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The War Inside Us

Romans 7:21-25
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. (NIV)

The Christian life is a struggle. It was for the Apostle Paul and it will be for us. Our hearts know what is right, and we want to obey God, but there is always something inside us saying 'No'. The grip of sin on our lives, even as believers in Jesus Christ, is greater than most of us like to admit. The habits of sin easily take root, and their flowers become part of our landscape. But, in reality, we have become trapped in patterns of rebellion which we justify and accept as normal.

But the Apostle Paul was not content to stay like that. He knew that rules, discipline, threats and promises could not remove the control which his sinful nature exercised. He was bitterly disappointed with his own spiritual progress and wanted a rescuer. And so Paul appeals to the Lord Jesus Christ. Only He can deliver us from every form of tyranny. And the implication of the passage is that Paul had to appeal to Jesus as a part of his daily discipleship.

The war inside us is a reality. And Satan wants us to believe that there is no way out of struggle and failure. But that is not true because Jesus has the power to enable us to overcome. Alas, many have given up because of their repeated failures. So Paul's personal experience should encourage us that there is an answer which needs to be applied daily! Go to Jesus, confess your struggle and your failure, and then trust Him to help you do your part in resisting temptation, and leave Him to do His part in overcoming the power of the enemy in your life. And do not presume any battle is too fierce for Jesus.

Almighty God. Thank You for the reality of the Apostle Paul's daily struggle against sin. Thank You that he experienced the Lord Jesus Christ rescuing him from being trapped in defeat. Forgive me when I give up struggling against sin because I believe the opposition is too strong. Please help me to be really honest with You about my inner battles, and learn how to let Jesus take authority over my sinful nature. May I not be complacent, but develop daily habits of obedient discipleship and intimate fellowship with my Saviour. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams