The New Man and the Old
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do,that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:15-25)
This war. You’re right in the middle of it. And choosing sides is going to be an everyday battle.
When you welcomed Jesus into your world, He restored the blood supply to your spirit, that part of you that had been beaten and left for dead by the thugs of sin and deception. He gave you a new heart, complete with a guarantee of full protection against the punishment of hell, against the fear and the finality of the grave. He placed in you His own Holy Spirit to give you a new way of thinking, a fresh awareness of God’s presence, and a promise that one day your faith would pay off with a one-way ticket to paradise. But look who’s still hanging around. Your heart may be in heaven, but God’s left your feet here on the ground, where the person you used to be can still have a say in your choices and remind you how much fun you all used to have together. Don’t be surprised when civil war breaks out in your heart, when you’re torn between the God you love and the temptations that still know how to play your song. Your sinful self is beaten, but he’s not going without a fight. Get ready, though. He has his weaknesses, too.
“God will no longer be a cause of dread to me. I very soon find, however, that I am going to be a great cause of trouble to myself.” – Watchman Nee
Tomorrow’s Reading: Since old habits don’t go away overnight, and may continue to be a nagging source of frustration and (at times) failure, where does the victory start coming in?