We’re in a battle. We’ve been in the midst of it our whole lives.
Just watch a toddler. Dozens of times they wander past a street, a stove, an electrical outlet, etc., completely ignoring potential hazards. Then one day they get too close and you say, “No.”
That’s it! That’s all it takes for you to spend the next hours, days, or weeks or longer moving them, distracting them, scolding them, and giving them “time-out” in an attempt to stop them from doing something you know will harm them.
Whatever our age, the battle is consistent and goes like this…
The Law tells us what sin is and points out that we’re sinners. And because we are sinners, even when we make up our minds not to do the things God calls sin, we frequently give in and do them anyway.
Paul explained the battle to followers of Jesus in Rome, like this:
If I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.Romans 7:17–20 (MSG)
I can fully relate to Paul’s words and I imagine you can too.
I have days when I wake up in a great mood determined to be kind and compassionate; then find myself reacting in ways that are anything but kind or compassionate. I can be determined to be a good steward of my health and then make poor choices all day long. I can open social media and find myself critical and covetous in just a few moments.
I can tell myself – I am going to… I am not going to… and then do the exact opposite.
That is the battle we all know well.
No matter how much you and I agree that God’s laws are intended to keep us safe and protected, and how much we want to be completely obedient to His will, the truth is, we’re going to fail.
So, Paul came to the following conclusion:
Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?Romans 7:24
And that is the message of Scripture. People sin and even with a list of laws to instruct and guide us . . . we need a Savior to free us!
But then Paul added the truth of God’s mercy and grace:
Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.Romans 7:25–Romans 8:2
When you and I fail to fight the battle well and give in to sin, we can run to the One who declares us “not guilty” . . . the One who sets us free. The One who covers us with His amazing grace.
A Prayer of Gratitude for Grace for Our Battles
Lord, Thank you for Your amazing grace and mercy. Thank you for understanding the battles I face. The Word says that You faced all the temptations I face and yet, You did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15) You fought the battle and won the battle for me. Through Your amazing grace, I can live in victory.
Because of Your love, grace, and mercy, I have the deep desire to obey Your commands, trust Your will, and follow wherever You lead. Please give me the strength to stand strong in the battle . . . to fight with faith and the truth of Your Word.
I know that no matter how hard I try, I won’t obey You perfectly. Lord speak to me through Your Holy Spirit. Show me my sin and grant me a humble repentant heart that I might run to You in repentance, admitting my need for forgiveness. And through the power of Your “life-giving Spirit” please free me from the power of sin in my life and help me live with love in ways that faithfully give You all the glory You deserve. I pray this in the name of Jesus, the One who frees me from sin and enables me to live in victory. Amen.
It is God who gives us the desire to obey Him. It is Jesus who has made it possible for us to be set free from the guilt and shame of our sin. And it is His Spirit with and within us giving us everything we need to live in victory.
May you be blessed with everything you need today and every day to live in victory because of God’s amazing grace given in and through our Lord, Jesus.
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