“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin” (Romans 7:21-25).

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God has loved me through so much rebellion and brokenness and pain. Tobacco, idleness, sexual promiscuity, pornography, self-gratification, and food are but some of the strongholds that have fallen. Although the temptation to look back at Sodom remains, I am no longer mastered by the sin that reigns in my flesh (Romans 6:14). God’s kindness and patience has lead me to repentance and freedom (Romans 2:4). Sin masquerades as liberty, but it is bondage in disguise and ever ready to enslave and destroy.

“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin” (Romans 7:21-25). Some people believe that the struggle the Apostle Paul is describing was prior to his conversion, while others believe that he’s referring to struggles as a believer; the Christian struggle. Precisely where the struggle Paul wrote about falls, within the grand scheme, I may never know in this life, but what I do know is that I can relate. My heart yearns heavenward, while my flesh yearns earthward, and sometimes that conflict takes a painful toll.

Every time I allow the enemy to distract me from grace, I am robbed of my peace. In Christ is my hope and my victory; his wonderful, beautiful grace abounds and restores me! The lesson I’ve had to learn, and occasionally need reminding, is not to become discouraged in the struggle with sin. On the contrary, the struggle is cause for encouragement, for it testifies to the Holy Spirit’s work underway within. Sanctification is a process; a theme found throughout scripture (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Peter 3:18). Some people say that prayer doesn’t work, but I have a callus on each knee that says it does.

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