I do not understand what I am doing. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do. Rom. 7:15.
I have acted in ways that echoed these words. Maybe you have experienced the same too. We know to go right, but even with a multi-alarm warning, choose instead to go left. Some say it’s curiosity, which makes sense for a time. However, when we leave childish things behind, we see things for what they are, and call things as is it. We grow in discernment and make decisions that are no longer willfully negligent.
Curiosity is good. Great, in fact. But if curiosity, as they say, killed the cat, then wisdom is having guardrails to inform and protect.
For the willingness to do good is present in me, but the doing of good is not. Rom. 7:18.
At first glance, this is confusing. But if read a little slower and dug into a little deeper, maybe we’ll see our reflections. We are children of God who live in a world that caters to the flesh — the sin nature. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we do not always practice what we preach. For example, a fruit of the Holy Spirit is kindness. This means I have it in me (because of God’s Spirit) to be kind, but can (on account of free will) choose to rebel. If someone insults me, I may lean toward paying in kind (let my mouth run wild), and not with kindness.
As simplistic of an example as this is, it really is about how we live our everyday lives, isn’t it? The little and big things done in private and/or in full view of others. All of it matters to God.
The Spirit is the one who gives life. The flesh is no help at all. John 6:63.
We invest a lot into caring for our outward appearance. We buy the best products/clothes, go for massages, eat organic and grass-fed, run on a treadmill with no set destination and so forth. All of this is good. The question is, are we as invested in our spiritual lives? Which takes priority? Your needs or God? Which do you acknowledge first? Your purchase list on amazon or God? Where does your trust lie? Google or the Bible?
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4. Remain being the key word. Lest we think for a second we are anything but the branch.
There is an ongoing battle for our souls. The devil is a defeated foe, but he prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8. Complacency is a beast of a thing, not to be confused with contentment. We cannot afford to be negligent. Not when there is so much at stake.
There is a way that appears to be right. But its end is the way to death. Prov. 16:25.
For this reason, it is wise to keep watch and pray, so that we will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Mat. 26:41. Jesus’ words, not mine.
Sin has no power over us, but in a moment of weakness/distress/fatigue we could miss the traps. The devil has no new tricks but is masterful at manipulation. Yes, it is possible to be convicted in our God given purpose and still have moments of weakness. Therefore, our need for God is for always and seeking Him, priority. He is our guide, and guard.
Stay alert! Guard your heart! Abide! Stay in prayer!
Have a blessed week!