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.
- With Christ's help, what struggle must I confront?
- Do I believe that Christ can clean me up--inside and out?
- Do I really believe that I am freed from sin through Jesus?
It's true: We will never be free from sin. Each one of us will struggle with sin for the rest of our lives, and none of us is worse off or better off than the other. Not only are we flawed and broken, even when we know what the right choice is in our hearts we still persist in our sinful nature. "When I want to do good, evil is right there with me," writes a frustrated Paul in Romans 7. "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" There is only one answer to Paul's plaintive question. Paul knew it, and we need to know it, too: We are never free from sin ... except in Christ. Say it today and every day when you feel sin's power beginning to overwhelm you: "Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:25).
God gives us the Holy Spirit as a Guide and Counselor, and if we learn to listen to this Presence in our lives, we will learn to make better, God-guided decisions. But how do we hear these whispers of guidance from God? It begins in prayer. Starting today, ask God for His guidance. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you through the day; ask to hear His voice in your everyday life.
Lord, thank you for saving me from my day-in and day-out persistent sin. Only through You am I truly free. Amen.