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    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. I know that nothing good lives 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 what I do is not the good I want to do; no, 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: 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. Rom 7:15 – 25

    Can you relate to Paul’s struggle? All of us probably can. There are so many times when we want to do good, we want to obey God, but we wind up not doing so. How does this happen? Why would we choose to disobey God when we know better? The truth is – there is a war raging within us. Even though we have been saved by Christ’s work on the cross, we continue to struggle with sin. Our old sinful nature fights against our new spirit in Christ at every opportunity.

    So how do we live a godly life each day when our flesh is constantly fighting against us? First of all, sin should not be an enjoyment to us at all (“the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23)). Sin separates us from God and deeply grieves His heart; we should not enjoy disobeying our Lord. We have to look beyond the immediate gratification to the long-term consequences of our choices. Second, God has given you the Holy Spirit to guide and direct your daily walk. Relying on the Spirit and not on yourself will help you to live the kind of life that He desires. Finally, God provides a rescue from this conflict. “Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!”. Jesus died to free us from the grip of sin. Because of His death and resurrection we are no longer in bondage to our sinful nature.

    May God give you the strength, the patience and self control to deny the sinful nature, to be crucified with Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to direct your paths.

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