For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one that does it, but it is the sin that lives in me. (Romans 7:19-20)
What a terrible bondage Paul is describing when he says, “I practice the evil that I do not want to do!” When you start moving toward God, you will soon discover the power of sin at work within, not only holding you back but forcing you to do the things you no longer want to do. It will be a shock to realize there is more to you than just yourself. There has been a hidden power of lawlessness at work, directing your thoughts, feelings, and actions away from God. This realization, shocking as it is, is a step in the right direction. But you will soon realize that you cannot get free by your own power. You need another power to reside within you to contend with the power of sin. This is the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus desires to send to you. The Holy Spirit will contend with the spirit of sin and set you free.
But let me walk down this path of realization with you just a little further and ask, “What if you have never been your true self? What if throughout the course of your life, the power of sin has been secretly directing you away from the person God has created you to be?” And then, “What if God is about to liberate you and direct you to become your true self?” Perhaps we must first accept the truth of our bondage before entering into true liberation.
Lord Jesus, send your Holy Spirit to reside within me to contend with the spirit of sin. Now that you have opened my mind, I can look back over the course of my life and see the bondage I have been in. But now I know you are ready to set me free and bring me into my new life in you. I am ready! Let it be!