We oftentimes feel divided in our desires. “Part of me wants to, but part of me does not.” What a strange thought! It seems like there are competing natures inside of us. However, this is not the case. A deeper look into this reveals that there are competing nurtures within.
You know the feeling, especially if you have even been cut off in traffic. Part of you wants to drive like a jerk and get them back. Retaliate against how they cheated you. If you follow that line of thought, you will forever be controlled by the actions of other people.
Struggles like these are proof of our humanity. We all have these same contrasting viewpoints. There is a passage in Romans 7 (ESV quoted here) that speaks directly to this dichotomy.
I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate…So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me…I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Our own brokenness is trying to rear its ugly head. Evidence of this is all over the news. And in our own lives. Despair is an obvious conclusion if we follow the line of thought that focuses upon the battle rather than freedom. There is an end to this situation and it the passage ends with the solution.
Go to God!
When we go to God we experience His love and compassion. When we submit our own brokenness and false desires to Him, He gives us strength for the day. Strength to choose to nurture the God-given desires in our heart.
We don’t have a nature that desires sin, we have brokenness that desires sin. Your deepest desires are for God. Other desires are seeking to interfere and remove your devotion to God. This is where the battle lies! The good news is that we all can decide which desires we feed. Freedom is available. We all will still struggle with sin. Freedom in this area helps us to be more like Jesus.
Where do you see God working in your life right now?