One of my favorite games to play is bowling. I love being in the bowling alley and having the opportunity to improve my game as best as I can. One of the many things that I struggle with in this sport is how to hook the bowling ball. In other words, how to make it spin. I haven’t mastered it yet. When I try, it always fails every time. When I want it to go a certain way, it always goes the exact opposite. It’s like Paul in today’s passage from Romans 7:14-25. Paul discovers that he wants to do good, but when he does it always the exact opposite. In verse 19, he says “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” Our human self would kick in and take over our decision making and we end up doing the wrong thing when the reality is that we are supposed to do the right thing. In verse 23, Paul talks about a different kind of warfare. It says “But there is another power me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.” In the next verse, Paul says that he’s miserable and he asks just who can save me from this life that has been taken over or dominated by sin and death. In verse, 25, he discovers the answer. It says “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”
I want to challenge you to keep Satan out of your mind. It’s easier said than done, but the reality is that God is on the throne. Think about positive thoughts and positive things. Philippians 4:8 explains how we need to think about good and positive thoughts. John 10:10 says that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus came so that we can have life and have it abundantly. Here’s my little prayer for you today: Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that we will continue to focus on You every single day. No matter what we face, let us glorify You in all that we say and all that we do. I pray that we will think more positive thoughts and positive things. I pray that we will be more positive in our lives when it comes to our thoughts, our thinking, our emotions, and our actions. Continue to remind us how we need to be more positive in our lives. We will give you all the glory. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
Romans 7:14-25 NLT
Struggling with Sin
14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.