The War in My Mind – Romans 7:21-23
Praying Over the City, Saint Paul, MN
December 11, 2018
This morning I got up and went to the gym. Not on time by any means. I dilly-dallied around the house, leaving after 7 a.m. when I’d have preferred 6:30 a.m. or so. Although I workout, or at least move my body on or around the workout stations, more than a couple of times a week, I hadn’t been to the gym for a few days. Truth be told, I really didn’t want to go today either, but I did and as I closed in on a mile on the treadmill, I thought, “This feels so good. Why had I put this off?”
I wish I could bottle that feeling. The feeling I had when I thought, “This feels good.” I feel energized, happy, and refreshed. In that moment, I was telling myself, “I can’t wait to do this again tomorrow.” However, there are way too many mornings, during sleep, that a snooze sounds more appealing.
It’s not just a morning battle either. It starts in the evening, when I’m binging on Netflix and thinking, “Oh, yeah, I’ll still get up early and hit the gym.” Or those mornings something for work calls me and I think, “I’ll just hit the gym at noon.” But when lunch rolls around, my day has blown apart, or I’m starving instead, or I’m already exhausted from the important (not) business I accomplished.
Sure, I could still set all that aside and hit the same joy at that mile, but I don’t. I forget what is good for me. What I really enjoy. I get stuck in the war with my mind. That battle that has me pulling the “right” from the “wrong” and trying to decide what is good for me. Romans 7:21-23 (NLT) says it like this:
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.
This war of my mind effects so many areas. It is the difference between making the call, angry at my friend, or praying instead. It’s the choice between buying yet another $50 hat or donating to the food shelf. It’s deciding (and remembering) to use reusable bags, cups, and bottles instead of the disposable ones mounding all over our landfills. It’s the choice to see a sick friend or to stay home because I deserve a night to relax. It’s so many little things and BIG ones too.
Please do not get me wrong. Sometimes calling a friend when we’ve been hurt is right thing. So is buying the hat, using a disposable cup, staying home to relax, and even skipping the gym. Sometimes ALL those things and more are right, and why the battleground exists. I need to check my motives, rely on God’s guidance, and make sure I am following His will with as much love, mercy, and grace as He will provide me.
Dearest Heavenly Father, making the “right” choice can be an exhausting process. So often, I am not sure what you want from me or for me, and MY will runs amuck. Please help me to stay vigilant in finding what you want me to do. This happens best when I abide in you. (John 15) Remembering that I should take you with me in all things and in all choices. In Your Mighty and Holy Name…
I received a few other prayer requests yesterday. If you have something heavy on your heart, please bring it forward.