lord Jesus Christ rescues me! So I am obedient to God’s standards with my mind, but I am obedient to sin’s standards with my corrupt nature.

It is a constant dilemma, and if we are a Christian the conflict that goes on is even worse. We are "fallen" creatures, and because of it we are helpless to the war within. We have the desire to be good, yet many times we fall into being bad, and then our guilt drives us to being good again, only to fall into being bad, and the cycle goes on day in and day out. It is the consequence of the traps that have been set for us by the evil one.

God in His grace and mercy would rather that we constantly and consistantly go in one direction; that is the direction of obedience. Thanks to His living Word, Jesus, and written word, the Bible, we have a guide to battle the war within. It gives us the standard set by the law, yet because of what Jesus did on our behalf as payment for our sins, we can know that with Him we can find forgiveness for our sin.

Knowing that we are forgiven changes our heart to desire to be obedient, and strengthens us to no longer sin. Not that we won't fall or be drawn back into sin, but when we do, we have a loving Father that is anxious for us to confess our wrongdoing and come back to Him. The written word has many stories of how God restores the sinner by providing the means of redemption.

Yes, we will continue to have the war within as the Apostle Paul had, but the path back to God becomes much easier because Jesus has provided the "wretched man" the way back home. He has rescued us and we need to give Him our devotion and obedience for doing so.

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