For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
The Bible speaks about the old and new man which is a metaphor of the person before and after conversion. Paul writes here in Romans approximately twenty years after his surrender to Lord Jesus, the internal battle between the carnal magnet of human passion and our heavenly desires.
I personally like to identify myself before conversion as undesirable Mike. He is the one that metaphorically has died. He is the old self. Full of carnal desires, lustful eyes, and a whole lot of pride for living. Whenever he comes alive, the stench even overcomes me.
We live in a cultural that glorifies sin. Greed, pride, and self-promotion are just few of the carnal desires that are magnified as OK. Sex outside of marriage, manipulating others for personal gain, and a me first mentality are politically correct attitudes accepted by the majority of people.
The problem is not having the correct knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of sin and its solution. Many religious institutions seem to emphasize the problem and understate the solution.
Sin is the antithesis of God’s heart. When people live within the confines of God’s heart, they flourish. When we live outside of His attitude and character, people suffer. Yes, you may find short-term pleasure at the moment, but the long-term negative impact will eventually hit you and those around you. Sin isn’t just a personal act or thought, but a community suffering another broken relationship.
The Ten Commandments outline behavior which is good for relationships between oneself and God, and oneself and neighbor. Trust, truth, and peace are byproducts of living within their boundaries. Yet the magnetic pull of Satan’s nature infiltrates our very being. We may come to know what is the best behavior in a situation, but the execution of what is good fails us. This is what Paul describes here.
Jesus Christ open the doors for you and I to receive the Holy Spirit-God’s very own nature now lives within us. His presence and impact in our lives becomes more noticeable as we surrender ourselves to King Jesus. It is just not following his teachings, but acceptance of Him as your savior, lord, king, hero, friend, and brother.
When you open your heart and head and soul to him, you begin a relationship that becomes the most important one in your life. You will place sin beneath your feet and God’s character becomes your banner lifted high above your head. Sin will not destroy His relationship with you, but its negative impact will rob you of a more fruitful, abundant life. Sin only blinds you from Him. He is always with you and only wants you to turn away from yourself to Him.
You discover the enemy is not primarily Satan, sin, nor the culture around you. Instead, you accept personal responsibility for your actions and realize your need to walk closer with your God. He becomes the center of your life.
Money, sex, power, and fame are small gods who will grab your attention. If the Triune God is not more important to you then them, they will destroy you. Father-Son-Spirit want to be the center of your life. When they are, and you exercise your natural God-given abilities for the service of others, you experience life the way God design humans to flourish.
Sin is living outside God’s design for you and I. When undesirable Mike appears, he is being his natural self. When God’s presence within Mike is given room to express Himself, God’s goodness arises. My wife, family, neighbors, and associates all love this Mike. But the undesirable Mike always seem to sneak into the picture for attention. The quicker I recognize him, and remove him from the action, the more blessed and happier life with myself and others become real.
Focus on the new you and let the old you die. Don’t try to improve the old you. Instead lean on Jesus to show you how you were designed by Him and then walk it out. It will take faith and trust, trial and error, and breakthrough and failure before one day you will wake up and recognize the work God is doing within you. You only wish you would have started earlier to capture the true meaning and purpose for your life.
Rooting For You in Christ!
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