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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Desire (01/17/05)

TITLE: Our Conflict with Desire
By Richard Krejcir
01/17/05


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Do you struggle with desires? Do your desires rule you or do you rule them?

This struggle is laid down to us in Romans 7:7-25. Paul is excited and is agonizing with the conflict of our sinful nature and what we are saved to do. In so much in the English we feel he is sounding more like Dr. Seuss than the Apostle of God. But in fact Paul’s argument is logical and sound. That we can “delight in the law of God,” even though we cannot keep it. Even though we will have conflicts with our sinful nature which are our wrong desires with His Holiness, in our faith and the ways of the world, nevertheless verse 25 lays to waste that conflict in the ultimate and final sense. We will prevail through our Lord Jesus Christ. That we can take our comfort and that through Christ the power of the Holy Spirit will give us the means to persevere and overcome all things: If not in this temporary life, then in the life to come. So our hope and trust is purely through our deliverance by Christ.

Paul tells us in verse 7 "Lust” is desire, craving, longing, and desire for what is forbidden; the active side of a vice. “I had not known lust (to be sin) except the law had said...” Paul realized that he could not live under law and be free from lust and the evil desires of the human heart. He knew he was breaking the law but could not stop it. Thus, why people want to escape the law, but without Christ! Thus, we must realize the veracity of this struggle and fight against in the power of Spirit and the Word (1 Cor. 4:4).

Why the struggle with desires? Because sin is the great deceiver (Gen 3:13; 2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:4). People tend to like extremes, and to live as they please, but we cannot ignore our desires. The desires can bring out the worst in us, while the love of Christ brings out the best (Lev. 18:5; Deut. 30:15-19). Then there is the extreme that many seek to turn sin into a right, which God’s Word tells us we have no right to do (Ezek. 37:3-12)! Saying I can reason, I do not need God I can do as I please. Our struggle is complex, we are new creatures, yet we still have our fallen nature. Thus, the struggle is between the dominance of the two, and God's purpose and our growth and maturity is found here (I Cor. 4:4; Gal 2:20; Phil. 2:12-18; 3:20).

Remember Christ bore our sin; His triumph is the cross, and we are in total identification from suffering to freedom in Christ. We are then to loath sin and embrace Christ. One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to bring us to do what the Lord desires us to do, away from our desires (Gal. 5:22-23). The Holy Spirit keeps our love relationship with Christ alive and exciting, that we desire Him and not our ambitions and sin. His Spirit will continue to reveal our nature and His Holiness; we are to work it out (Phil. 2:1-18). So we do not need to live a separated life (Rom. 6:15-23), we can be true and surrendered to Christ, as a good marriage; where the spouses are in love and supportive and not there as an arrangement for convenience. Our role is being a fighter of sin and being the ones who embrace Christ.

We desire to have our cake and eat it too, to have sin and Christ. We struggle to compartmentalize and rationalize, seek to live in comfort and harmony with sin, and rationalize it; just watch the day time talk shows! The only thing we can do is fall at His feet dead to ourselves (Duet. 33:27; John 3:30; Rev. 1:17). God's will is in complete control, we must remove whatever is blocking us to realize this; pleasure and choices that are deliberately contrary to His character. Unless we see what sins are blocking us from Christ, we will not be able to grow in Him! Allow the Spirit and His Word to show you! Then be obedient! Our relief and joy is in Christ; unspeakable gratitude for our deliverance must flow from within us. We cannot struggle in vain to ourselves for what Christ did for free.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Dan Blankenship 01/24/05
"In so much in the English we feel" was a bit confusing. Maybe a typo?

But all and all, I really liked the message. Especially the way you outlined lust and how we should rely on Jesus to give us the strength to do what's right.

Nice title too.

L.M. Lee01/24/05
he is sounding more like Dr. Seuss than the Apostle of God - great line! Never thought of it this way...but certainly true! :-)
Dave Wagner01/26/05
I appreciate what you’ve attempted here – it is a good start. The many Bible references were useful – I wonder how many readers will actually look them up…In many instances, however, your statements seem to militate against one another.

>>…give us the means to persevere and overcome all things: If not in this temporary life, then in the life to come.<<

This somewhat defeatist attitude is counterproductive. You stress the need to persevere and overcome all things, but then relegate it to some vague future time, thus defusing the concept. I believe (as you seem to in other places) that it is not only a good idea, but mandatory, that we deal daily with God in the removal of “whatever is blocking us.”

It seems like every time you make a strong statement like: “We are then to loath sin and embrace Christ” you then temper it with something to take the edge off of it. (In this case, it was saying that it is the Holy Spirits job alone to alter our desires, thus taking the responsibility out of our hands.)

Another problem is the assumption that everyone knows what it means to be a “fighter against sin,” and also what the consequences are for failing in such a struggle. Are you saying to try our best, and whatever we don’t conquer will automatically be removed when we throw ourselves at the mercy of the King’s court? If what you’re saying goes deeper, then perhaps you should elaborate a bit more.

The closest you seem to come to offering a consequence is here:

>> Unless we see what sins are blocking us from Christ, we will not be able to grow in Him! <<

Again, though, it is kind of vague. What actions must follow seeing the sins? And what does it mean to “grow in Christ?” I know that might sound like an obvious statement, but it’s not. “To grow in Christ” is a pure “Christianese” phrase, and as such is subject to the personal interpretation of each individual. It would better serve your cause to define specifically what you mean by “growing in Christ,” especially if failing to grow in Him is being presented as a consequence worthy of consideration.

The final paragraph is strong, and I appreciate your passion...but again, you defuse it at the end with this statement:

>> We cannot struggle in vain to ourselves for what Christ did for free.<<

You establish the necessity to struggle against sin, but then end by saying that rather than struggle, we need to simply look to Jesus. Remember Hebrews 12:4: Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

All in all, it is a good effort. Thank you for posting.
Phyllis Inniss 01/26/05
After such a strong critique, I can't say much, except that your message outlines a continual struggle for us who wish to live by the Word. Sin is not easy to keep out of our lives. Thanks for posting.
Karen O'Leary01/26/05
You make some valid points. I woud like to see you concentrate on one or two bible quotes and let your creativity shine more. Otherwise the flow is constantly being interupted. Best wishes with your writing.
Deborah Anderson01/28/05
Good teaching piece, which would make for a good Bible study. Thank you. God bless you.