Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
Romans 7:14-25 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.
Today as we celebrate the birth of the United States of America and its founding freedoms, there is another freedom that we should also celebrate: our freedom from sin through Jesus Christ.
I have always thought of Paul, the writer of Romans, as a complex person. Originally Saul – the one who sought to punish Jesus’ followers – who becomes Paul (by Jesus Himself), who ironically becomes a helper and ambassador for the Lord. Paul admits in today’s text that he fights an internal battle – what he wants to do versus what he should do. Don’t we face these very same battles? When we think that we have everything in place and all is peaceful, it seems like another battle is brewing?
I’ve mentioned in some of my sermons that it’s a good thing if Satan knows your name. (Imagine the looks I got!) If you think about it, if Satan doesn’t know your name you are not a threat to him. If he knows your name, you must be in a great place, for your alignment with God is intact. Remember, we are not alone, for God will fight out our battles with us. We can’t help but win through faith.
So, as we celebrate our nation today, let us also celebrate our Lord, for He is with us always, our Victor over sin!
Wonderful God, we thank you for the struggles through life, for without the struggles we wouldn’t know victory. We thank you for the valleys,for if we didn’t have the valleys we wouldn’t appreciate the mountaintops. Thank you so much for loving us, supporting us, and saving us. We love you so much. Through Your Son’s precious name we pray. Amen.
Go with God!