So I find this law at work: Although 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 me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Romans 7:21-25
Tucker, our family's ninety-pound labradoodle, doesn't give me much space. He follows me closer than my own shadow. We're practically attached at the hip. It doesn't matter if it's the kitchen, living room, or even the bathroom (true story); wherever I go, he goes. I trip over him almost daily. Every time I turn around, I bump into him.
He wants my attention...at all times. And when I don't give him the affection he believes he undoubtedly deserves, he inches closer and closer. Tucker won't take no for answer. With his nose, he'll fling my arm on top of his head for me to pet him.
Tucker might be a good boy; but there's something bad the follows me just as closely. It accompanies you too. Wherever we go, it's there waiting. And, just like Tucker, it doesn't take no for an answer without a fight.
We foolishly believe that when we accept Christ and begin walking with Him that our struggles will miraculously disappear. But, the Apostle Paul, super Christian if there ever was one, looked at his life and recognized that evil was right there with him. For all the good he did and wanted to do, a tension remained in the background. A war raged within his mind. What hung in the balance was who laid claim to the throne of his heart.
Sin is a force that attempts to exert authority over our lives and in our world. It works to ruin every relationship we have. By failing to recognize its presence, we give it greater access to move undetected. We leave ourselves vulnerable to feeding into the lies the enemy wants us to believe. Sin thrives in the darkness, but expose it to light and it can't help but scatter.
The struggle over our mind is really a conflict over who we are. Beginning to live in the knowledge that Christ made a way for us to be restored and redeemed will help us in any struggles that we might face in life. In this battle we find ourselves in, we must replace all those lies we focus on with the truth of who we are in Christ.
What controls our mind often determines our actions. We become what we set our minds on. The first step in renewing our minds is remembering who we are in Christ. It is crucial we align our perspective with what it is true, solid, good and right. Only then will we begin to realize that God is ultimately in control of every situation we face. Turning away is difficult, yet very necessary if we are to experience victory, pursue transformation and take a stand against temptation.
· How does today's passage speak to an internal struggle you are currently facing?
God, purify my desires. Instead of feeling hopeless when temptation arises, may I walk securely in the strength You provide. Remind me that I am not obligated to sin and You have freed me from sin’s clutches through the cross. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.