I Would If I Could, But I Can’t – Romans 7
Do you ever struggle with the tug of war between the right action to take in a situation and what your flesh is crying out to do? Do you often think, “Well Lord, I would do it your way, I would if I could, but I can’t.”
We have to realize we are impotent except for the Holy Spirit who indwells each of us as baptized believers. On our own we cannot do the right thing. Thanks be to God, we have the power to draw on so as to shake our fist at the force that wants us to chose our own way. We can shout out with great resolution, “I can and I will.”
The fleshly part of us is always trying to spring forth and dominate our actions. We are tempted to take offense, to be judgmental, to think our way is the only and best way to deal with a situation. The old nature is always trying to control our actions so we lose our witness for Christ by our behavior. We have the key to victory. He lives in us in the form of the Holy Spirit. We just have to look soberly at the choice and make room for His way.
Some of us have a long history of pleasing ourselves with the attitude, “Lord, I can handle this, let me do it my way.” The power of sin in us tries to sabotage our best intentions. Sin still has us in its evil grasp unless we stop it in its tracks. We have to practice reaching down deep past the flesh that is ever trying to dominate and draw on the inner man empowered by the Holy Spirit. It may require talking to ourselves, reminding our self we have a choice in a challenging situation – God’s way based on scriptural principles for Christian behavior and attitudes, or the human nature way focused on self-gratification.
Let us resolve to listen to and obey that inner counselor knowing that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13