Walking with Jesus in this life is simply a blessing! Being “in Christ” makes waking up every morning something to look forward to. Yet, because we live in these “earth suits” that we call “the flesh” we often- perhaps more than we care to admit… do those things that we know are not pleasing to the Lord. That is called sin. Anything that is not pleasing to the Lord. The Apostle Paul had the same “frustration in the flesh” to we experience. He spoke of it in Romans 7: 15-24… (Message Translation)
“I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.
17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
I just love Paul’s brutal honesty. We all struggle with our flesh… each and every one of us. Even you.
And if Paul had ended his letter to the Romans at chapter 7… I think we would all feel a little deflated… but Paul went on… to Romans Chapter 8, and he answers his questions at verse 1, where we read: Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
When we fall short in this journey that we call life… Paul let’s us know that there is no blame placed on us. No judgement assigned to us. No disapproval from the Lord… and that is because we are 1) saved by grace- Ephesians 2:8-9, 2) Jesus knows what we are going through down here- Hebrews 4:15 and 3) Jesus is even now interceding on our behalf- Romans 8:34.
This is good news and it is freeing. We need to live our lives, daily desiring to grow in Christ likeness… but when we do those things that we know we shouldn’t… confess, repent and move on… under no condemnation. Jesus frees us from the “frustration of the flesh.”