SCRIPTURE - Romans 7:19-20,24-25
For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it... 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!
Few passages resonate with readers of the Bible like this one. Here, Paul the apostle, the writer of the majority of the New Testament and perhaps one of the greatest church planters of all time, shares his own inner struggles. He truly desires to do right and honor God, but still at times chooses to do the things he knows he doesn't want to.
Yet, in the midst of the war he feels raging within himself, Paul credits God as the one who delivers him. Through Jesus, God makes a way for Paul to be able to leave his sin-desiring flesh behind and to walk in the freedom He has in store for every believer.
As much as we've emphasized through this devotional that our actions don't earn our love from God, our behavior is an indicator of the health of our relationship with Him. If we are continually turning to sin instead of Jesus, we may need to be honest with ourselves and recognize that maybe we aren't walking with God as closely as we think we are.
"So what do I do if I feel trapped in my sin?" Paul says that Jesus is the one who brings us freedom from the snare of addiction. To "pray more" or "believe for freedom" or "read the Bible" are often seen as trite, oversimplified, Christian-ese supplements, but these are ways we connect with Jesus. They require a lot of work, tenacity, and faith, but they also pave the way for freedom.
(Note that if you are struggling with severe addiction, Oaks Church highly recommends counseling in addition to spiritual disciplines. For more information or to receive help, please connect with our Care Team at oaks.church/care.)
What's the sin you feel at war with? The one you think, "Did I really just do this again after fighting so hard against it?” Bring this to God. He wants your freedom more than you do. Believe that Jesus' death brings you freedom from bondage and gives you access to righteousness!
"God, please help me to find freedom from ________ (fill in your own words here). I don't want to do that anymore. I want to honor you. Help me believe that it's possible and to seek you more than anything else, because that's where I find true freedom. In Jesus' name, amen."