When I Want . . . I don’t . . .

Vol. 3, No. 31 – August 5, 2018
For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. Romans 7:19

This being a Christian is just a “snap.” Is it?

It is not a breeze, it is not coasting in the shade of a downhill grade; it is not as slick as a greased pig.

With our inner conflicts we try to cover sin, excuse it, and camouflage it with any available reason; we are, after all, very private people – but the fact is, we are exposed to Almighty God!

So, what should we call this problem?

We call it by respectable names:

• A person is not a drunkard; but an alcoholic. Drunkenness is not a sin, it is a disease. God   calls it sin.
• We are not liars. We are prevaricators, or, as someone has suggested, “an extrovert with a lively imagination.” God calls it sin.
• We speak of people having complexes, phobias, and inhibitions. God calls it disease resulting from the sin of the world.
• We speak of the immoral book we are reading as being daring; God calls it filthy sin.
• We speak of a couple having an affair; God calls it adultery, sin.
• We use politically correct words to lessen damage against another; God calls character what it is.
• We say we are too old to serve; God says, “I have left you here to minister and serve; what part of that do you not understand?”
• We say it is time for others to step up, I am tired. God says, “Get off your rusty dusty!”
• We say, “follow me, I am a leader.” God asks, “Where are the leaders you are supposed to be developing?”
• We say, “We do not like change.” God asks, “Would you rather not have that computer, cell phone, or indoor plumbing? You only embrace change that is self-serving!”

People of the earth play word games; the God of the universe is holy, righteous, and immutable (His character never changes, can we say the same?); He begins His conversation with us in total honesty (in what fashion do we reply?).

When we participate in the lies (not just miss-speaking), we take the bottle from our shelf and remove the labels with the skull and crossbones (and the word, POISON), and give it a new and exciting name, “Essence of Peppermint.”

Poison is poison no matter what we label it.

We come to Christ as sinners. We are saved by His amazing grace. We are forgiven and justified before God on the basis of His merits, mercy, and grace. However, we still are at war with our old sinful nature after we believe. We are now redeemed sinners. Paul admits that he struggles, is rotten through and through (7:18). What a struggle we have; for we in essence are just like Paul.
What is the problem? Our failure to live up to God’s standards and our own inner standards is our problem.

Christians are somewhat like an unskilled artist who beholds a beautiful scene that he wants to paint. But his lack of talent prevents him from doing the scene justice. The fault is not in the scene, or in the canvas, the brushes, or the paint but in the painter. –John McArthur, Jr.

Jesus Christ, must place His hand over ours in order to paint the strokes that, independent of Him, we could never produce. I cannot, He can! Jesus said:

Without Me, you can do nothing (“zero, zip, nada”). –John 15:5

The only way we can live victoriously is to walk by Christ’s own Spirit and in His power, in order not to carry out the desires of the flesh. –Galatians 5:16

When I want to do good, I don’t; when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. –Romans 7:19
God, help me be the person you intend for me to be each day that you give me life.
God, help me with my words and habits; I really do not have them – they have me!

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

August 5, 2018

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