“I don’t really understand myself.”
The Apostle Paul spoke those words. Honestly, he did. You can see for yourself in Romans 7:14. Lately, I’ve been meditating a lot on his words.
You see, I get it.
It’s like a spiritual multiple personality disorder.
I want to do right, but I do wrong. I want to have faith, but I doubt. I want to be free but, even though I’ve been gaining ground, there are still so many areas of my life that need to be touched by the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes, I feel like there is two of me. The new creation in Christ. The old self that lives in bondage to sin.
I like to pretend that the old self doesn’t exist. But, the truth is, I mess up. I lose patience. I get offended by things. I doubt.
I struggle sometimes.
I might just spend this whole year camping in the book of Romans because it is that good. In fact, I might even spend this whole year camping in just the first eight chapters.
I love it because it speaks of sin.
But it also speaks of grace.
Grace because God does not condemn us, no matter how messed up we are (Romans 8:1). And choice because God calls us to choose better—and He enables us to do so (Romans 8:12).
The fact of the matter is, our sinful nature is going to encourage us to make bad decisions. But, as Paul says, “you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.”
Sometimes I spend so much time dwelling on my mistakes and struggling to do better, that I forget that I don’t have to do this on my own. The Spirit of the Living God dwells inside of me. He releases me from my obligations to my old self.
“We are no longer slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6).
I am under no obligation to get offended. I am under no obligation to give in to doubt. I am under no obligation to say things I’ll later regret.
Jesus has set me free.
Doesn’t it just fill your heart right up? There is grace for when we mess up and there is freedom to overcome the next time.
Grace and freedom day after day.
Until the day we stand in glory.