What's the biggest frustration for people who want to live godly lives? For many (including me), it's the inability to do just that. Do you ever feel that way? Well, the Bible has a solution.
First, let's look at the problem. Below are the words of the apostle Paul:
"I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate....For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing" (Romans 7:15-19, ESV).
Now, let's look for answers to this problem. Look up John 15:5 and answer the following questions:
1. Whose words are these?
2. What does He expect you to be able to do on your own?
3. Which words in that verse stand out to you?
4. Why do those words make such an impact on you?
The Bible teaches that only through Jesus can a person have a relationship with God (see John 14:6). And now we see that there is a parallel truth--the only way to have the strength to live a godly life is through Jesus.
Let's read a bit more of the passage in John 15 so we'll have a better understanding of what Jesus is teaching.
"'I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.'
"'Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned" (John 15:1,4-6, NLT).
Take a few moments and write down what you think Jesus wants you to know about the source of your strength and ability to live for Him.
Why is it so critical that a Christ-follower know this truth?
Listen to the apostle Paul as he affirms this truth.
"May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation--the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ--for this will bring much glory and praise to God" (Philippians 1:11, NLT).
What difference will it make in your day and your life to know that good things are produced in your life, not by your effort, but by the presence and power of Jesus? That's worth praying about and praising Him for!
Back to The Bible
My comments: When Paul is saying he does what he hates he is not, I am sure, saying he purposes to do wrong or that once he does it he continues in it or revels in it. What he is saying is we like him are not perfect. We have a sin nature and we still sin. Though we have been bought by the blood of the lamb and cleansed us still because of our sin nature, sin. The difference in unsaved and saved or born again ones is we turn back to our Lord and savior and seek forgiveness and strength from our Heavenly Father who supplies all our needs. We can do nothing with out Him who supplies all, all, all our needs! It is Christ Jesus living in us that bring us up out of the mire. He allows the pruning of us the branches so we will bring glory and praise to God. This is when we produce much fruit, when we by His strength overcome our sin nature and persevere to become more and more like Christ Jesus.
I do not like that I still sin. Yet He living in me, strengthening me, guiding me; enables me to become more and more like Him and in that I rejoice. I yearn for the day I am with my Lord so I will not offend Him anymore with my weaknesses.
Abba Father, thank You for my salvation and for helping me to overcome my sin nature. Where I am weak, You are strong. When I stumble, You pick me up and carry me on. When I walk away from Your teachings, You send Your Holy Spirit to bring me back to You. I praise You Father for all You have, are and will do to keep me as Yours. I pray You will bring all my family & loved ones into Your family so they may enjoy fellowship with You. Thank You Lord. Amen