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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
July 2, 2005

     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.
     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.
     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.
     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?
     The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

Romans 7:15-25 (Message*)

Like Paul, do you have the experience of not doing what you decide to do, and doing what you decide not to do? The lesson here is that trying harder in your own will is not the answer to this problem. Only by releasing your own will and letting Christ take over in your life can you actually be faithful. "Let go; let God."

Bill Samuel

* The Message version ©2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2005 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 09-Jul-2005 11:52:20 EDT