DEVOTION, January 12, 2021
I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me (Romans 7:21).
Paul’s problem was a problem we all face. We want to do good. We are so thankful that Jesus has redeemed us we want to live our lives in a way that honors Him. Alas, like Paul evil has a way of rearing its ugly head and sometimes the good we intended gives way to evil acts. While we are new persons in Christ, the old person is not dead. We live with the memories and temptations that plagued us in the past. Paul confessed, “I am carnal, sold under sin” (7:14).
What is the solution? Paul asked the same question. Where can I find deliverance? (7:24). His answer is in 7:28. Jesus Christ gives us victory in two ways. First, He has provided for our forgiveness. He did that at the cross when He bore our sins in His own body on the cross. As we move into Romans 8, we learn that we have been gifted with the Holy Spirit. The more we live by faith, trusting in the Holy Spirit to suppress our evil desires and to give us the strength to follow Jesus, we experience victory at ever-increasing levels.
Yes, we all struggle with evil desires. Sometimes we give in to them. That is a time for repentance, reminding ourselves that Jesus is our Savior from sin. It is a time to ask the Holy Spirit to work within us and lead us to do the good and resist the evil. The more we rely on our own strength the more we will fail. The more we rely on Jesus the more we will see victories.
A man was in a small boat floundering far from shore. A large ship came by to help. He said, “No thank you. I can handle this myself.” He refused help and was lost. We, too, can reject Christ’s lifeline and sink, or we can receive His help and find victory.
Father, I admit that my desire to do good is often canceled by the evil present within me. Help me to rely more and more upon You, Your Son, and the Holy Spirit, to lead me into righteous paths. In Jesus’ name, Amen.