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Why We Do the Things We Do

“So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.

“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”

Romans 7:14-15, 21-25 New Living Translation (NLT)

"The devil made me do it!" Ever heard that before? While some may scoff at this claim, it is partially true. It was his challenge to Eve to disobey God that brought sin into the world. He didn't actually make her disobey God, but he definitely encouraged her to. The enemy of our souls knows God better than we do. He knows that we as human beings were created with the ability to make choices and he has spent his entire existence tempting us to make bad ones. His ultimate goal is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). But we must remember that he too is accountable to God. The enemy can only accomplish what God allows.

God sent His only begotten Son Jesus to save us. He came to help us win this war within our minds that makes us slaves to sin. To know Christ means we believe God went to great lengths to help us live in this world also inhabited by evil. It is in the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we are reconciled and made acceptable to our Heavenly Father. It is difficult for our finite minds to conceive why God did it this way. He didn't have to and maybe one day we will better understand why He did. However, for now, we must accept that God's ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9) and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can follow the way of Christ to God's Kingdom. Jesus gave His life so that we may be freed from the bondage of sin and so that our sins of the past, present and future may be forgiven. He lives now to prepare us for eternal life with God. He asks us only to believe and trust in Him to receive these precious gifts of grace. He promises to do the rest as we follow Him.

Having trouble doing what is right? Lean into Jesus and give thanks to God. He is a very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). He has already defeated our accuser.

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