Romans 7:22-25 – 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! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. (NIV)
For those of us in northern climes, a snowfall in winter is a common sight. Everyone has a different way of dealing with snow. One winter, I was very lazy, and never cleared away any of the snow that fell in our laneway. I just kept driving over it, packing down the snow, and it piled up higher and higher under the tire tracks. Unfortunately, the car eventually slipped sideways off the hard mound built up under the tires, into the deep snow between the tracks, which was firm enough to support the car and eliminate any traction the tires might have had. The laneway and all the snow under the car had to be shovelled away to free it.
My car becoming imprisoned in the snow because of my laziness is a picture of what happens in our spiritual life when we indulge in sin, letting one instance of disobedience to God's law pile upon another, without confessing and forsaking it — we become slaves to it. For a long time, we may think that we can get away with it, but "you may be sure that your sin will find you out." (Numbers 32:23b NIV)
During our recent snowfalls, I tried to clear away the snow in our lane while it was still shallow, and before any cars had tracked it down. When it would get deep or packed down by the tires, it was very hard to clear away, often turning to ice. Likewise, sin has a way of developing into habits, and habits are much harder to break. Have you ever noticed that people who lie or gossip or complain or lose their temper, do it regularly, and often find it impossible to control? Sin enslaves us.
If we find it difficult to recognize or control our besetting sin, let us ask the Lord to show us where we fall short of His righteousness, and let us be quick to confess and forsake that attitude or behaviour.
Romans 6:1,2,6,12 – What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? For we know that our old self was crucified with [Christ] so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. (NIV)
Prayer: Lord, deliver us from the sin that enslaves us. We cannot save ourselves! In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.