As I read these verses, I wrote and God spoke. These are the exact notes from my Quiet Time notebook this morning. This is my struggle. This is my hope. I felt led to share this with you. I hope it is of some impact and encouragement to you today:
"For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. 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." (Romans 7:19-20).
The sin living in me, the sinful nature of the flesh, is bringing me to death spiritually. It is because of my sinful nature that I cannot carry out the desire I have to do good. And this truth, laid out in this Scripture, could not have come to me at a better time this week.
All week (actually, this entire summer) I've been struggling. I want to keep the Lord first and I desire to spend time with Him in prayer and in His Word. I desire to journal and reflect on His faithfulness. Yet, I don't do these things like I should. I wake up to checking my Facebook for an hour or two and then finally head over to spending fifteen or twenty minutes in prayer. I know I should spend time in His Word yet I spend an excessive amount of time on social media throughout the day, scrolling mindlessly despite that I know (and desire) to put God first. Finally, I spend some time in His Word for ten minutes or so, usually at 1:30 am. This has become frequent. My life has been losing routine. I'm not spending enough time with God and I am definitely not putting Him first. I haven't journaled about His faithfulness (despite that I've been wanting to for months). I'm going to bed way too late and sleeping in way too much. I desire routine. I desire for the Lord to be first in my life. Yet I give into the flesh. I give into the sinful nature and do what I do not want to do.
"For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." (Romans 7:15b)
So is there a solution?
"For in my inner being I delight in God's law, but I see another law at work in the members of my body..." (Romans 7:22-23a)
The sinful nature is at work, and I do what I do not want to do. I may delight in God's law, but the flesh is working against me, and too often, I let the flesh win. I struggle in my sin. But this is why Jesus came. We are all destined to eventually let the sinful nature win. We are all in need of a Savior; none of us are righteous in the sight of God by our own doing. But Jesus won when He died and defeated the grave. I may do what I do not want to do, but HE has won--and I can live not only with salvation and new life, but in His grace, which is fully sufficient to cover my sins.
When I'm struggling in my sin, when I feel like I can never do what I want to do and that I always end up failing because of the sinful nature at work within me----
there is victory awaiting.
We are all going to fail, but that's why Jesus died. He rescued me, saved me, and means it when He says: "My grace is sufficient for you..." (2 Cor. 12:9)
So I'm giving my struggle to Him. I'm taking breaks from Facebook and restricting my time on social media. I'm seeking to put Him first.
But I know that no matter how much I fail (which I'm sure to do), no matter how much I do what I do not want to do, His grace is sufficient for my sins.
And that's enough.
"Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:24-25a).