Romans 7:15-20 … 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
How many times have you thought about these words that Paul wrote to the saints in Rome?
I know it’s in my mind on an all too regular basis. I do not want to look with lust at women, I want to focus on Jesus Christ and reflecting Him in my life, I want to avoid areas where I am tempted, and flee temptations that come. But I do the things I do not want to do, and do not do the things I want to do.
Such is the battle of our flesh versus our spirit. The Holy Spirit within us is screaming at us to live a godly life, but the old man is scratching and clawing his way back to the surface.
James D.G. Dunn in his commentary on the Book of Romans wrote, “the believer caught between the flesh and Spirit is also caught between death and life.” That is what happens when God intervenes in a human life. That intervention does not necessarily bring tranquility. In fact, it is more likely to bring tension and conflict. It is when the Spirit enters a life to contest the sway of sin and counter the weakness of the flesh that conflict ensues. The presence of moral conflict is a sign of the Spirit’s presence, not the Spirit’s absence.
So based on scripture, the battle that rages within the mind and heart of those of us who are born again is not uncommon. This battle is to be expected. The Holy Spirit is fighting against our flesh and is prodding us to give in to His guiding influence.
This is where we have to step up and contend earnestly in the sanctification process.
1 Thessalonians 4:3 … For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;
Romans 6:6 … We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
So, we need to face each day aware of the fact that we are in a battle. We must arm ourselves with the Word of God
Ephesians 6:13 … Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
We must bear in mind that victory is ours, Jesus defeated our enemy by His death and resurrection. However, if we wish to enjoy victory, that will require effort on our part. Arming ourselves with God’s Truth and seeking satisfaction in Him rather than this world.
~~ a befreeinChrist writing ~~