Winning the Battle Within
I share my struggle with trying to lose weight and make healthy choices. There is this battle within myself, wanting to indulge in unhealthy foods while also desiring to take care of my body. This internal conflict resonates with the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 7, where he expresses his own struggle between his sinful nature and his desire to serve God.
Romans 7:15-16 (NIV)
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.”
1. Recognize the battle: Similar to the Apostle Paul, we all face a battle within ourselves. Our sinful nature often pulls us towards selfish desires and actions, while our desire to follow God’s will urges us to live a holy and pleasing life.
2. Acknowledge the struggle: It’s important to acknowledge and understand that this battle is real and ongoing. We may find ourselves doing things we don’t want to do and failing to do what we know is right. This internal conflict is a reminder of our need for God’s grace and guidance.
3. Embrace the freedom in Christ: The good news is that through Jesus Christ, we have been set free from the power of sin and death. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). We have a way to overcome this battle and live a life that honors God.
1. Seek God’s strength: Recognize that you cannot win this battle on your own. Surrender your struggles to God and ask for His strength to resist temptation and make wise choices.
2. Renew your mind: Fill your mind with God’s Word and truth. Meditate on Scripture, memorize verses that speak to your struggles, and allow the Holy Spirit to transform your thinking.
3. Cultivate a relationship with God: Spend time in prayer, worship, and fellowship with other believers. The more we grow in our relationship with God, the easier it becomes to overcome the battle within us.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come before you today acknowledging the battle within me. I confess that I often struggle to do what is right and find myself giving in to sinful desires. I thank you for the freedom I have in Christ and for the Holy Spirit who empowers me to live a life that pleases you. Help me to rely on your strength and guidance as I navigate this internal conflict. Renew my mind and transform my heart so that I may live in alignment with your will. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Remember, dear reader, that God’s desire is for you to live a life that brings Him glory. As you lean on His strength and seek His guidance, you will find victory in the battle within. Keep pressing on, knowing that God is with you every step of the way.
Podcast Transcript: Battling with Sin
My absolute least favorite thing to do is trying to lose weight. I hate it. I don’t know what it is, but when you get older, your body just is not the sponge for calories like it was growing up. I could just eat anything I wanted. And now, I can’t. I just will slowly gain weight and it’s not like crazy weight. I know people look at me and they’re like, oh, you’re fine. What are you talking about? Well, that’s because I work really hard at trying to eat the right things and trying to lower my sugar intake and I try to exercise and sometimes I’m up early and I’ll go for a run or there’s just a lot of things that I do. I mean, I’m cognizant of the fact that if I just do whatever I wanted then I would be 400 pounds because I can gain a pound a week pretty easily and you can go for a long time and really not notice it because I think that’s the main difference between guys and girls. I look at the mirror and I’m kind of like, I don’t look too bad, look at that. And you ladies will find any flaw you can, and then you just focus on that. And guys are different. We look at it like, oh, yeah, I’m looking pretty good. Even though I’m 40 pounds heavier than when I got married, I just kind of suck it in a little bit, and then I’m looking pretty good. And it’s kind of funny, the perspective, the difference between guys and girls that I’ve noticed after marriage.
Struggling with Doing the Right Things
I find it really hard for me to want to do the right things. Basically, I’m on the struggle bus where it’s like, man, I really want a Krispy Kreme donut because they’re so delicious. but I also know that they’re like 300 calories and I would have to go for an hour walk or longer probably to burn that off. And it’s like, listen, that’s only one, one little donut. And as soon as you start tracking what calories you’re taking, And then you start tracking how hard it is to burn those calories off, what you have to do. It makes it more difficult. You start realizing the war within yourself of the things that I want and crave versus what’s good for me.
The Battle Within
And I know this is kind of a really weak example, but that’s what reminds me when I’m reading through Romans. I read through chapter 7 and 8 this morning. And the Apostle Paul is describing a battle within himself. He has this sinful nature, but he also wants to serve God with his life, and the two are at war all the time. Starting in verse 15 in chapter 7 of Romans, it says, I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good as it is. It is no longer I myself who do it, but it is the sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me. That is in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not good. I want to do, know the evil I do not want to do. This I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is the sin living in me that does it. He’s on the struggle bus with just sin, right? So if the Apostle Paul is struggling with it, he understands this inner battle in himself, the part of him that is sinful, the part of him that is selfish, is going to be at war with the person and the Holy Spirit that God wants us to be, because that is the exact opposite. They’re opposites. We are born in rebellion against God, and now we’ve accepted God into our life, so we want to follow His will, but our old nature wants to rebel against it. So we have this battle going on in our life, and you cannot win that. without Christ.
And that’s what he talks about in chapter 8. Chapter 8 verse 1, Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Jesus has set us free. We have a way to win this battle that even the Apostle Paul struggled with in his life. Know that God has a better life for you than living a life of sin. That he has a holy life for you. He sets you apart. He has a plan for you. He wants to use you to do good works, and He loves you. And that’s why He did it, because that is going to be the better life. I’m telling you, it’s not an easier life. He didn’t say easier. He said better. That can easily be complicated, as there’s preachers out there that are telling you how much easier life is, like you’re going to be wealthy, and everything’s just going to be great. It’s not. And we’re called to follow God because He is a true living God and to worship Him and honor Him, not because of what we get out of it, but because of what He gets out of it. And He’s given us Christ.
The Holy Spirit lives within us. And as we grow in our relationship with Him, this battle becomes easier and easier and easier. And that’s what He wants. He wants us to win this battle within our heart, to live a life that’s holy and pleasing to Him. so that He can use us to further His will and His glory on this earth. For what it’s worth, those are my thoughts on Romans chapter 7 and 8. And as always, I hope that you’re getting in the Word yourself because God wants to speak to you directly. These are the things He’s speaking to me through this passage, but I promise you, He’s got something awesome for you in His Word. He wants to change your life.