My Own Worst Enemy
It’s easy when we find ourself in a questionable situation to blame everyone and everything but us. I’m convinced that accepting responsibility for our own mistakes and failures is one of the hardest things for a person to do. No one likes to be wrong.
There have been countless times I’ve found myself in situations I regret, because of my own selfish desires and passions. Thinking it’s ok, justifying my choices at the beginning. But when the unwanted consequences surface, I’m quick to shirk the blame.
See, in the moment it seems right. I think it’s good. There is something enticing about what I want. But when my heart is guided by selfish desires, I’ll want wrong things. Paul gave us a glimpse of this when he wrote Romans 7:15.
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.– Romans 7:15
Paul understood well, that if we are not surrendered to the Spirit of God we will continually walk into sin. When we allow the desires of our flesh to dictate the posture of our heart, we will always turn away from God and find ourself in compromising situations. Pornography, drug and alcohol addiction, workaholics, physical and emotional abusers, infidelity, toxic relationships; unhealthy, sinful behavior and thinking is rooted in being separated from God and seeking the desires of ourself.
Paul understood there is a war within us. As followers of Jesus we are called to be holy, but our flesh is still sinful. Jesus died to eternally forgive our sins, to restore our fellowship with God, and it is by His Spirit dwelling in us we can find the strength in the face of temptation to turn away from the desires of our flesh.
It’s a constant battle we are engaged in. And we are often our worst enemy, failing to surrender to God and hold the ground. But there is hope, there is grace. That even when we find ourself in a compromising situation, rescue is always possible.
The question we have to answer is difficult in its simplicity.
Which desire within us is greater?
What I want, or what God wants for me?