Romans 7 (The Message)
17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
21-23It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
24I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?
25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
Paul had this struggle which is common to all of us as Christians. It is not the law that is going to help him out, he knew he need something more.
That something more to overcome flesh is not will power (I can will it, but I can't do it), not self discipline or fasting, or praying hard, attending more meetings or seminars …that something more, Paul found out is in verse 25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. That is the good news.
Embracing/believing in His finished work of Jesus is the answer. If we can overcome flesh that opposes what the Spirit wants to do by our sheer will power or different methods of prayer/fasting (i.e. religion), then we are indirectly suggesting that Jesus died in vain for us!
But I need something more for 2009 and beyond –JESUS.