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. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7 NIV)
I’m feelin’ Paul in this whole “wretched man” thing… I find myself nodding profusely in agreement with the latter part of Romans 7. So what of this struggle? How do we overcome in a lasting manner?
Change Your Desires
Your desires are evoked by what you give your attention to. Give your attention to images and words that stir lustful thoughts, lust will become your desire. Ask God for the grace to change your desires towards Him, and do all you can to fall in love with our great King Jesus again.
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. (Revelation 2:4-5a NIV)
It’s like I remember hearing John Piper say in his book “Desiring God”:
“I know of no other way to triumph over sin long term than to gain a distaste for it because of a superior satisfaction in Jesus”
Along the same lines, Matthew Henry the puritan preacher and Bible commentator said this:
“The joy of the LORD will arm us against the assaults of our spiritual enemies, and put our mouths out of taste for those things with which the tempter baits his hooks”.
The only thing that is big enough to help us resist the temptation to trust anything smaller than Jesus, is to recover a sense of Christ’s overwhelming preeminence and supremacy.
Be encouraged to delve deeper into knowing the power of this Gospel in your life. I know I’m relearning this, because to know the vastness and greatness of Him deeper every day, is to move away from any desire for anything smaller than Jesus.
Discussion/Reflection Question: Can you honestly say that you’ve allowed God to change your desires towards Him? Are the desires for Him growing deeper each day? What would help us deepen our desires for Him in every aspect of our lives?