Choosing this day whom you will serve — over and over and over

If you’ve read the book of Romans, or even if you never have, you probably know those words from Romans 7:24. In Romans chapter 7 the apostle Paul describes the struggle we face every day. We get it when he writes, “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 still is within me.”

Paul says so aptly in Galatians 5: “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces constantly are fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.” 5:17-18 New Living Translation

That’s the fight I’m in every day. Some days it is as if the battle is pulsating through my veins, wearing me out. I can only try to draw near the Lord’s presence, listening to His voice calling me to come to him to get some rest. When I move toward the Lord’s presence, I often responds with words like this:

Lord, I belong to you. The passions and desires of my sinful nature have been nailed to the cross and crucified. Though I feel ill equipped to your service and know that so many of my thoughts and actions are tinged by sin, I commit again today to living by the Spirit who lives within me. Help me to follow his leading, realizing that those who endure to the end will be saved. For the sake of your Kingdom, cause the fruit of the Spirit to keep ripening in my life …Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and Self-control. Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, three persons in one God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

I have done this over and over and over as I have journeyed on the narrow road. And often I remember the Apostle Paul’s constant encouragement: “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone — especially to those in the family of faith.” Galatians 6:9-10