“15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” | Romans 7:15-19
Sound confusing, right?
Ever feel like Paul? You want to do the right thing and not sin, but your flesh you live in causes you to do exactly the opposite?
Now, I am not saying that it is impossible to control our actions, but the only way to resist temptation is by choosing to live in the Spirit and not the flesh.
Allow me to elaborate:
When you are choosing to live in your flesh, it doesn’t matter what you try to do, you will not be able to withstand temptation of sin because sin indwells our flesh. It is our nature, and so we cannot help but do so.
“14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.” | Romans 7:14
BUT, as believers in Christ, we are called to choose to live by the Spirit, because the Spirit has set us free from our flesh through Jesus Christ.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” | Romans 8:1-2
So as believers, when we resist against temptation, it’s not because we were able to do it on our own in our flesh, it’s because we are choosing to live and walk in the Spirit who is able to withstand temptation.
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” | Galatians 5:25
So what is my point to this? My point is that we all sin. And some of us, more than we probably care to admit have some sin in our lives that we are constantly failing to resist. I am going to be honest and say that I have things that I am currently battling(or failing more like) such as gluttony, laziness, and lust. Every time I feel like I am faced with the temptation, I know the right thing to do, yet I spit in Jesus’ face and do the wrong thing. But I am realizing that it is because I am trying to do it all by my own flesh and strength, rather than relying on the Spirit to walk in and help give me strength where I have none. That sounds so simple, almost too simple, but the reality is, it really is that simple. That doesn’t mean walking in the Spirit is easy, but it does mean that you will be able to resist temptation and eventually kick those sinful desires to the curb. Don’t let sins hold you down! You are no longer bound by those chains, so walk in Freedom in Christ!
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” | Galatians 5:1