Romans: Day 17

The Good I Want to Do

by

Today's Text: Romans 7:14-25, Galatians 5:16-26, 1 John 1:8-10

Scripture Reading: Romans 7:14-25, Galatians 5:16-26, 1 John 1:8-10

Sure, I was terrible. But it was the fruit flies’ fault.

I’d been at war with them all week, using every trick Google assured me would work. Bowl of vinegar mixed with dish soap? Done. A trap made of fruit and plastic wrap? Yep. Pour diluted bleach down the drain and hope for the best? Affirmative.

I’d done all the entire internet knew to do, to no avail. The fruit flies were multiplying, not disappearing, and I was over it.

I was trying to cook dinner, plotting against the irritating insects in the interim as the pasta boiled and the sauce simmered. I was annoyed—and not just at the state of my kitchen, but at what seemed to be the state of my life. Why couldn’t I just get it all under control already?  

That’s when David walked in.

I married a good man. He is kind and gracious and funny. And when he walked in the door during my fruit-fly and general-life crisis, I did what any human being would do: I let him have it.

I was as passive-aggressive as I knew how to be and then some. I started slyly with some innocent questions, and then I went in for the kill, attacking his actions and decisions and, in the end, his character. It was awful. I was awful.

Here is what I cannot for the life of me understand: I had no desire to treat my husband with such unkindness and disrespect. I did not stand there in my kitchen, stirring that spaghetti sauce and thinking, When he gets home, I’m going to give him a piece of my mind. Honestly, I don’t know that I’ve ever thought that about him.

I love David. And I love how he loves me. I want nothing but the absolute best for him. But my best intentions were not calling the shots that night. My humanity was.

I’m so grateful for this passage in Romans 7. I’m grateful that God not only knows us fully, but He reassures us of this in His Word. I’m grateful for Paul’s confession that so clearly articulates the struggle I feel in my own heart on a daily basis.

I don’t want to sin. Really, I don’t. But I do it anyway.  

I want to obey the Lord. Really, I do. But I disobey anyway.

Paul’s description of his own sin struggle in Romans 7:14-25 can seem confusing at first read. But read it again, slowly this time. Read it aloud. Do you hear the desperation? Paul, like me (and like you?), does not want to sin. But in and of himself—in his “flesh”—he does not have the ability to be sinless. And he seems pretty frustrated about this. I am, too. Aren’t you?

Sin is a disease we are born with but cannot heal. Sin is a slavery we are born into but cannot escape (Romans 3:23; 1 Corinthians 15:22).

Sin is a condition we cannot fix. But Jesus can. He has.

The message of the gospel of Jesus—the gospel that causes Paul to cry, mid-frustration, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (v.25)—is that Jesus has rescued us from “this body of death” (v.24). We are more than just our weak-willed bodies; we are souls who have been redeemed by the sinless life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Yes, we struggle with sin. We struggle to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25), to choose a moment-by-moment life guided by the Spirit of the Lord rather than our selfish desires. But we do not struggle in vain. Our struggle is a fight—a fight to live in the freedom that has already been secured by the Savior who defeated darkness once for all (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

Thanks be to God, for He invites us into a life governed not by our wants or our whims, but by His truth and love.

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  • Thank you for this beautiful exegesis of this passage. I read it several times before I read this, and just kept banging my head against a wall trying to wrap my head around what Paul was trying to say. And then I read this. And your comment about “read it again — read it out loud”. And I did. And everything just clicked. What a powerful moment.

  • Kinsey Hadden

    This is something I have been needing to hear for a really long time. I’ve always struggled with the same sins, but never had the desire in my heart to do the things I was doing, but had the desire in my flesh. In the end the sins always made me feel icky and like I would never be good enough for Gods kingdom. It is so refreshing to hear that Jesus has the cure for our sins and gives us a way out.

  • This passage is spot on!! I sin even when that’s NOT the desire of my heart. This passage is such a reminder that I am weak in my flesh and I must walk with the spirit. This passage makes me so thankful God sent his son for our forgiveness and grace because he knew we could not bare the disease of sin on our own. Thank you Lord!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  • Freedom Fighter! I love that churchmouse! Let’s go ladies and be Freedom fighters in our lives!

  • Rhonda Bohart

    Thank you for being so vulnerable in this. Been there, done that. Totally get Paul. So thankful we do have a savior.

  • Your story touched home. Between my early morning shift, lack of sleep and a boss who I pray for daily because she is terrible, I tend to take my anger and frustration out on my kids when they in a sense breath wrong. This scripture speaks to me because everyday I struggle with using choice words not that I want to but I do. In traffics, at work and just if the wind blows wrong. My flesh consumes my spirit and daily I hate myself for allowing my spirit to be weak. I thank Paul for this chapter of Romans and thank you for posting your story

  • PronetoWander

    Oh this is so me!! I’ve been struggling with this so much! This message was for me! (Maybe for you too but it was also for me!) I wish I wouldn’t have skipped this last week on accident! But I’m glad I have it now! “Thanks be to God, for He invites us into a life governed not by our wants or our whims, but by His truth and love.” Whims! Whims are what get me! Get me into so much trouble! Thanks to God for redeeming me and helping me even when I fail so many times! I’ll be trying to focus on the things of the Spirit instead of that target dollar section, that candle, that whatever the next thing I see and want is! Pray for me ladies, I need it lol

  • Jennifer B.

    This was my favorite day so far in Romans. This one hit me like a stack of bricks. I know I have read sections of these verses before but today was a ah-ha moment- the light bulb went off. How many times have I felt this exact struggle as Paul- now I have verses that I can read when I am feeling this struggle and know that I am not alone. So thankful to God for putting these amazing helpful words in His scripture.

  • I really needed to hear this today! I’m a few days behind and I could have used this encouragement a few days ago as I’ve been struggling to change some sin in my life. ” I do not do what I want to do…… It is sin in me”. And from Amanda ” Our struggle is a fight – a fight to live in the freedom that has already been secured by the Savior who defeated darkness once for all!! Lord, I was to live in that freedom! May I call on you more and more! Thank you for SRT and getting me into the word!

  • Dorothy Inman

    Thank you for being so real and honest. I often take my frustrations of the day out on my husband when he gets home. Some of it is pride because I think there’s no way he understands what I deal with all day raising our kids and I want him to acknowledge what an amazing job I’m doing. Some of it is jealousy because I’m mad that he gets to go to work outside of the home and somewhere deep inside of me I wish I could do that. And some of it is just plain meanness because I think he deserves to pay for my bad day. Which is stupid. On those days I hope I can recognize what is going on (sometimes I don’t) and just say I’m sorry. And be thankful that I have a husband who is willing to work hard to keep a roof over our heads and is an amazing father. Who would do anything for us.

    • Tracie Johnson

      Hitting the nail on the head.

    • Nicole V

      Dorothy, your choice to comment here blessed me so much!
      Thank you for being open and real and humble through your weakness and your outlook. I could see reflections of my past week and year in what you shared and took such comfort that I’m not alone. Nor am I asked to pretend all is well or to overcome my struggles silently on my own.
      I’m very glad God gave us sisters to each other. May you find the fruit of the Spirit coming from you, even unconsciously and without effort, as you spend time with and closely observe Jesus. May diligence pay off as His character naturally “rubs off on you”.

    • Nicole

      Dorothy, I struggle with all those things as well and for the same reasons. Thank you for your transparency!

  • What a powerful community this is! I really feel like I am in a “real” Bible study by being able to hear these stories-thank you for sharing. I am a day behind and when I finally opened my book today (in the evening, not the morning which had gotten away from me) I was so convicted by the words that spoke to me. I give thanks to God for my relationship with Him. I have so many blessings in my life-at my beautiful vacation home in Montana with family, with my darling two year old daughter, 28 weeks pregnant with another healthy girl. We are traveling home tomorrow and are so excited to be reunited with my husband who couldn’t get away from work. But parenting a toddler in the last trimester is frustrating! She is hilarious and adorable and so so sweet, but sometimes the power struggles really get to me. I used to be a kindergarten teacher so I try to tap into all the positive praise, etc I used to use…I really pray to be patient and understanding with Charlotte, but when I lose patience with her, I just feel so damaged and ugly inside. I have a really complicated relationship with my own mom, those underlying issues are probably coming up. I try to remember that Charlotte is only two, I’m doing the best I can. Tomorrow is a new day…as long as I lean on God I pray that he will help me to be a good mom. Amen.

    • Ashley

      By going to God and trusting in Him you are already a wonderful mom! A great opportunity to show Charlotte that mommies mess up too, and God’s grace! I pray you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery. I also pray for your family’s transition! Blessings!

    • Dorothy Inman

      Trust me, I have a daughter who is now six and a two year old. I PROMISE the girl stuff gets better. But yes, it’s really hard being pregnant with a spicy little girl. Hang in there momma. You’re doing great.

  • This a beautiful reminder that we are human. We will fail ourselves, our loved ones, and God even during our pursuit to love each other fully. But there is hope.

  • Thank you Ladies for such amazing messages❤️ they gave me so much strength and peace today. Much love xo

  • I wondered what it means “not inherit the kingdom of God,” because I don’t think it means people who do the things listed won’t go to heaven. We have all done at least some of “these things” after becoming a Christian.

    I looked in my concordance for the references to kingdom of God, and I ran across Romans 14:17 – “…for the kingdom of God is …righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” It fits the passage, because if we do “these things,” we wont have righteousness, peace, and joy. This definition of the kingdom of God also fit the other passages where this phrase appears.

    • Alison

      Love this. I was pondering the same thing and am so glad I saw this !

    • Catherine

      Thank you so much for sharing this. I was listening to an audio book which referenced Matthew 6:33 and I sat there pondering the question: “What is the Kingdom of God”. And BOOM! An answer right here!!! Yay!

    • Brandice

      I think inheriting the Kingdom of God is a process that, at any given moment we are either engaged in or not engaged in. Jesus says to pray for God’s will to be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Good says he will make all things new. God is redeeming and restoring the whole world, and inheriting the Kingdom is becoming the kind of creatures fit to live in his restored world, The Kingdom. See N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope and Rob Bell’s Love Wins for more on the Kingdom!

    • Aly

      What do those who practice (which I assume mean live in) in these things listed inherit if they are believers? If they don’t inherit “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” what do they inherit? Isn’t Heaven a place where we experience peace and joy with God and will live righteously? I’ve just never thought of the kingdom of God as anything but literal Heaven so it’s hard to wrap my mind around.

  • Oh boy, what a mobius strip of logic Paul weaves in today’s reading … it was frustrating keeping it all straight as he referred to the Law and sin and spirit and flesh and just who is sinning and who isn’t … aaargh ! My spirit is willing but my flesh isn’t … the break between mind and body has always been a source of pondering. It won’t change any time soon, I guess. I will continue to think on what my Jesus would have me do, confess to Him when I stumble, pray to Him to guide me, and fight the good fight day after day after day until we meet.

  • churchmouse

    “Our struggle is a fight – a fight to live in the freedom that has already been secured by the Savior who defeated darkness once for all.” To all you fellow freedom fighters (aka the She’s), thank you for gathering in this place. Your comments are honest, vulnerable, compelling and challenging. I look forward everyday to the Lord speaking through the Scriptures, the SRT devotion and through the heartfelt and thoughtful comments posted by this community. We are indeed in a fight and sometimes, most times, we are battle weary. Praise God for you comrades in arms who offer strength, encouragement and your prayers. I cannot tell you how often I thought of just surrendering but you have lifted me up to soldier on another day. Thank you. Victory is ours.

  • Well, I just kept thinking about this devotional and my earlier comment and can I share something actually quite embarassing and fairly unempathetic?

    Sometimes when I read devotionals like this or certain comments talking about the challenges when having/raising kids all I can think is: well you HAVE someone you love most where you can be unreasonable? Well, at least if there’s sadness in your life and around your family, you share in this sadness with someone. Almost to the extent that I’d trade the carefreeness of my life for a life in which I share sadness together with the one I love most (and who loves me most).

    As for the first thing I mentioned (being unreasonable etc to your husband), one of my biggest fear is that as a single person I’d push away family members, colleagues, friends because THEY are the ones whom I’d lash out to because in the safe haven of my home there’s no one to do this to. And the colleagues, friends, family members I am talking about are having a far easier time being nice (and slightly more distant) to me because they have their partners at home where they can show their true, sometimes ugly colours.

    Maybe this fear is based on nothing and is just a result of ruminating too much. I just wonder if anyone understands or recognises this sentiment.

    • Emily B.

      I think it’s understandable. I think we all fear pushing people away or doing that one thing that will make someone no longer want to be around us, whether it’s a friend, spouse, child, etc. I tend to be a people-pleaser, so I see where you’re coming from. I do think it’s important to have people in your life with whom you can be totally and completely transparent and know that they’re going to love you anyway. I hope you have someone like that, and if not, I hope God will show you someone soon. :)

    • Ana

      I think I understand what you mean, but sometimes that kind of thought or comparison it’s many times an illusion and can be a trap to lead us to more sadness. There are so many people who marry just because and stay together just because and show their true colors in their homes to people they don’t love the most and that don’t love them the most. But to the outsiders it seems they have what everyone wants to have in their lives.
      Remember what Paul says in another letter: Now to the unmarried I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. (1Cor 7)
      Perhaps we should discover with Paul the fruits of singleness. Our society (including Christians) focus so much on marriage as a blessing, a dream come true, a source of happiness (many times as The source), that we forget that in His Word God tells us that He blesses singleness and marriage, both are beautiful and important to Him. But single people are left to themselves and many times are viewed as Miss Congeniality. They didn’t win the price (marriage) and are patronized by others. I think that the expectations of the world often find a way of creeping into Christianity with a godly appearance.
      I understand your sadness and fear of pushing others away, but you are so loved where you are, God has such a love for us! His love doesn’t vary as He looks at single, married, fat, thin, smart, talented, less talented, tall, short, popular, less popular people. On the garden Christ accepted to save you, He had all of us in His heart and mind and He didn’t said to the Father, “well, I’ll do this but only for the people who are…” . We could be the only person who needed to be saved, He would do it.
      I don’t know if I helped at all, but your question made me ponder how so often our enemy uses the worldly expectations against us giving them a positive appearance. Aren’t we supposed to achieve this and that in our earthly life. If we don’t, what does that mean or imply about us or the love God has for us? And we loose time and peace.
      Sending you a hug from Portugal! We have a great distance between us, but your comments here have been very important to me. They are usually so profound and make me think and grow. And I’ve noticed your ability to empathize with others. God bless!

      • Nads

        Great wisdom in your reply! It is quite true.

      • songbird

        Thank you for the Portugese hugs and kind words.
        It’s definitely true.

        I have to say though that I do see friends and family around me who actually have become better versions of themselves thanks to stable marriages and the support they receive from their spouse. And frankly speaking, I’d rather witness how God blesses them in that way than try and see the cracks in other people’s relationships just because I don’t have one.

        At least this gives me something beautiful to hope for in the future.
        And yes, frustration that I have to miss out on this emotional luxury in life, too…

        Let’s continue helping each other grow as a community. I am thankful how other people’s comments and encouragements do that to be and I’m thankful to hear how mine can do that to others. Please tell me if it doesn’t.

  • Sonja Cox

    Praise God for Romans 7:25!

  • Such a powerful part of the bible. I’d totally have wanted to be friends with Paul had we lived in the same era etc. We could have hung out and talk about the beauty and frustrations in life, and throughout he’d be able to teach me a lot.

    On a more serious note now, what my struggle is really that when I don’t feel well (sometimes just due to the time of the month, sometimes because of great disappointments in life), I just feel myself being much more prone to sin: I dislike others, envy others and am more inclined to selfishness, gluttony, spending and snapping at others… and the one who suffers most is often me. Especially envy. When you don’t act on it, it crushes no one but yourself from the inside. If you do act on it, you will most probably pay back for it by the way others treat you.

    Oh how I sometimes just wish to be another person. One without any inclination to unlovingness.

    When I feel myself being discontented with life, envious towards others and cynical all I can do is pray (and pray hard) for my heart to soften for I know I am so deeply inclined to be a person I don’t want to be.

  • Awesome message. I lost my dad recently, and I felt so angry with God. But with time I learned that God does everything for a reason.

    • She Reads Truth

      So sorry for the loss of your father, friend. Grateful to have you in this community.

      – Stormye

  • I got so much out of today’s devotional! You see, I am a perfectionist and that spills over into every single part of my life, including the bad parts. That means, when I sin – every single day over and over – my perfectionism kicks into high gear and I begin to berate myself, condemn myself, and beat myself up. Now, if I could leave it at that, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. But what happens is that when I begin to beat myself up over the sins I have committed, that does nothing to help me stop committing the same sins in the future. Instead, I need to stop what I am doing and immediately recognize that I am simply human with a sinful nature, and just ask for forgiveness. I need to be thankful that even though I am a sinner – just like everyone else here on this earth – I am also a Christian and I know that God forgives me when I sin. Paul asks, “who will rescue me from this body of death?” and then acknowledges that through Jesus Christ we are rescued. No longer do I need to berate myself and “try to be a better person”. I can’t accomplish that on my own. I can only accomplish that through Jesus Christ. I give my sins to Him, and I rest in the knowledge that He will cover me with his love and forgiveness.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing, Sheryn! So grateful for your wisdom and insight today!

      – Stormye

  • I really needed to read this today. Thank you.

  • This was the perfect reading for me today. I actually did something very similar yesterday… I wasn’t dealing with a fruit fly invasion but the kids started complaining and asking me for way more than my two hands could handle all at the same time. So when my husband came home, I took it out on him. I acted annoyed by everything he did and said. Even as it was happening, I knew I was being ridiculous but I just couldn’t control my mouth. :-( I needed this study today!

  • I’ve read Romans 7:14-25 countless times and always found it frustrating to understand but somehow today I finally really heard it. Even the first time reading it this morning I understood it better but it really helped to go back and read it slowly and out loud. God is so amazing that He took Saul, who hated Christians, and transformed him into Paul who wrote so openly about his struggle with sin that all these thousands of years later it can speak so clearly to me and I can be more understanding of myself when I fall into the sins I do not want to do instead of doing the good I want and desire to good. Our Father is so gentle with us. Thank You Father for Your amazing, undeserved and unearned grace. Thanks Amanda for your words which help me to see we all struggle with this and helped me see humans have been struggling with this since Adam and Eve.

    • Stacey Cochran

      I completely understand! I thought I had a grasp on this passage considering I have studied Romans a few times. But Amanda’s words just drove it home and humbled me incredibly today. And your beautiful prayer is what my heart was saying too.

      • Amanda Bible Williams

        Holly & Stacey – Thank you for your comments today. I, too, saw this passage in a new light this time as a studied it. I love how God’s Word is living and active, and the Holy Spirit ministers personally to us as we read it. Such a crazy concept — so thankful it’s true! Grateful for sisters like you to walk alongside, even if virtually. :) xo – Amanda

  • May we go on to recognize that we do not have to remain struggling under our own power! If we are in relationship with Christ, we can trust in resurrection power to overcome our sin! To the extent we abide in Christ and seek His face, we will overcome our sinful flesh! I will never overcome the flesh if I am focusing only on my outward actions! To the extent I focus on Christ and his goodness, sin will lose its grip and power!

  • Diane Huntsman

    And we keep fighting.. we keep going to Jesus each and every time we fail and succumb to the weak flesh.. it’s never going to be ok to stay in that sin that we hate.. you know, the ones Jesus died for.. one day I was struggling with one of those “repeat sins” I was in the shower begging God to deliver me.. I told Him I’ve done all I know to do and I’m still falling in the same manner.. He clearly spoke to my heart and said you haven’t confessed this sin to anyone.. you need to heed my word in which I’ve told you to confess your sin one to another and pray for one another that you might be healed … that same night at a small home bible study in which I was suppose to be mentoring a couple younger women, I did just what Jesus told me to do.. I confessed my sin and we prayed together..it was that night I began to experience break through with that ongoing sin.. ladies we can confess here and that’s a great first step, but go have a face to face with a sister you trust.. confess that sin, be prayed for.. I assure you, break through will come!! His Word isn’t a book of suggestions.. it’s a book of instructions meant to be followed Word for precious word! Victory is ours as we do what she tells us! Hugs! xoxo

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for this, Diane! So encouraged by your obedience to the Spirit. Grateful for you!

      – Stormye

    • Nyla

      Well said. I have a date with a younger woman next week. She is struggling and reached out to me. Our hearts are parallel, our struggles similar but I know my sin is different from what gets may be. I have been praying about confession. I have known for YEARS now, that confession to another would be key and that with confession comes repentance and accountability. I have made half attempts of confession in the past and not completed it. I am praying I will on the 28th. Please, if you think of me, pray. Thank you for sharing your story of confession. I know and have had victory over other sinful things in the past, with confession. I know the power in it. You are right, coming on here and confessing is not enough. Maybe, even, with one person, is not enough. Thank you again, for your insight. ❤️

  • So spot on. We can never wipe it away as without Jesus we are sinners, but with him, we are made clean. So thankful for the forgiveness he offers

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • I do the things I hate, and God knows what they are. Thanks be to God who sees our worst and still believes the best about us!! He’s in our corner, whispering “fight this battle, because I’ve already won the war for you.” That is giving me confidence this morning to deny my flesh!

  • Amanda – thank you for sharing so honestly. It brought tears to my eyes because I do the same things. Why do the people we love the most get the worst? It doesnt seem fair. I dont want to be a jerk to my husband, but I do. Thank you Jesus for your grace!

    • Amanda Bible Williams

      I hear you, CJ! It is odd how those safe spaces can bring out the best *and* the worst in us. But I’m so thankful for those who show the gospel to me by forgiving my many sins toward them. Thank you for your comment. xo, Amanda

  • This is a great passage. It’s filled with truth and honesty and hard things. I’m trying to get better about reading and believing the hard things and passages God has stored in His word for us. It gives me comfort to know Paul struggled with many things as I do too. It also gives me great hope to know that Jesus stands in the gap. That in my flesh I cannot be without sin, but if I live by the spirit, following after Jesus – He can take me places I could never be on my own and my peace lies in what He accomplished on the cross. Each day with His guidance I am able to overcome what is necessary for the day and then lay it all down and when morning comes there is a new mercies and grace that I will need for the new day. It’s beautiful that He set it up for us that way. I no longer let the perfectionist in me reign, but truly lean on Him to be my reminder, comfort, and truth speaker in those moments of fleshly weakness and each time I choose Him over my flesh, I move leaps and bounds.

    We don’t have to do it alone. We have a wonderful Savior that is standing right next to us showing us the better way. It’s totally a me-thing, a selfish thing and if we stay in that we may never see change – but if we lean into Him – we will see progress through Him and know that His blood paid the price to cover all that we are not or will never be. He took our bad and He covered and made us good through Him and that is where my heart will rest.

  • I’m so blessed by this devotional today. I have never read something so true. We fight the flesh daily. Father may you deliver us from the evil desires of the flesh and draw us towards a more righteous spiritual life.

  • This resonates with me so much. Sometimes I feel Ike I’m watching myself do careless things and I don’t even know why. For me, it’s about nutrition (meaning my lack thereof). I eat junk, not much exercise when I know that not what I want deep down.

  • Jessica Mills

    Great devotional.
    Totally not important, but the fruit flies may have been fruit gnats, and that’s why you couldn’t get rid of them!
    Sorry, I know that wasn’t the point of the post, I just had to comment haha.

    • Amanda Bible Williams

      THANK YOU. Seriously, they are the worst and I will remember this next time. :) xo, Amanda

  • It always amazes me when I read a passage in the Bible, this ancient message, and find that it is speaking directly about me. This human condition that the great Paul felt, is the same for me. It makes the world, and time feel smaller and God feel so much closer. Thanks you God for these relevant words, for reminding me just how close you are, and for saving me from this human condition that only Jesus can fix!

  • Stephanie

    Man, I struggled with the celebration of no longer being slaves to sin earlier in Romans. I have been raised a follower of Christ my entire life and I know, deep down, I am saved and what Christ’s death does. But as a perfectionist and as someone who tends to give so much more grace to others than myself — those passages were hard for me to really believe as I feel like I am so full of sin. And then comes Romans 7. Paul’s confession had me nodding my head the whole time. Paul is ME. I want to live that life that is free of sin — and I fall short every single time. … But Jesus. Praise Jesus. His death did not come with strings attached. Even for the perfectionist.

    • Loretta

      Stephanie, I totally feel the same way. I have to remind myself that God’s mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23) Each day is a “do over” and as long as I am given a new day, I want to keep working at doing what is right. I also have to remember that the devil is real and wants nothing more than to see me fail. I would rather go to the Lord many times a day for His mercy and forgiveness than let the enemy win.

  • The current phrase that kept coming to my mind today was “THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.” Ugh! That stinking besetting sin. The one that sneaks up on you when you least expect it! Y’all have named of few of yours. Mine is food. Others ignore me when I mention it because (currently) I am a “normal” weight. Yesterday was a bad day. The Spirit kept speaking and I kept trying to shut Him up with another bite…and another and another. I quit tracking on My Fitness Pal when I reached well over 2100 cal for the day. (I’m certain the total was well over 3000)
    BUT, it is a new morning and new mercy is here. God is here. His love, forgiveness, grace. It’s all here. ” Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Like Paul, I am rescued from this “body of death” and the Holy Spirit is here to fill me with the fruit of self-control!

    • gema muniz

      Amen sister, I totally understand where you are coming from cause I deal with the same issue as you do. Every day I plan on sticking to my dietary plan, but fall short. I have decided to bring it to God every morning, filling first my spiritual tank and then leaving everything else up to him. For we can do all things through God who strengthens us. He will give us discipline, strength , and the way to reach our goal.

    • Aimeejoy

      Bobbie, Thank you for sharing about a struggle that I am sure many women have! Personally, I can relate to the struggle in other areas of my life. I had to go to a group addictions recovery meeting for a class I am taking this summer and an older man said something that can be applied in all areas of life. He told me of an analogy of mountain biking. When a person is mountain biking, the trick to not dying on the way down the mountain is to look where you want to go. Don’t look where you do not want to go, because when you do, your body, in those brief seconds will register it as a given direction TO go. When it comes to habits or struggles, I have realized that when I focus on not doing something, I am more likely to do it. But when I focus on the positive opposite, (such as having the goal to be mindful in all things, or meditate on a truth in scripture), I am more likely to bear fruit in my life. On another note, often, especially for women, our habits seek to disconnect us from reality. It is easier to be mindless sometimes, but if we catch that tendency, and intentionally bring our minds back to focus “on things above”, it might help us when we begin to “do what we do not want to do”.

    • GramsieSue

      Same! I know I should make healthy choices. I’m going along, doing so well, and BAM! Something kicks me in the pants, I get upset and lose control. I’ve gained and lost the same 5 pounds for 2 months. I am an emotional eater. And I hate it! I want to stop and I can’t. Paul’s frustration resonates with me. But Jesus…thanks be to God! I cannot do it on my own strength but I can through Jesus!
      I’m so thankful for this study and the SRT community. Every morning when I reach for this book and my iPad I know Jesus is meeting me here to speak to me. He reaches out to show me my sin, and also to show me His grace and mercy. I am so blessed. ❤️

  • As I was reading the passage of scripture my mind went exactly where Amanda went in the devotional portion. I thought about my marriage and the tendency I have to strike at my husband when I feel overwhelmed or upset. I do it without even thinking and then I add that guilt to whatever else I’m struggling with that influenced my actions towards him. Grrrrr it’s all so frustrating!

    But God….”He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something different.” Verse 25

    I need to remember this verse every single day! I know my struggle and I need to remember I can fight it because He has broken the bondages of sin in my life.

    My husband and I do marriage counseling together. I think this portion of scripture may be added to our sessions! It’s a great reminder for me and I know it would lead to great discussion with our couples in realizing their own sin patterns and the freedom Christ has given us.

  • I love, love, love Romans 7! I could most definitely be the poster child! And I don’t like it! In particular, I am a smoker & I feel HORRIBLE about it! Anyone out there overcome addiction? Any pointers! Thankyou

    “But thanks be to God…”

    • Arlene

      I was addicted to nicotine many years ago. I had tried quitting many times and each time I tried and failed my faith took a hit. I felt like my faith was weak and that it was hopeless. I heard of other people who became Christians and the urge was just gone instantly. This only discouraged me because it pointed to my lack of faith. One Sunday I heard a pastor say that it was harder for a Christian to stop smoking than a non Christian because it becomes a spiritual battle and the enemy doesn’t want to let go. This really opened my eyes, this was not my battle to fight. The next time I tried I remembered this, I told God that there was no way I could do this, that He was going to have to fight this battle for me. Was it easy , no, it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life and it was a tough road to walk but I had Someone defending me and walking along side of me. That was almost 30 years ago but I still remember it so well. For those who have never smoked, don’t judge those who can’t seem to quit, nicotine is a powerful addiction. Stand beside those who are trying to quit. Offer your support instead of judgement. Go to battle for them and most of all, don’t judge if they can’t quite do it this time. Give them hope.

      • Kylee

        Amen, amen, amen. Especially the part at the end – smoking Christians ALREADY feel bad about it, nobody needs to help in that department!

    • Kylee

      JMP, I’ve been where you are at! I wanted, so badly, to quit. I had heard the average smoker tries quitting 11 times before it sticks, and I had only tried once before… but my daughter was 2, she was just starting to ask questions like “whatcha doing??” And I just didn’t want to answer, “oh, smoking, honey!” So I resolved. And set a date. And threw the pack away….that hard hard hard first 7 days may be the most I’ve EVER been in communication with God — HE had me in his hands, holding me tightly as my body threw nicotine fit after fit after fit (only former smokers know what this is like – its nightmarish!) Friends would come over that week and smoke around me, knowing I was trying to quit but not believing I could do it. But GOD. He knew I could! And He never left my side as slowly – weeks, it took – the urges faded. The smells of LIFE came back into my nostrils; fresh air filled my lungs. And as my quit tracker ticked away day by day, I felt my resolve strengthening. 7 years later, the temptation is gone.

      One helpful thing that weaned me off cigarettes was the nicotine lozenges – I only had to use them for a week because the taste is gross, but they are a way to get from point A to B as you quit this habit for good! Also, GET THAT QUIT PLAN TRACKER on your desktop or phone – google “quit plan” and enter your info, and it will tell you every day how much money you’re saving by quitting, and how many days you’re adding back to your life by not smoking anymore! Going to pray for you today. May the God who strengthens us to do all things be with you and strengthen your resolve, to help you do the good you want to do but simply cannot do alone.

  • I totally confess to not being able to figure this out. I live in the first half of this plan: sinful actions, unable to do what I want; my mind and my flesh being so opposed. I cannot figure out how to put into action the second half: walking by the Spirit and crucifying the flesh. I want these to be God-things, things I can sit back and allow him to do in me? But I know they are me-things…I struggle with addictions and every single day I fail. How to correct that?? I believe when God is ready for me to overcome I will, but for now there must be things to learn in the muck and mire. Trying to be thankful He is with me even there…but it is hard??

    • TammyJ

      Debi, the place where His Spirit picks up and my flesh leaves off sometimes seems so illusive… confusing. It continues to blow my mind that ALL He requires from me is to openly respond.

      • Christy

        Hi Debi – We all get frustrated when we don’t see our sin “go away”. It is so hard to constantly battle our flesh. In Ephesians 4:22-24, Paul talks about how believers must be “putting off our flesh” and “putting on the Spirit.” He provides more guidance when he says we do this by “being renewed in the Spirit of our minds.” He also mentions this same idea in Romans 12 when he says that we are transformed “by the renewing of your mind.” So, according to Paul, the battlefield of our flesh clearly happens in our minds, and the only thing that can help that is truth. In order to fight the flesh, I have to saturate my mind with truth, and that is found in Scripture. A renewed mind doesn’t just happen. God is not mystical; He will not wave a magic wand in order for my sin to vanish. I must choose to prioritize the spirit and battle with the flesh in my my mind. Ephesians 6 talks about putting on the whole armor of God. We wouldn’t need truth as armor if there wasn’t a battle to fight. Personally, reading the Scripture consistently, prayer, scripture memorization, and working through Bible studies like the ones on this site, help me with the battle in my flesh. It’s ugly and it’s every day, but God in His great love and grace has provided us with ways to live victoriously! Hope is found in Him.
        Please know that there are other sisters battling too. Praying that God will give you strength in your fight!

        • Beth L

          Great truths, love what you said! I’d like to add two passages to that, 2 Cor. 10:4-5 (casting down imaginations…bringing into captivity EVERY thought to the obedience of Christ) and Phil. 4:8.

    • Gema Muniz

      Every morning we must lay our burdens at the foot of the cross. I suggest sister for you to engulf yourself in prayer, to seek God every day and ask him for strength and guidance. The more you seek God, the stronger the spirit becomes, and the weaker the flesh becomes. Praying for you sister!

    • Mmartinez

      Debi…
      I come from a line of addicts, my son is one as well. Addiction is a moment by moment choice – it is not a one size fits all. What is a one size fits all is Christ and he wants you healed now. I don’t think this is God sitting back and not allowing you to walk through the addiction healing process. This is a moment by moment process for you to draw closer to him:
      I will pray for you every day. God is in your corner right now cheering you on …. and so are your sisters

    • Lana

      Yes! We’re cheering you on, Debi! You’ve got this! Praying for you!

  • It is Amazing Love that calls to me while I’m in the midst of Galatians 5:19-20, gives me ears to hear, and the strength AND desire to follow. It is Amazing Love that, though I confess with the same flesh that chooses sin, receives me with loving arms, strengthening my Spirit as He purifies me once again… Oh, to never have to go back. If I could just stay in the shadow of His wing… never to wrestle that flesh beast again! But the allure of the world and the strength of the flesh draw me away… And so it continues.

    God, You are my strength and my salavation. Thank You that You hear my weakest cry and deliver me yet again into holiness. By Your Presence strengthen my spirit, Lord, I ask.

    Why do I ever wander?

  • Christina

    The song that came to mind at the end of today’s reading is “More Than Conquerors” by Rend Collective. https://youtu.be/2p8_4NbrcKA

    I pray we each one fights our flesh in the power and hope of the Spirit today. Amen.

  • This is me. I’m passive aggressive to the ones I love the most and hate myself as it’s coming out of my mouth. My daughter. And my husband. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember first with my parents and siblings then my poor little brother would get all the anger and furry that had nothing to do with him! My frustration with myself. My frustration with what was going on with my life, the abuse I faced but it isn’t fair. I want to trust God always and with everyone. I can put on a brace face with others but the people that need to see that face the most, my husband and child rarely do. They see the evil sinful me daily! And I cringe as the words and actions come out of me. I beg for their forgiveness after but I really pray that the words and actions will just not come out of me, that I won’t feel this hurt and rage in my heart.

    • Emily B.

      Keep leaning on the Spirit! He has taken away your heart of stone and given you a heart of flesh. I pray you can speak to your loved ones with His words instead of your own. He will be your Strength and Guide.

  • Romans 7 is one of my favorite chapters of the Bible. To me, it is one of the most raw, real thoughts that humans struggle with. It is a reminder that we are not alone in our struggle with sin. I’ve always been distractible. I sometimes wonder if I have undiagnosed ADD! But since becoming a mother, I find myself doing things without actively even thinking about it. I become a robot to daily tasks, and also the sin in my daily life. If I could just pay more attention! If I could just really think about what I’m doing…judging other moms, giving undeserved attitude to my kids, etc., maybe I could stop? Sin will always be a part of the human condition, but I will continue to fight the battle, and ask for forgiveness. Thankful for such a merciful Savior!

    I’m so thankful that the Word of God could include real human struggle, rather than being a “rule book.” God sees us and knows us, even in the constant struggle to do what is good.

    • amylou

      Joyce Meyer talks about distraction being a spiritual attack to turn our minds away from God’s daily plans for us and from hearing His voice, in her book Battlefield of the Mind! I notice distraction, too, when I read His Word (and even struggle with it at work, where He’s calling me to work as for Him and not for men). I think you’re on the right track recognizing it as a fleshly vs spiritual battle, and I am right there with you!

  • Karen From Virginia

    Amen. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and his righteousness. It’s the truth. His righteousness makes me whole, my righteousness is pretty bad and inconsistent. I don’t do what I want to do and I’ve often do what I don’t want to do. But my desire is to honor God in my life and in my heart and my hope is that Jesus, he has made me right before God and that is where I can rest. So when My sin and selfishness is ever before me, I look up and recognize that my hope is not an anything but Jesus and what he did for me. Be blessed

  • Claire Bills

    Today’s SRT rings so true. I was just thinking about how I hold on to the things I do wrong especially as a parent. Already this morning (UK 8am) I have been cross with both my children for things that really didn’t matter. I have already sinned. However I need to let go and forgive myself just as God has. I found a really lovely quote which I have blogged about (should link if you click on my name/picture) about how we need to enjoy the ordinary and let go of the awful. Just in case it helps anyone

  • SRT sisters, just on Fathers Day there was a misunderstanding at my job and has led to the situation being so much more than what I thought it was going to be. Because of this, it seems like I could lose my job which has left me shocked and utterly confused. My bestfriend tells me that it’s not the end of the world, worse case scenario is you just get another job. For someone who suffered from depression, low self-esteem, and insecurities, (not to mention is very sensitive as well) these past issues tend to rear their ugly heads in moments like these (which luckily don’t happen too often) even though I have overcome depression and I truly know it’s not the end of the world. I know it’s the enemy trying push negative thoughts back into my head, to make me feel like I did those years ago and I won’t let him win but I do have weak moments (like tonight) where I try to be strong but with certain things going on in my life, I’m feeling overwhelmed and tonight may have been my breaking point. It’s the first night in a while where I’ve cried myself to sleep and I just want prayers that everything sorts itself out the way it needs to and that God reminds me that He is in control. To not allow the enemy to get inside my head or use situations that aren’t meant to be taken super seriously and over exaggerate them to make me feel bad or worse. I guess my strength just reached it’s limit, its maximum capacity for tonight and I just needed to let it out along with some much needed prayer. Thank you.

    • Jenny

      God will see you through this, just as he has seen you through all that you have overcome. It is so great that you know that you can identify the struggles that you may have during this situation. Being able to overcome depression in itself is such a great victory that you have over the enemy.
      Stay focused and positive; taking it one prayer and one day at a time!!! This door may close but have faith a new and better one will open for you.
      Jenny

    • Tina

      Praying for you Katalina… praying peace of heart and wisdom as this scenario plays out. Praying you hold firmly to His word that He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).. that in your weakness His power is made perfect…(2 Corinthians 12:9).. that whatever the outcome, God will use it for good… your good. Trust in His word, His promises, His love, His grace… praying you know His presence in all of this… praying He brings alongside you people that will keep you grounded in Him, in His truth.
      God be with you, Katalina… with hugs and hugs..
      I love this song… wanted to share with you.. Stand on His word…

      https://youtu.be/HJPCmQI_V8Y

    • Marianne

      Praying for you! Hugs from Germany, Marianne

    • Claire Bills

      Praying for you. Your strength may have reached its limit but God’s never will x

    • Caitie

      Praying for you. I’m sorry to hear about your situation. God will see you through this, and he will be with you the whole time. Being able to identify what you struggle with is a great step – when you see those thoughts entering your mind, just remember that it is sin and not coming from God. Tell Satan to get out of your head (yell it out loud, if that helps!), and know that you are being prayed for!

    • Taylor H.

      Katalina, I pray that God gives you the peace and understanding you need to walk through this time. That His will, whether it be to stay in this job or move forward to something new, prevails. I pray for his provision over your life, that He continues to remind you that regardless of what happens or what anyone says or does, you are a daughter of the one true God. I pray the Spirit fills you will all you need; strength, joy peace, and understanding, and all things you may need that are unforeseen by us but known by God. Take heart sister, and know that you are loved and seen.

    • Meagan

      Praying!! ❤️

    • Nancy Grant

      Rely on God, and trust His hand in your life… Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” May He comfort you, guide you, and make His love known to you. Praying for you.

    • Meghan

      Praying for you! That you would be filled with peace and strength and guidance.
      “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah‬ ‭30:21‬
      He’s always with you, guiding you and protecting you!

    • CJ

      Katalina, I’ve been where you are. A misunderstanding at work led to me getting fired. I was totally shocked. I couldnt believe there was such a twisting of words and intentions. Totally floored. I cried and was angry. But God . . . two months later we discovered we were moving AND I found a temporary job that paid much more! It was great. I learned a lot about others and myself through the process (cliche but true). Gods got you! Hang on and Trust. Its not about you (what you did or did not do) . . . its about you being a good and available servant. And you’ve already done that – so well done! <3

    • Lana

      Praying for you, Katalina. When unexpected things happen, it always helps me to remember God is in control. God will work it out! Please believe this! Greater and better things are headed your way! He’s in the driver’s seat and he’s got your back!

    • She Reads Truth

      Oh, sweet Katalina. Praying for you in this time of tension and fear. Asking the Lord to calm your anxiety and to fight for you. So grateful to have you in this community.

      – Stormye

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