“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing” [Romans 7:19 – NIV]
Have you been in the situation that Apostle Paul is describing? I have. An innumerable number of times. So much so that before I had a revelation of God’s Word on this, I was so frustrated that I wanted to give up with the resignation that there are some people who just have it in them to be pleasing to God, but I was surely not one of them. The more I tried the more I failed and I knew how hopeless I became.
But all this was at a time when I did not have a love for God’s Word. Before I was born again I did not even attempt it, however after being born again I wanted to be pleasing to God and tried my very best only to end up being frustrated with myself.
However everything has changed since God’s Word has become alive in my life and I would like to share my understanding of dealing with the above frustration.
You see everyone who is born of the Spirit has a new nature in them, it is this new nature that wants them to be righteous and pleasing to God. However what does God say about our own righteousness? [Isaiah 64:6 – NKJV] “But we are all like an unclean thing and all our righteousness are like filthy rags”
Until I saw this, I kept trying and failing, but this verse made me realize that my righteous deeds can never earn me favor with God. Then I got an understanding of the gospel and the revelation of the righteousness of God. [Romans 1:17 – AMP] “For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, the man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith”
I now understood that God is not interested in me obtaining righteousness, instead He gives me the most perfect righteousness that which comes to me through Jesus Christ His Son because He earned it. This perfect righteousness is given to me as a gift! Wow!! What an amazing gift!!!
So what about the good that I want to do? What becomes of that? Well you see all the time I was thinking that my battle was against sin and that I had to emerge the victor every time, little realizing that Jesus won that victory for me 2000 years ago. So now I stop fighting that battle and instead focus all my attention on what Jesus Christ has done for me. The more I look at Jesus the more Christ-conscious and less sin-conscious I become. I began to realize that Christ consciousness had begun putting an end to all my sinful desires and I also realized I had begun personally winning these battles which I had been struggling for ages. What an amazing God we have! He fights our battles for us, if we can just look at Him and be conscious of His finished work which is a result of His everlasting love for us.
Now how does this change happen within us? Is it automatic? Never, it’s incorrect to assume changes within us just happen automatically, there may be a specific event or a certain incident that may have had an automatic result but transformation is a slow process that requires time because little by little the change begins to take place. Where and how? It happens in the mind, as we allow our mind to grasp and consume the Word of God, it is in fact the Word of God that starts to grasp and consume us, this is my way of saying that our mind is being renewed by the Word of God. According to [Romans 12:1-2 – NKJV] “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
When Paul tells the Romans that you should present your bodies as a living sacrifice, he also gives them the key to achieving it that is contained in the very next verse. The next verse says that you should not conform to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
The way I can explain it is that when you read the Word of God and meditate upon it and allow it to linger on your mind, the Word will remind you when you are in those difficult situations. You will constantly have a choice at each of those moments. The choice would be between (1) choosing the flesh i.e. giving in to your senses and doing what the world would want to do in that situation or (2) submitting to the spirit through your knowledge of the Word and do what the Spirit of God would lead you to do. When you try it out the first few times you will actually have to ponder over what the Spirit is telling you and you will be very conscious in your action, however after repeated occasions, you will find it becoming very easy and it would soon cease to be a struggle. This needs to be applied into every area of your life where you have been struggling and little by little as you experience victory, you will notice the big difficult ones too are a piece of cake for the Holy Spirit to deal with. Our whole Christian life is all about this transformation, no one is perfect yet, but we all move towards perfection through this transformation process of the renewing of our minds.
Would you like to experience this transformation? The answer is to get your mind renewed by the Word of God. Don’t just read the Word, it won’t help, but read it and meditate upon it, and as you meditate on it, let yourself get intimate with the Word and you will find the Spirit of God revealing deep truths that are applicable to your life. That’s when transformation will begin. If you aren’t experiencing it, simply ask God for His wisdom so that you can begin to experience it for His Word says in [James 1:5 – NRSV] “If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.”