More than Conquerors
Do you have a struggle, one that cuts you to the heart? We all have challenges throughout the day: getting out the door on time, laundry, grocery shopping, the difficult customer or coworker, etc. But I mean a “big” one, a battle, a thorn in the flesh. This battle is one that may develop or change over time but at the very core it is the same struggle over and over and over. What is that for you?
I cannot help but think of Paul. The words God spoke through him are a lifeline for me. Romans 7 and 8 anyone? How about 2 Corinthians 12? Romans 7:7-25 is one, if not the most popular passages that describes a struggle with sin. “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out…Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”
The sin living in me… I thought I died to sin? How does it still dominate me?
Romans 7:21-25 says, “So I find this law at work: when I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
What I hate I do. I have the desire to do good but cannot carry it out. A house divided…I feel like it depends on the day as to who I will be. And right now I feel I am rolling over and letting Satan win. I am letting Satan win. He has no power over me unless I give it.
One of the greatest blessings of Romans 7 is that followed by Romans 8. “Therefore, there is now 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. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.” The law was powerless. Then Jesus shows up, and these struggles are suddenly conquerable.
Romans 8:28-39 is perhaps my favorite passage in all of scripture. Ironically, this was my Bible reading passage at my very first Leadership Training for Christ. I remember practicing the reading for months in advance. My innocent 3rd grade mind could not comprehend what these ancient words would one day mean to me.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose…If God is for us, who can be against us?” God is for us. God is for you. He is for me. My God is for me. This is a game changer. The God of the universe, the Creator, the Alpha and Omega, the same God who gave Paul victory is the same God who brings me through my sin, my captivity.
Romans 8 goes on to tell us that Jesus is interceding for us. In all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Paul says in verse 38-39 that he is convinced (not hopeful but convinced) that nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. That is where I want to live: convinced that nothing will separate me from the love of God.
As long as I am focused on Romans 7 I cannot be focused on Romans 8. We have life through the Spirit and are more than conquerors through him who loved us. It no longer matters what I am capable of or what I feel. The victory lies in Christ Jesus. And we are more than conquerors.