Entry for April 17, 2008
Today’s Verse: Romans 7:21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. NASB
There continues in us the struggle between our flesh nature and our desire to become like Christ. Paul makes his confession in this passage concerning the struggle that he still faced daily. We all know the truth of what he is saying here. Frankly, I wish that when I came up out of the waters of baptism that I would have been freed from not just the debt of sin, but also the temptation to ever sin again. That is not how God has us wired however. I assure you that I trust His judgment on this and all things ahead of my own limited understanding. So, we all struggle against temptation. When I lived in Texas we had an ongoing problem with a particularly nasty weed called Johnson grass. You just could not get it to die. We tried digging, pulling stomping, poisoning and you name it to no avail. I surmised at one point that maybe the problem was that I just need to change my attitude about Johnson grass. Maybe babying the dainty and weak little strains of St. Augustine grass and the like was the problem. If I just decided that Johnson grass was ok, then problem solved. Some people make that fatal decision concerning temptation and sin. If I would just give in to it and change my attitude about it, then all the struggle would end. One only has to read the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible to see where that gets you. Perhaps you have tried it as well. Can you say “consequences?” …and of the negative sort for sure! God promises to always protect us from being tempted beyond our ability to resist. We merely need to look to Him and choose His wise ways even when we feel weak or don’t fully understand why. His ways are the ways of joy, righteousness and life. The principle of evil may certainly dwell within us like a nasty weed that will not go away. With God’s strength and a focus on His ways and word, we can grow lives that are beautiful gardens, a blessing to all around us. It requires, like all worthwhile things, some daily attention. I pray that you are found blooming in His righteousness this day and always.