“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15, NASU)
We often like to think that the ones who saw Jesus in person during their lifetime, or the ones who lived centuries ago and were believers, had it made. We hold them up as “perfect people, perfect saints”, who almost came as close to not sinning as the Lord, the Messiah Himself. He walked without sin. Surely they must have come real close too, having known Him so well.
I now tend to think not. They had their faith and flesh struggles too. Thus it helps me in my mind and will, when I do the same thing over, and over, and over, to yet have hope to overcome.
Without fail, I find myself more often than I like facing the same old same old – battling the flesh and the soul (mind, will and emotions) when it comes to walking the straight and narrow. And yet, like maybe you too, we have to keep pressing on, relying on the Lord’s grace and mercy to overcome.
That is why the Lord’s Prayer has the petition included, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” The Lord knows we need His help continually.
Are you like me, when someone gets the “shout out” at the office staff meeting, and I have to bite my lip to keep from jealousy and resentment. “They never acknowledge my great work!” I try not to say (too often) under my breath.
Or, as in an unexpected check comes in the mail for my friend and they share their excitement with me. “What about me Lord?” tries to speak into my brain.
Here’s another – the family member goes on another luxury trip, while I get to look at the photos they send back with their posts on Facebook and Instagram. “My turn is coming” I know I have said in the past. (I post a lot of social media photos. I can imagine people thinking that of me!)
Yes, it is a struggle. We fight the daily temptations to not envy another, get jealous over someone’s sports team winning and later hearing about it, while mine favorite is just so so. Or think they have it so good, and what I have isn’t so much.
I find help in being an overcomer by reading of King David and his weaknesses, and yet the Lord still stuck with him to see him through.
And then again we know Paul, probably the greatest apostle that ever lived. Thanks Paul for being was so honest in writing of your dilemma. It certainly gives hope for us.
As he wrote, “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?
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.
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.” (Romans 7:21-8:2, THE MESSAGE)
Something greater outside of ourselves has been given to us to be strong in our walk, even when the temptations and struggles come to pull us down. We must keep pressing on, knowing that the salvation of our souls and body is a daily, ongoing experience. It takes times to make it through the moments that certainly, almost continually come our way. The victory won’t happen overnight. For most of us, it is a lifetime walk to keep focused, stay alert, and keep our eyes fixed on Yeshua, the Author, and Finisher of our faith.
We will make it. The Holy Spirit had promised to walk with us and get us to the finish line in good fashion.
Shalom and ahava (peace and love in Hebrew).
Now think on this,
Love For His People, Inc.
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STEVE & LAURIE MARTIN - LOVE FOR HIS PEOPLE FOUNDERS
My good wife Laurie and I (45 years in October 2022!), through the ministry of Love For His People we founded in 2010, give love and support for our friends in Israel and in other nations with friendship, humanitarian aid, and social media support, along with Steve's messages, and our Ahava Adventures trips to Israel.
Steve has also authored and published 33 books.
We live in the Charlotte, NC area. We have four adult children, spouses, and eight grandkids.