How many times have you prayed and released your sin, worry, or burden to the Lord and then the next day you are back to struggling all over again? I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have. I want to desperately give it over to God, but the hard stuff is the most difficult to let go of sometimes. I have faith He will take care of it and in the moment of my sincere prayer, I trust He will. Then, I sleep for a few hours and a new day dawns. The feelings of yesterday, before the prayer, are back to haunting me again. Why is it so hard?
We are not the only ones who faced this very thing. Paul writes about it in Romans 7:19:
"For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want."
I can feel Paul’s anguish over this struggle. I feel his heart aching because he desperately wants to rid himself of the sin in his life and give it over to God. Can you feel it? Paul is one of the most faithful Christ followers of his time. He preached the Gospel to thousands, went to prison for it, wrote at least thirteen epistles of the New Testament, and became a martyr of the faith. Yet, he still struggled with sin.
We are not superhuman. We are born with sin, we live in a sinful world, and we will have sin until we are spending eternity with Jesus. Just like Paul. He faced the fact that even though he was a man full of faith and a believer in Jesus Christ, he struggled with sin. It is in our nature. The Good News, though, is we have hope of overcoming sin in Jesus. He alone is our hope. Even though we may have the desire to sin, we can release it to Jesus every single day. That is His desire, for us to come to Him in our vulnerability and confess our sins. Confession to Jesus is the beginning of our forgiveness of the sin.
Trying to keep the sin hidden from God only adds to the anxiety. Since we are born again through Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit who lives within us. When sin enters into our thoughts or lives, the Holy Spirit tugs at our hearts to turn away from it. That gentle nudging warns of the dangers ahead.