Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Desire (01/17/05)
TITLE: Our Conflict with Desire
By Richard Krejcir
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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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