To Do What I Ought or Naught?

There was a time when I was so very close to God. He was the focus, the reason, and the desire of my heart. Over the years I have not kept the relationship alive. When you don’t work on a relationship it will fall apart. That has happened with relationships throughout my life span. It needs to be decided if the relationship is worth keeping. Is it mutually beneficial, encouraging, honest and true relationship.

That is what our relationship with God should be like all the time, mutually beneficial, encouraging, honest and true. Why we let it falter and not continually nurture it gets me. The relationship with God is of utmost importance and we let it slip. It always makes me think of Romans and what I like to call, “The Saul Paul Theory”. In Romans Paul talks about sin and law, Romans 7:7-25, but it is verses 17-20  I  ruminated on. Here are 4 versions of verse 17…

New American Standard Bible

“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.”Purpleglass 0317.jpg

New International Version

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

International Standard Version

“I don’t understand what I am doing. For I don’t practice what I want to do, but instead do what I hate.”

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.”

I read thru the chapter and Paul sounds a lot like me. Questioning, answering, questioning, thinking, trying to answer, and then stating truth. Only to end up right where I started.

There is a  distance between God and I. It is obviously not Him. I have let life interfere. The life He has given me to live interrupting my life in Him? What the What?! True. What is it that gets you. Being tired, having dishes or laundry or work to do. Taking care of the kids, the spouse, the dog? Working, sleeping, eating. When we think about it none of it would be if it weren’t for He who gave it to us. So, how does it get in the way?Orangeglassn0325.jpg

Paul says it, Sin. We were born in sin and it is in us as long as we live on this earth. It can eat away at us. Destroying who we are, or were. It builds a wall between us and our creator. Sin blinds us to the obvious, the sensible, the truth. We trip and fall, no matter what we tell ourselves, no matter how hard we try.

We know what we need to do, but don’t do it. We know who we are but don’t believe it. We know we are forgiven but don’t live in it.We hold on to the sin, and the guilt. How it tears at us, and weighs us down, burying us in this earthly life, not the life He has for us.

However, the truth never fails or falters. God is God, now, then, and forever. And that is truth. He forgives our sin, forgetting them as soon as we confess them. That is truth. Unconditional love, grace and mercy are truth. We can do all things in Him. Trust it! We know we are created in His image, to reflect Him. Believe it! We know He died for us, life eternal. Own it!

Paul did great things for God. Amazing things. Many of Gods chosen doubted, stumbled, turned the other way and fell, only to be picked up by His loving arms, lifted, carried and guided in His way. We too can live it that truth.ChihulyGarden0182.jpg

Sin will be ever-present, a plague. By definition, the picture is painted vividly. “Any cause of trouble, annoyance, or vexation:” “To trouble, annoy, or torment in any manner:” That is sin. But we have freedom in Christ. Giving us the  power to step around sin, to turn the other way, to focus on Jesus and not on the situations.

Christ is in us and will always be. That is the Truth!

In Him…Amen

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