Running. Struggling. Going through the race, running. Running.
If we could just escape this, this thing… Our Flesh… It consumes and overpowers and takes us away it seems sometimes.
We are new creations, aren’t we? Yet it rages inside and tries to scream out, tries to creep and grab and linger like a poison. And it’s a poison a part of you wants to drink that longs for the sweet embrace that kills.
And the breath in your nostrils comes in and out so quick, too quick, because you’re angry. You’re mad. You want it away and done with. And you can’t feel— you can’t feel nothin’. And why?
“WHY?” you ask. “Why?”
Because it’s not done yet. He’s not done yet, God’s not done yet. We’re still trapped, and stuck, yet we’re still responsible. We can still choose. We are slaves to righteousness once we’re saved.
For 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 with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.Romans 7:15-25
Aren’t we like Paul? We’re so torn, torn people. We wish to do good, and hate that we do evil. Yet, it is right there, isn’t it? It’s right there, by our side, and how could we serve the Living God?
How could we serve the Living, Holy, Awesome God of ALL CREATION!?
A better question, then— how in the world could He save us? Who in their right mind would save us? That’s at least the kind of things we think, right? But God did. God saved us. God did it!
God killed His child for us. And yet we still somehow spit in His face with our sin? What kind of people are we?
We’re redeemed. That’s what we are. That’s exactly who He has made us to be. We are the elect, the saved, the lost sheep brought home, the prodigal son running into his father’s arms. And there’s our Father, arms wide open and running towards us. He’s running Himself.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:6-8
So what can we even do? Where do we even go? We run to the God of Love, Who is Love (1 John 4:8). Paul said,
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.1 Timothy 1:15-16
I am wretched and racked with sin. And I have no hope apart from Jesus. I have nowhere else to go. God’s love is and was so extravagant— I can stand here today. I can live here today. I can bear life because I have hope and because I can do nothing, but Christ has done everything. Because He is my everything. I couldn’t breathe without Him, and I don’t think I’d want to. I would want to never have been born.
I couldn’t breathe without Him, and I don’t think I’d want to.Tweet
His life is my only reason to go on with any sort of reasonable, true hope. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” and so I can live here today with joy and not utter despair.
I can live here today without the mentality, “‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die’” (1 Corinthians 15:32b).
We have hope because of what the LORD Almighty did:
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.2 Corinthians 5:21
In your sin and struggling, stay strong and run to God. Repent. Know that you can never measure up and you can never do good enough. You just can’t. But remember that Christ did for you. Run to Him, ask forgiveness, turn away from your life of sin if you’re living such a life. Believe that He died and rose again, taking your punishment upon Himself for you.
That is our hope, the hope of the Gospel of Christ Jesus, the only Way (John 14:6).
All direct verse quotations are taken from the ESV