As a child, my parents placed training wheels on my first bike until I was able ride it safely. Once I demonstrated that I was able to ride without these aids, I was eager to prove myself. After a few weeks of caution, I became careless, taking some unnecessary risks. While riding in the rain, I started swerving at an increasing speed. When I hit a rock, my front wheel turned sideways, forcing me over the handle bars. I fell face first into the pavement, resulting in a bloody nose, chipped tooth and swollen chin. This was not one of my finest moments.
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me, Romans 7:14-17.
In the passage above, the apostle Paul refers to the force behind what causes individuals to do stupid things. While Paul doesn’t describe a specific embarrassing moment, he looks back on a stage in life where he lost control. Despite his attempts to do the right thing, Paul fell prey to an addictive trend, bad habits and poor decision making. When you feel powerless to alter your current path, sin is likely living inside of you. For those who endure these helpless periods, full of not so fine moments, there is only one way to escape.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God, Galatians 5:16-21.
Later on in the New Testament, Paul discovers treatment to overcome sin. The passage above describes an invisible tug of war between God’s Spirit and sin. If you want to take your own spiritual temperature, examine your daily acts. Are they representative of the acts of the flesh or closer to the fruits of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23? If you are fighting a losing battle, bound and enslaved by sin, Jesus is only a prayer away, Romans 10:9-10. The further you fall in life, the hardest it becomes to purge yourself from sinful desires. May common sense shine through to bring souls back like lost sheep who find their way back home to God.
by Jay Mankus