7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
I really feel like I can relate to Paul. So often I find myself in an internal struggle of the mind, knowing I am acting irrationally but going through with it anyway. Verse 15 really resonates with me. I want to have real faith, to live without fear or stress or worry. I want to be kind and patient and hopeful, as 1 Corinthians 13 describes love to be. Yet I fail. Day in and day out I struggle with these things and lose the battle. But, I know God is faithful. It is through Jesus Christ that our faith is even possible! He alone can give us the strength and perspective we need to live a godly life in this sinful world. We have to put our faith in HIM...not in our circumstances, not in the emotions and fears that consume our hearts daily. It is when we put our complete trust in His sovereignty and love that we truly find freedom. As long as we are living and breathing, I don't think we will ever reach a point that we no longer struggle. But I do know that real love is kind and patient. It does not delight in evil and keeps no record of wrong. It always protects, always hopes, and always endures. This is the perfect love offered to us through Christ. It will never fail, no matter how often I might. How thankful and humbled I am at this thought!
It's time to start making this truth my reality...time to start living in true freedom and making the most of the moments I've been given. Only then will I be able to experience the peace and joy I so badly desire.