I've always loved the book of Romans. Ever since I was a child, I've loved it. Chapter 7 has resonated with me for a long time. And chapter 7, verse 14-25 is me tonight. I'm at war--I do the things I don't want to do and don't do the things I do want to do. I desire to be a good witness, but I'm SO weak! Being here is hard...it's a mission that isn't safe for me, but yet it's what God calls me to. I'm so guilty of not seeing the dying souls all around me, being lulled by being a 'good person' or a 'nice person.' I don't see enough of myself 5 years ago in who they are. I don't have the empathy of a person compelled by the love of Christ to minister. I want the end of chapter 7 to wash over me--it's only CHRIST in me that can do good. HE IS THE REASON WHY I LIVE AND MOVE AND BREATHE. HE IS THE HOPE OF GLORY! God, rend my heart for these people so I may live a holy life before them that can only be attributed to YOUR strength!
Here's the verses in the New Living Translation:
14The law is good, then. The trouble is not with the law but with me, because I am sold into slavery, with sin as my master. 15I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. 16I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. 17But I can't help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things.
18I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can't make myself do right. I want to, but I can't. 19When I want to do good, I don't. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. 20But if I am doing what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it.
21It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22I love God's law with all my heart. 23But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? 25Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.