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Thought for the Day by Alex Forrest (Voluntary Staff Worker)
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 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.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Has anyone else found the fight against temptation particularly hard over the last 10 months? Exhaustion, boredom, depression, feeling like we’re just repeating the same thing over and over; the desire to escape into areas of self-fulfilment always feels strongest at times like these. Those things that we cling to for comfort, other than our Lord Jesus, feel just that bit more tempting, even if our faith may feel strong.
I find this message from Paul so encouraging and relatable in our battles against sin. When we fall into sin, we really feel like we are doing what we don’t want to do and not doing what we want to do, particularly now. How often do we find ourselves drawn to our phones before our bibles? How often do we spend hours wallowing in sadness before even thinking to pray? How often do we feel the sin within us controlling our desires instead of the Holy Spirit?
We know that sin always follows us in this life. It is always there hanging over us, tempting us in, talking us down. For 11 out of the 12 verses in this last section of Romans 7; the story seems cripplingly sad and inescapably broken. It looks like sin will always beat us in our weak flesh.
But that incredible verse 25 reminds us of our deliverance. It reminds us that sin is a defeated enemy. It reminds us that God has saved, redeemed, and rescued us from the clutches of sin through his son Jesus Christ.
In our painful and scary temptations, we can feel the peace of God which transcends all understanding guarding our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. We can feel a renewed determination to stand firm against sin, the world and the Devil. And we can know that our sin will never be greater than the love God has for us.
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