Romans 7: 17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. (The Message)
Paul was so down to earth! He knew the law - he knew what he "ought" to do as a man and as a follower of God, but found he had trouble doing it - especially in his own strength.
Awhile back I started a lifestyle changing program to eat better and exercise more. It's difficult to exercise with the severe arthritis in my knees - even low impact exercises hurt if I'm not careful about overdoing it. And the eating plan is good, but I tend to get hung up at times, letting things get the better of me.
Like Paul, I am finding more and more that it is a spiritual battle - a matter of keeping my eyes focused on Him and His strength rather than my own. I continued to read the rest of Romans 7 and then into chapter 8 in The Message.
He describes Christ's " death and resurrection as a "deep healing" for sin (8:4)and our old nature. Then he instructs us instead to "embrace what the Spirit is doing in us" rather than trying so hard to do it on our own.
What a profound lesson in trust! Rather than trying to control my appetite by sheer willpower, I must embrace Him tighter and open myself to allow Him to work in me. There's the real battle - opening myself to His power in my life (trusting!)rather than controlling life on my terms.
Looks like I've got a lot to learn...