Read: Romans 7:20-25
Have you ever come together with a team to play tug of war? If you have, you know that the group that pulls the other team into the mud at the end is the winner. Sometimes the Christian life can feel like this, except it’s just you pulling at both ends. And when you’re the one fighting against yourself, it’s impossible to come out clean. One way or another, you’re always going to fail. Often times, it feels this way when we’re trying to please God on our own. Doesn’t it?
Because of God’s love for us, He decided to send His Son to die for us. He saved us, He offered us a new life, it makes sense why we’d want to live it for Him. However, a lot of the time, we don’t and keep messing up instead. Paul says that because of the desire of our flesh, there is nothing we can do. It’s deep within us and we can’t escape it. At least, not on our own strength. Only when we let go, and allow God to work in us we can truly be free. If we humble ourselves and go to Him, we can win this war.
In Romans 7:24, Paul cries, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” He is aware of his sinful nature and desire to please himself. But, he also knows that Jesus washes our sins away. He shows us what true forgiveness looks like and gives us rest. This doesn’t mean we can just start slacking and give into temptation. Rather, it’s about learning to take a step back and ask God to help us fight it. We need to follow David’s example in Psalm 51. He is earnestly crying out for God to purify him, to blot out his iniquities, and to teach him wisdom. Just like him, we must approach our Savior, and confess our sins. We must allow the Holy Spirit to transform us.
Every day presents a new “tug of war,” and we must decide if we are going to try to earn grace or if we will choose to abide in Christ. If we try to fight sin ourselves we will fail, be disappointed, and hurt. But all we need to do is loosen our grip on the rope and let Him take over.
Are you trying to win the war against sin by yourself? Or, are you going to Christ with a repentant heart, asking for His help? 1 John 2:1-2 says, “These things I write to you, so you may not sin.” He wants us to stay away from sin, but he understands our condition. We need God, we need His Word. God knows we are weak, and He provides a way so that when we sin, we can be cleansed and forgiven.