Tonight I was listening to music when the song Stay and Wait by Hillsong United came on my Pandora. The second verse talks about how God loves us through our rebel way… this made me start thinking about my rebel days and then I became quite discouraged. I know I am completely saved by grace through faith and I have surrendered my entire life to Jesus Christ, but why does it seem like my rebel way is still so evidently present? Why do I have the overwhelming tendency to continuously take the wheel of control back from God and go my own way? Why do I sin so often? Do others mess up this much?!
So I wrote something like this in my prayer journal seeking God’s answer to my questions:
“God, my Father:
Thank You for loving me through my rebel days…but it just seems as though I’ll never be completely done with them. Why do I have the tendency to fail SO often? I think when we read Romans 3:23 we think of our ‘falling short’ to be pre-salvation, before we surrendered to You and then we get all confused when we fall short in the present even though we have You. I can’t be the only one who is so spiritually clumsy…
If we only needed you once, for salvation and justification, then what kind of God would you be?! Instead we are completely powerless… putty in the hands of this world. So easily shaped and molded from moment to moment. No, we definitely need You daily!”
And then I continued to read in Romans… I got to the 7th chapter and wow did I find my answers. This chapter is talking about the law and sin. Basically the law was set up to show us we absolutely cannot do it on our own. It is impossible to follow the law perfectly as mere humans, which is why we need a Savior. As I read further in the chapter, I felt as though I was reading a personal journal entry. Romans 7:14-25 is my life. Paul and I may be soul twins…
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
I’m not the only clumsy one! YAY!!! Paul seemed to have a problem with falling over and over again as well. Verse 18 is my favorite of that passage and that is why I underlined it. Even though we have the desire to do what is right, we still stumble. We simply cannot do it on our own. Paul continues to write in Romans 8:1 a solution to this issue:
1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.*
We aren’t supposed to do it on our own! It is because of Christ Jesus that we are set free. We are set free, yes maybe you already knew this, but Paul talks about how this is a constant war. It is not just a one and done kind of thing… we will continue to stumble, we will continue to fall down and do what we don’t really want to do… continue to sin. Still there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He continues to pick us up and brush the dust off after we fall, time and time again. Through Him, we are set free. WOW. I have no words.
Oh, what a Savior!
Father, I am so thankful to be Yours. You sure as heck do not need me, but you WANT me. Me. Casey. The girl who falls. The girl who speaks before thinking. The girl who sins. The girl who hurts others often. The girl who hurts YOU often. Oh Father, thank You for your never ending love. For picking me up. For carrying me when I cannot walk. I’m broken in my own inability but restored and set free through You. Thank You for never giving up on me. For using me not because of who I am (because that would help no one), but because of who You are. I want my life to be a picture of You. To show others that someone so shattered can be turned into a beautiful reflection of You. Use me Father. I love you so much. -C