Romans 7:22-24 “For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body?”
Paul gives us here one of the most amazing keys to successfully overcoming temptation. He speaks in this text of three different laws: 1 – the law of God; 2 – the law of sin; and 3 – the law of the mind. We can understand the word « law » as being a source of power, or a force. The apostle saw the power of God operating in his spirit-man, the power of sin operating through his flesh, and the power of the mind (or soul) being in the middle of the battle.
Your spirit-man has been born again by the power of God’s precious word. You are now his son or daughter. And your spirit-man wants nothing more than to lift up Jesus. And Jesus, when He is lifted up, draws men to Himself. This is the opposite of the world that draws men away from God.
Your flesh is still connected to this earth, which is cursed with a divine curse and will eventually be destroyed by fire. The power of sin, which in essence is the longing for that which is forbidden, operates through your flesh. This is the spirit of rebellion (Ephesians 2:2 ) through which the prince of darkness operates in the earth.
The power of God, working from within your spirit-man, and the power of sin, working through your flesh meet on the battle ground of your soul. Each seeks to influence your soul: your will, mind and emotions.
The key to victory is found in Paul’s first remark: I take delight in the power of God. The Greek word for delight is a complex word meaning: to rejoice within one’s self to the point of utter pleasure and satisfaction.
Paul’s victory over sin was not in his human will-power, but rather in the absolute sense of fulfilment he received in being in God’s presence and God’s word. In Verse 23 he says, « I see … another power at war. » The word “see” just means to perceive or be aware of. It doesn’t mean to focus on and obsess over.
Paul obsessed over God’s presence and God’s word; he did not obsess over the forbidden thing. He found that filling himself with God brought about an automatic distaste of the things in the world. And it will be the same for you.
As we come into the final days of the fast, I encourage you to ask God for a deeper and more intimate experience in His presence. Also ask God to alight within you a burning hunger for His Holy Word.
Friend, if you could conquer the forbidden fruit on your own, you never would have needed the power of the Holy Spirit. Now that you are a child of the Light, fill yourself with Him. And He will do the majority of the fighting. Delight yourself in Him and He will disperse all the darkness in your soul.