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!
Enemy #3 – The Flesh
Have you ever done something bad and had a parent ask, “Why did you do that?” What’s your first response? If you’re like me, I remember my first response being, “I don’t know.” And the thing is, I truly didn’t know. And then later on in the day, I would think back at what I had done and wonder, “Why did I do that?! It was so dumb and foolish. I feel so bad!”
Right before the our section of Scripture the Apostle Paul said that he did that same thing. He said, “I don’t understand what I do. I want to do good, but I can’t. And the bad things I don’t want to do, those are the things I do.”
You see, you’re not alone. This happens to every single human being on this earth. Why? Because we all have a sinful nature. That’s what Paul means when he says, “I want to do good, but evil is right there with me.” Until Jesus comes back to take us home, we will have to battle a very fierce enemy. The worst part—we will never be able to leave this enemy because it’s our own sinful flesh. It’s in us! It’s our own sinful nature. Adam and Eve sinned and passed it on to us.
This war wages inside of you. The good versus the evil, the part that wants to follow God’s will against the part that wants to follow sin. The battle is intense and never ending; it is always raging inside of you. No matter how much good you try to do, no matter how much you compare yourself to others or others compare themselves to you, nothing that you can do will save you from your sin. Nothing you can do will make you look better in God’s eyes. You will never be able to escape it.
But we have a rescuer. We have someone who saves us from ourselves and the sin in us. It’s Jesus Christ. Jesus came and faced temptations from the devil and the world. He was constantly under attack. Yet he never fell into sin. He never had to respond shamefully to his parents with, “I don’t know why I did that.” He was completely perfect all the time. He did that all for you.
When you’re fighting those temptations, run to the cross because that’s where the battle is already won. When you can’t seem to do anything right, run to Jesus’ empty tomb and see your deliverance from the war raging inside of you. He has and will rescue you.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, help me fight against my sinful flesh and do what you want. Help me stand firm and overcome the battle that takes place inside of me. Amen.