Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I do not understand my own actions.
For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
– Romans 7:15
When our hearts are open to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, we become keenly aware of the considerable gap between our current spiritual condition and God’s ultimate vision for our lives. God looks at us through the lens of the finished work of the cross, by which we have been made holy and righteous in his sight; therefore, God’s vision for our lives is a vision of holiness and wholeness. However, even a brief examination of our lives reveals that we continue, with great frequency, to struggle with sin and brokenness; we continue to do the very things we don’t want to do. The apostle Paul discloses his own personal struggle when he says, “I don’t understand my own actions…I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”

The freedom we long for will come through the One who has already conquered the power of sin and death. Jesus, who has already released us from the bondage of sin, will bring freedom to our hearts and minds as we continue to follow him. In other words, “the One who began a good work in you will bring it to completion” (Philippians 1:6). We currently live in the tension between the “already” and “not yet” of the gospel.

When we find ourselves discouraged and disillusioned by our continual struggles, let us be reminded that even in the midst of our failure and weakness, God is working out his purpose in our lives. In fact, God’s power “is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). The Holy Spirit is working to transform and sanctify our passions and desires, so that we can fulfill our call to live “a godly, righteous, and sober life” (BCP 42).

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