Discovering Who I Am, Grief, Hope, Words of Endurance
I can anticipate the response that is coming:
“I know that all God’s commands are spiritual,
but I’m not.
Isn’t this also your experience?”
ROMANS 7:14 (THE MESSAGE)
Is this also your experience? I know that this has been mine. Whenever I have tried to abide by God’s law by my own self-effort – I felt nothing but utter frustration! I concluded that I could not do this in my own power. The dilemma? I needed something more!
I love the fact that the Apostle Paul faced the same dilemma. He had come to the same conclusion and experienced that same frustration! He, too, needed something more …
Yes. I’m full of myself—after all,
I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison.
What I don’t understand about myself is
that I decide one way,
but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise.
So if I can’t be trusted to figure out
what is best for myself and then do it,
it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.
But I need something more!
For if I know the law but still can’t keep it,
and if the power of sin within me
keeps sabotaging my best intentions,
I obviously need help!
I realize that I don’t have what it takes.
I can will it, but I can’t do it.
I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it;
I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway.
My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions.
Something has gone wrong deep within me
and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it’s predictable.
The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up.
I truly delight in God’s commands,
but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight.
Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps.
I’m at the end of my rope.
Is there no one who can do anything for me?
Isn’t that the real question?
ROMANS 7:15-24 (THE MESSAGE)
Sounds hopeless – doesn’t it? Oh but it is not! Let me share with you the Good News! On our worst day – God still loves us. Hard to believe? I understand but when we trust God we enter the His Room of Grace. And in His Room of Grace He does not leave us to our own demise but works within us to mature us into – who we truly are – His child – a Saint who sins.
The answer, thank God,
is that Jesus Christ can and does.
He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions
where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind,
but am pulled by the influence of sin
to do something totally different.
ROMANS 7:25 (THE MESSAGE)
On the journey with you,