Principle of Life
I made a decision the other day to watch less TV. Silly, I know, but I felt that there were more productive things I could be doing with those hours. What happened? I fell asleep reading, I was too tired to do housework, I didn’t have the energy at night to do anything. I watched three hours of TV. Why is it that the thing I wanted to do, I didn’t do, and the thing I didn’t want to do, I did. I feel like I’m a slave to the TV!
Now, on a more serious level, the Apostle Paul felt the same way. In Romans 7:14-25 he wrote about being a slave to sin. Before we come to Christ we live in what the Bible calls the sinful nature and we have no way out except through salvation. Being justified, having that clean record with God, becomes our new state of being. We are no longer slaves to sin but live in the freedom of God’s grace.
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 7:21-25a NLT)
Why do we still let sin control the way we live? Part of the reason is that we haven’t renewed our mind with God’s Word and His instruction. Whenever our choices are to follow God’s way, it’s right and leads to life. However, when we choose to sin it can only lead to death and away from God. After we make a commitment to serve God we are no longer in a spiritual bondage to sin, slaves, in effect and consequently are free to live in righteousness. We are free to do those things that lead to holiness and therefore operating in kingdom life.
Paul found the answer, the principle of life, in obeying God’s law but did you catch that little phrase, war with my mind? Our ability to choose or our free will puts us in the middle of warfare between two opposing forces: our sinful nature and our new life in Jesus Christ. We have the power to allow the Holy Spirit to reign in our lives and win each battle or temptation that comes up. The question is: will we ask the Holy Spirit for help?
Be aware of this principle of life this week and make good choices that lead to life. Win each battle as it presents itself and make no mistake, those battles and choices will be there for you: choose life.