The apostle Paul says the same thing to two different churches. In his letter to Galatia, Paul reveals a troubling reality about human beings that is taboo, often swept under the rug. Meanwhile, Paul takes this premise and applies it to his own personal life within a letter written to the Church at Rome. Based upon Paul’s confession in Romans 7, Paul was fighting a losing battle.
But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). 17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do. 18 But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law, Galatians 5:16-18.
Paul’s initial passage serves as guide for what to expect. The internal war is a battle for human souls as fleshly cravings seek to shut down any supernatural attempts to take over your body. Unless you’re outgoing, this invisible war go on 24 seven, 7 days a week without most people paying attention. Only when evil begins to win or good triumphs will family and friends take notice of your rise or fall.
For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [[b]which my moral instinct condemns]. 16 Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it. 17 However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me, Romans 7:15-17.
At the end of Romans 7, the apostle Paul comes to a conclusion. Without Jesus via the Holy Spirit working in your life, mankind is doomed. The symptoms of fighting a battle you can’t seem to win are on display daily. Some signs are more obvious than others. Nonetheless, as human beings go through life using trial and error as their guide, reach out to Jesus so you can start winning those battles that you’ve lost in the past.
by Jay Mankus