For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? —Romans 7:19, 24
We have all experienced the struggle Paul describes in this passage. In our hearts we know what's right. We know exactly what we are supposed to do, and exactly what we are not supposed to do. And most of the time we try hard to do what is right, but it is then we find that a perverse law in our flesh is at work against us, and in the end, we don't do the things we know we should. In our minds we serve God, but our flesh keeps coming up short.
We need to find help outside of ourselves and look to Jesus Christ.
As Paul is explaining the dilemma, he says, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me?" And with that cry, we see the answer. The answer doesn't lie within us. We can't do it. In this same chapter, Paul says, "In me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells" (7:18). We need to find help outside of ourselves.
Paul then responds to his own question, "Thank God—through Jesus Christ" (7:25).
Recognizing the weakness of our flesh, God provided the answer for us—for you. You can't obey in your own strength. But you can do all things through Jesus Christ, and through the power of the Holy Spirit. With His help, you can be the person God wants you to be.
Father, we acknowledge our need, and we recognize our inability. Thank You for empowering us through Your Holy Spirit. May we abide in You so that we do not fulfill the desires of our flesh.
In Jesus' name, amen.