These tongue-twisting words of the Apostle Paul so fittingly portray the inward battle of the nature of the flesh, agaist the nature of Christ within the believer:
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:15-25)
If you squeeze a tube of some sort of cream or paste, whatever is inside, is what is going to come out, be it toothpaste or cake icing. People are the same way, under pressure. Try as we might to live the upright life, we can never escape our sin nature in this lifetime.
I hate my sin nature!!!
I look forward to the day that I no longer have to contend with this “body of death” and sin. For me, right now, this is no small struggle. Illness and fatigue weigh heavily, prednisone fogs my mind and makes me feel irritable, patience is stretched thin, limitation and confinement are chafing, and all of it, in combination, makes for a challenge in keeping frustration and temper in check. The spiritual fruit of self-control ought to prevail, yet that base nature still gets the upper hand much more often than I’d like.
Alas, the life of the believer is ever striving!
Thank God that His mercies are new every morning. Sometimes I feel I have used up my alotment before the first hour is even up.
My prayer these days is ” Lord, give me grace and more grace, please don’t allow me to hurt others in the midst of my own pain.”
I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.
I said I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue; I will keep my mouth with a bridle…Lord make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as a handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee…deliver me from all my transgressions…O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence and be no more.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
(Psalm 32:5, Psalm 39: 1, 4-5, 13, Philippians 3:13-14)