This morning Paul speaks to me from Romans 7….
” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. 17-20But 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. 21-23It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. 24I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. ( MSG)
We just finished the Experiencing God bible study. It was an awesome study-however-it has been hard to swallow at times. God pointed me to some things in my life that need changing. Things that I have been trying to do on my own, without God. This is what Paul is speaking about…we can do nothing without God’s power. We cannot do it alone. My “it” has been like a continuous slap in the face in several areas. When will I wake up, when will I “get” that I cannot do this alone? In my head I know I can’t do it alone-yet I keep trying. The struggle between light and dark creates confusion, ambivalence and tension in my soul. I keep asking myself..”when will you truly let go and let God? What are you so afraid of? Are you really following Christ with your ALL? Are you being overzealous? Judging? Selfish? Unloving? And if you are being these things, then how can you say you are following Christ? ” Yesterday I asked myself where had my joy gone? Why was I so full of condemnation? What has happened to me? The fact of the matter is that I am not perfect and that is why I need my Savior’s help-every second of every minute of every hour of every day. It seems like He takes me forward a few steps and I get all cocky and confident and I take 10 steps backwards. Full of self. Yick. Yuck. Blech. The great thing about God is that He is constantly pouring His mercy and grace over me everyday. Some days I just can’t see it or feel it because I am so mired down with the struggle. Just as Paul was from time to time. I thank God for his new mercies every morning.
Pruning is never easy but it is needed from time to time. This song describes how I feel and what I yearn for….for God to kill the sin and to leave behind the beautiful breath of life and love in my soul. Papa…please breathe into my spirit, breathe into my veins ……until only LOVE remains…YOUR love….
Forgive me Father for I am a sinful creature. Teach me to walk with you every step of the way. Teach me to hold your hand, to look into your eyes and to act and speak only in love. I love you Lord…I truly do. Break me into pieces that will grow into the ground and flourish into the beautiful and aromatic fruit called CHRIST.