Seeds of the Kingdom Daily Devotional 27 March 2022
TOPIC: The Battle Within Part 1
For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
I think most of us will have experienced what Paul is saying in this passage, at some stage. The Greek word for ‘evil’ in this verse is ‘kakos’. One of the definitions given for it is ‘of a bad nature or not such as it ought to be’. Verse 20 in Romans 7 goes on to say, ‘Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it’. Paul is referring to the fleshy sinful nature (old man), which wants to do its own thing, being at war with the Christ-centred, Holy Spirit led part of us (new man).
Galatians 5:17 (AMP) paints an even clearer picture. ‘For the sinful nature has its desire which is opposed to the Spirit, and the [desire of the] Spirit opposes the sinful nature; for these [two, the sinful nature and the Spirit] are in direct opposition to each other [continually in conflict], so that you [as believers] do not [always] do whatever [good things] you want to do’.
Some of us may struggle from time to time, whether it be with unhealthy reactions, bad attitudes, lack of self-control or temptation to do something we know is not God’s heart for us. We can feel inside that ‘it is not such as it ought to be’. We may sense there’s a battle and feel out of sorts, even guilty or shame-ridden because of it. Thankfully there is hope and God’s word has the remedy.
James 5:16 in the Amplified version encourages us to ‘Therefore , confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) is able to accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].’
Gal 5:16 states, ‘But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh’. That tells us that walking by the Spirit enables us to walk in a godly way.
It is important to find someone trustworthy, someone who will not judge and condemn us, but who will support us in our journey to walk free from sinful tendencies and unhealthy patterns, as we share them, bringing them into the light.
Sometimes our unhealthy patterns come as a result of a sinful response to our own woundedness. When this is the case, there is a need for healing of the wound first, confessing our wrongful responses and then choosing to go in a godly direction. When we respond in a godly way to our pain, we give God an opportunity to heal us. We will look more at in my next seed.