24Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Ever feel like this? I literally had a good cry over this with God today. Paul, the New Testament Apostle of Christ goes onto say…Romans 7: 25Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
But let’s start back at the beginning of this larger passage: Romans 7:15. In the NLV it says: “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.”
That’s where I found myself this morning. I woke up and just wanted to pull the covers over my head. I have been struggling repeatedly with temptation on a weekly basis. It hits hard right at the beginning of each week and lasts about 3 days. It’s a different form, circumstances, & people but always the same two particular areas in which I struggle with weakness.
It started last night…well yesterday afternoon actually. Temptation one and two bing bang boom—really hit me close together. I put temptation 2 off and out of my mind. But I toyed and tinkered around with temptation 1. Then later, I found myself right there caught up and did it.
Then I went to a meeting and had a very successful good meeting, productive, positive, and I participated fully.
Two hours later I was caught up in acting on temptation 2.
UGH! Not just once but twice I walked right into what I do not want to do in my life.
“Sin” is sin because it hurts: God, then others and / or ourselves. This time it was only God and I. Can I even say only? See I am so relaxed sometimes that I have the audacity to justify my behavior saying “I only hurt myself this time” …but did you notice- I mentioned I hurt God too. And that should never be an “I only hurt God”.
Technically, part of why sin hurts God is because it hurts us, and God does not want us to suffer. We are His children. He wants what is best for us. He wants what is best for others. That is why He hates sin. It’s not just that He has these arbitrary guidelines because He wants rules. He wants to guide us away from sorrow and pain we might stir up.
Many people do not like the (concept) reality of “sin”. Well, I don’t like the concept (reality) of pain in my life.
I say this not so anyone should condemn themselves for falling short anywhere in their lives. For if we go one verse further to Romans 8:1 Paul says: So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
It is not God who condemns us when we fall short. It is the enemy that reminds us repeatedly that we have screwed up. Then we replay these whispers of the soul over and over and become guilt ridden and ashamed. But there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
If you find yourself in good company with the Apostle Paul—falling short of being perfect and struggling to do what is right remember these verses:
Romans 7:15-8:1 New Living Translation (NLT)15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. 8 1So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
Until Next Time~