Romans 7:15-20 What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. But I need something more! For 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.
Paul shares three lessons he has learned in dealing with his sinful nature:
Knowledge of ‘the rules’ is not enough.
Romans 7:9 I went along without paying much attention to it. But once sin got its hands on the law code and decked itself out in all that finery, I was fooled, and fell for it.
Self-determination us not enough
Romans 7:15 What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise.
Turning to God doesn’t eliminate the temptation
Romans 7:22-25 I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
Becoming like Jesus, learning and obeying God’s will for our lives as we progress in the process of ‘Living Life Recovery’ is a life long process. We cannot earn God’s favor through good behavior. It takes work on our own character to develop into the people God is calling us to be. None of us need recovery because life has worked out for us. We tried and we failed in our own strength. 2021 is the year to discover His strength and His power and live according to His guidance and commandments.