“Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? … The answer is through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:24-25 (LB)
If you’re exhausted from the emotional damages of the ongoing battle between your old and new nature, don’t give up. Paul identified the struggles in Romans 7, and then he closed out the chapter with the cure – God’s battle plan for victory.
There are three things you need to do in order to get over the desire to do the wrong thing:
- Deepen your understanding of Christ. You’ve accepted Christ; you’re a Christian; Jesus lives in you. But he doesn’t just want to be in you; he wants to be in charge of you.
You can give yourself either to your bad habits or to your Savior. Paul says in Romans 8:2, “For the new spiritual principle of life in Jesus Christ lifts me out of the old vicious cycle of sin” (LB). The more you make time to know Jesus and what he did for you, the more it will lift you out of the battle.
- Detect and disarm the lies you’re believing. Satan is the father of lies. He puts them in front of you all the time: “You’re no good.” “You know better than God.” “It’s not really a problem; you have a handle on it.” When you listen to those lies, you’re doomed. That’s why you need to detect and disarm the lies, so you can have the victory. If you want to stop defeating yourself, you have to stop deceiving yourself.
- Declare your struggles to someone. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so God can heal you” (James 5:16 NCV). Revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing. That’s one of my favorite sayings. If you want to just be forgiven, confess your sins to God. But if you want to be healed, confess them to somebody else. It’s the power that comes from having a spiritual accountability partner or small group.
The battle between your old and new nature is important, and you must learn how to fight if you want to live in freedom. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 NIV).
Take a look at this new curriculum from Saddleback Resources: Raising Your Kids without Raising Your Blood Pressure.
This devotional is copyrighted 2011 by Rick Warren. Used by permission.