“For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do.” Romans 7:18, 19 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Do you ever wonder why you did something you said you’d never do again? Or failed to do something you promised yourself you would do? That’s me all the time. I swear I’ll get up early and walk, but then stay in bed too long, or start doing something else and forget about it. I promise myself I won’t get upset over trivial things, but catch myself getting irritated or angry over minor issues. Sometimes it’s not just little failures we suffer, but real sin catches us unaware and before we know it we’re right back in the midst of it, again.
The Apostle Paul certainly knew about it. Even he felt there was nothing good in himself. Wow! You mean the man who wrote most of the New Testament struggled with sin? Yes, even Paul. There was only One who never sinned, Jesus, and even He faced temptation. (Read Matthew 4:1-11.)
One of the many things I love about the Bible, it shows us that the men and women God used in the past were just like us. They sometimes got things wrong over and over, yet God was able to pick them up, clean them up and use them. Just like He picks us up, cleans us up, and desires to use us today.
Gideon questioned God, not once, but three times. But God still used him to deliver Israel. (Read Chapter 6, 7 and 8 of Judges.)
David was an adulterer and a murderer. But because he desired to be made clean and repented, God was able to call him a man after His own heart.
Moses lost his temper and disobeyed God, but the Bible says, “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend”. (Exodus 33:11a)
Jonah was angry at God because He didn’t destroy the city of Nineveh after the people repented when Jonah preached to them. And remember it took a whale to get him there. Think about that. He finally obeys God, goes to preach in one of the most wicked cities of the era, the entire city repents, including the King, and Jonah is angry because God did not destroy them. How many preachers can say they went to a city and the entire city, including the Mayor got saved? Not that many.
Peter denied Jesus three times. But after the resurrection Jesus gave Peter three opportunities to reaffirm his love for him. “Lord, You know I love You” and Jesus replied “Feed My sheep.”
The Apostle Paul says “O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death? O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:24, 25 (Amplified Bible) In other words, it is through Jesus Christ we can overcome and we can be free from sin.
When we do fail, praise God, He’s made the way for our restoration. The very next verse says God will not condemn us, but He will set us free. “THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.” Romans 8:1, 2 (Amplified Bible)
Matthew Henry says in his Concise Commentary on the Bible, “Believers may be chastened of the Lord, but will not be condemned with the world. By their union with Christ through faith, they are thus secured.”
So, the next time you know you’ve gotten something wrong, the next time you feel unworthy of God, or doubt your usefulness to Him, remember you are not alone. We’re all there one time or another, and some of us on a regular basis. And God knew your weaknesses when He called you, but He chose you anyway. Pick yourself up, repent, and start over.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Peace and blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ to you all,