Meditation Commentary on Romans 7:17-20
17But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
This passage is one that I find speaking directly to me. I recall reading Romans chapter 7 a couple of months ago and thinking about how the things Paul was writing about were exactly what I was going through at the time.
The words of the song, Light the Fire (which is derived from Matthew 26:41) come to mind as I dwell on this passage: “my spirit is willing, but my flesh is so weak…” So often, I look back on a time when I sinned and think about how actually committing that sin was the last thing that I wanted to carry out, but my flesh had victory rather than my desire to do good.
Should sin have control of our lives? No! We have been set free from sin. We find that God’s word says in Romans , “…having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” As Christians, because we are human, we will battle against sin our whole lives. It is comforting that we can rest in the fact that God is a forgiving God and that He has offered forgiveness for the sins that we commit.
Prayer is a key element to a fruitful Christian life. God has given us this form of communication that we might have fellowship with Him. Through prayer, we are able to give glory to our Father, ask forgiveness for sins and make our petitions known to Him. Often, when I find myself at a place where I am unable to find the ability to “perform what is good,” I ask God to give me His strength in that situation. Since I am a sinner, it is impossible for me to love God how I should and to conduct myself in a manner that is pleasing to Him without His help.
My prayer in meditating on this passage, is that God would continue to give me strength to overcome the power of sin in my life and that I would have the grace to yield to Him daily. I rest in the Lord’s promise that I find in John 4:4: “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”