Struggling with Sin
…For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.… -Romans 7:18-20
For the Good That I Want, I Do Not Do
Every single day I struggle to do what is right, even though I want to do it. It's this battle between my flesh and the spirit inside me. On one hand I have the spirit of God dwelling inside of me, compelling me into selflessness, breaking my heart for the oppressed, and driving my mind to grow in knowledge and wisdom. On the other, I have my flesh selfishly fighting for my comforts, doing anything that will temporarily bring me pleasure and make me "happy", willing to ignore anything and everything else. My spirit yearns for righteousness. I think that is the case for most of us. Our hearts are broken by stories of people being exploited who are literally so poor they have to sell their children into slavery, or the money made from women being raped day and night. These things are sick and wrong and it breaks our hearts. We truly desire to help these people but when it comes down to doing it, we don't. We have every excuse in the book to justify our passivity so that our flesh can stay comfortable. We will do "what we can" to help them as long as it doesn't inconvenience us. Most of us are on the losing end of this battle, we are enticed into the lies of the enemy who tells us that it would be irresponsible to do whatever it takes to love people like Jesus calls us to. We excuse our passivity by claiming that Jesus wants us to be "responsible" instead of laying down our lives for someone else. Yet, even though our hearts are selfish, our spirits yearn for righteousness.
Nothing Good Dwells In Us
Scripture says we are born sinners and that we are, by nature, sinners. Psalm 51:5 states that we all come into the world as sinners: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” Ephesians 2:3 establishes this, saying that we are all “by nature children of wrath.” If we are all “by nature children of wrath,” it can only be because we are all by nature, sinners — for God does not direct His wrath towards those who are not guilty.
If we are guilty of sin to the point that nothing good dwells in us, our only hope is to rely completely on Jesus! Repent, rebuke passivity and live in the truth of Him! Claim your identity as a child of the living God and live as a new creation made righteous by the blood of Jesus!
Our Struggle is Not Against Flesh & Blood
We are fighting a battle daily... not between each other, but rather against the spiritual powers of darkness. Every time you choose comfort, every time you choose yourself over the life Christ has called you to, you are standing with the enemy and apposing Jesus on the battle line. Its not about you! We are in the middle of a war. Your life has a greater purpose! Fight for righteousness! Put on the armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm! Christ's love compels us and it is through His strength that we can endure.
…Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.… -Ephesians 6:12