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Thursday, May 10, 2018

How To Combat My Internal Conflict

In review of Romans 7:24-25 it says, “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (NLT).

Today’s verse comes from Romans 7:21-25, where Paul shares his struggles with sin. Paul tells me that he has discovered this principle of life, that when He wants to do what is right, he inevitably does what is wrong. He does love God's law with all his heart. But there is another power within him (and myself) that is at war with the mind. This power makes him (and myself) a slave to the sin that is still within. Paul then says, “oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I become a slave to sin.

This "power within" is the sin that is deep within me. I’m vulnerable to sin; it refers to everything within me that is more loyal to my old way of selfish living than to God.

This creates a great tension in my daily walk. The conflict is that I agree with God's commands but cannot do them. As a result, I am painfully aware of my sin. This inward struggle with sin was as real for Paul as it is for me. However from Paul I learn what to do about it. Whenever Paul felt overwhelmed by the spiritual battle, he would return to the beginnings of his spiritual life, remembering how he had been freed from sin by Jesus Christ. So when I feel confused and overwhelmed by sin's appeal, I can claim the freedom Christ gave me. His power can lift me to victory.

Rick Warren provided this testimony of a Chinese Christian: “I walked through the road of life and had fallen into a great ditch. The ditch was filled with depression, discouragement, and sin. As I lay in that ditch, Mohammed came along and said, ‘It’s your fault you’re in the ditch. You offended Allah, and this is your just punishment.’ Then Marx came by and said, ‘You’re in the ditch because of class warfare. You must revolt.’ But after the government changed, I was still in my ditch. Then Buddha came along and said, ‘You’re not really in that ditch. You just think you’re there. It’s all an illusion of the mind. Be at peace.’ Then Confucius came by and said, ‘Here are the 10 steps of self-attainment by which you can get out of your ditch. If you will struggle, you will climb out eventually.’ But as much as I struggled and strained, I couldn’t get out of the ditch, because it was too deep. “Then one day, Jesus Christ came by and saw me in my ditch. Without a word, he took off his white robe and got down in the muddy ditch with me. Then he lifted me up with his strong arms and got me out of the ditch. Thank God that Jesus did for me what I could not do for myself.”

The bottom line is that Jesus did for me what I could not do for myself.

If I want healing in my life, I have to believe that Christ can change me. Romans 7:24-25 says, “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (NLT).

The answer to my problem is a person. So who will I let be the lord of my life? Who’s going to call the shots? Jesus Christ or myself? When I’m mastered by him, I can master my problems. God has the power I’m lacking. He will help me out.

Bottom Line:
Jesus is the one who will free us from a life that is dominated by sin and death.

What this means to me:
Jesus Christ my Lord is the one who frees me from this life that is dominated by sin and death. He does for me what I can’t do for myself.

In summary, Jesus is the one who can free me from a life that is dominated by sin and death.
On my own, I'm vulnerable to being more loyal to my old selfish ways of living than to God. When I sense and feel the struggles, like Paul, I should return to the beginnings of my spiritual life, and remember how he Christ has freed me from sin. Afterall, Jesus does for me what I could not do. He gets down in the dirt and lifts me out. I need to continue to let him lead me.

This morning Father I pray, “Thank you for helping me this week. Today I ask for your constant reminder that Jesus has saved me from what my selfish desire want to do. He has paid my penalty. I need to just follow his leadership for how I should live. I also pray this morning that you continue to allow me to think clearly and listen for your guidance as I make plans and communicate with others. I ask this in your Son Jesus name.”

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