I was driving home tonight from work, and a thought kept cropping up in my head – I love food but I should go to the gym and work out, but I don’t feel like it. Today, I ate a healthy breakfast, lunch, and fruit for a snack, but I blew the day on cookies. As hard as I tried to stay away from fake sugars, I drank sparkling colored water. I intended to drink more water throughout the day, but I ended up drinking a couple of glasses – not the recommended daily allowance.
I intend to do all these things – lift weights, run around the block, exercise my belly and eat healthily – but I don’t do them. Instead, I look forward to the slice of pizza, a piece of chicken or a burrito, and a plop in the comfy chair.
Allow me to move past the food you find at the grocery and speak about spiritual food for a moment.
When I get home from work, I intend to study God’s Word every chance I get, but I get distracted by the pictures and stories on social media. I intend to spend some quality time writing about all God has done for me, but I get distracted by the news on the internet. I stay awake late at night and do a little reading, but I end up not being able to get up early in the morning to spend quality time with God. The things I want to do, I can’t seem to do.
I intend, intend, intend – and I end up doing everything I don’t want to do and nothing I want to do. Can you say frustrating??!!?!?
My only solace?
I’m not the only one who struggles with these things DAILY!
Romans 7:15-24, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is a sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives inside of me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.
If I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is a sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: when I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being, I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am!”
The apostle Paul shares three lessons he learned in trying to deal with his sinful desires:
- Knowledge of the rules is not the answer – He felt fine as long as he did not understand what the law demanded. When he learned the truth, he knew he was doomed.
- Self-determination (struggling in one’s own strength) doesn’t succeed – Paul found himself sinning in ways that weren’t even attractive to him.
- Becoming a Christian does not stamp out all sin and temptation from a person’s life. It is a lifelong process, like a strenuous race we run.
All of us must depend totally on the work of Christ for our salvation. We cannot earn it by good behavior.
To apply this truth to my food fest, I must not eat the bad things and work at eating more good things. I must work harder to get the exercise in and spend less time in a chair.
And more importantly, I must make a purposeful effort to spend time with the Lord each day and spend less time watching the world go by.
We must never underestimate the power of sin, nor must we attempt to fight it in our own strength. We must take hold of the tremendous power of Christ because the enemy is very crafty and loves to tempt us at every turn.
Loved ones, we have a powerful and victorious God!
I’m going for a walk, and while I’m walking, I’m going to chat with my best friend – The Lord.
In His Service,