Internal War


images“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

– Romans 7:22-25

As a nation we have been through wars and even tossed around rumors of wars from time to time.  Presently, many of our men and women are on the front lines positioned defensively to protect our country and allies.  However, there is a different war each of us must deal with on a daily basis (or even more frequently): the war against our sin nature, the flesh.

Paul reminds us of this war in the subject verses by showing himself in the same predicament. First he establishes or determines within himself that he desires to obey God by delighting “in the law of God.”  He made a choice to view the law of God as something wonderful; it truly is something wonderful because once we get a taste and realize what it does for us, there is a God-given desire for more.  But, he then looks within and sees a contrary “law” and labels it as that which is part of his very body.  Other locations in Scripture this law is aptly labeled as “lust of the eyes,” “lust of the flesh,” and “pride of life.”  Here Paul puts them all together and points out their desire to bring him into submission.  Then looking at everything going on, almost in desperation he asks for deliverance and goes directly to the One he knows has the ability.  As the result he conveys the believer’s human condition: a lifelong internal war between serving God and serving self.

Paul struggled with this, as we all do now. We must first make the choice; we must have the desire within our mind to serve the LORD understanding that there is part of us that does not desire that servitude!  The final point from Paul is the availability of deliverance.  However, even with this deliverance, it will still be a constant war.  Take comfort and encouragement from the fact that God understands our condition, and His grace is ever present as we “mess up” in this war of life; His strength should be our reliance and sole source of aid!  Let us always look to Him in prayer, guidance from His Holy Spirit, and study of His word.

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