Written By: Jeremiah Storkson / Media by: Jon-Calvin Chance
Have you ever had done something over and over again, even though you don’t want to? I have had my share of those experiences. One of those is actually here on campus. There is a side-door that goes into Doc Lacy’s. Now, one side of this door is always locked, and it is always the same side. I have been at OKWU for almost three full years, and I still have yet to go through the right side of that door the first time. Do I know why I always walk into the locked door? Nope. I honestly may never know.
We all find ourselves in those types of situations. We all have things that we don’t want to do, yet we do them. Maybe for you, you struggle to keep your conversations godly. Maybe you go to parties that you know will pull you into bad situations. Maybe for you, it is the wrong influences. These struggles almost feel like a tug-of war between you and your sin, and it can often feel as though the sin is winning. Paul, the author of Romans, dealt with this struggle. I highly encourage you to read the whole thing, but I am going to specifically focus on Romans 7:14-25 (NIV).
“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 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. 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. 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. 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 7:14-25 (NIV)
Obviously, parts of this passage can be a bit tongue-twisting, so read it slowly, but Paul is giving a picture of this tension he faces. He is expressing a frustration we all feel at times. It can feel as though the sin and mistakes we make can feel impossible to resist, but Paul is saying that as followers of Jesus, we do not need to feel the pressure of resisting on our own! God, through Christ, comes on our side of this tug of war, and delivers us, becoming our strength in this tension. His forgiveness delivers and sustains us. That is the hope that we can have. So, whatever you are struggling with, choose to surrender it to Jesus. Don’t fight the battle against sin on your own. We are simply not strong enough. Live in the truth that we are delivered through Jesus!