It’s true of all of us. How I wish it wasn’t. Paul says it well in Romans 7:18-20
18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.t I want to do what is right, but I can’t.19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
The cycle: follow Jesus, do things my own way, repent; follow Jesus, do things my own way, repent; REPEAT
Why does it have to be so hard to do the right thing…all the time? Romans 7:22-23 sums that up:
22 I love God’s law with all my heart.23 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.
Thanks Adam and Eve.
God’s people the Israelites had the same problem. Psalm 78 speaks of their journey.
- v. 4 – we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord
- v. 10 – They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his instructions.
- v. 11 – They forgot what He had done
- v. 17 – They kept on sinning against Him
- v. 18 – They stubbornly tested God
- v. 19 – They even spoke against God
- v. 21 – When the Lord heard them, He was furious
- v. 22 – for they did not believe God or trust Him to care for them
- v. 23-29 – God rained down manna, bread from heaven, food of angels, He rained down meat
- v. 32 – But in spite of this, the people kept sinning
- v. 33 – So He ended their lives in failure, their years in terror
- v. 34 – When God began killing then THEY FINALLY SOUGHT HIM. THEY REPENTED AND TOOK GOD SERIOUSLY
- v. 36 – But all they gave Him was lip service; they lied to Him with their tongues
- v. 38 - YET HE WAS MERCIFUL AND FORGAVE THEIR SINS
- V. 41 – Again and again they tested God’s patience
- v. 42 – They did not remember
- v. 43-52 – God ravaged the Egyptians & led his people like sheep safely through the wilderness
- v. 56 – They kept testing and rebelling against God Most High
I am so thankful that we have a God Who forgives. Psalm 78: 38-39 says Many times He held back His anger and did not unleash His fury. For He remembered that they were merely mortal. God is quick to forgive and quick to restore…it’s us, like the Israelites that are blind to the cycle we are in. Looking at the cycle they were in, it’s easy to say how stupid they were…how could you forget all those awesome crazy miracles God did for you; rescue from Egypt, manna & meat from the sky, God fighting battles for them. How could they forget so quickly?
We do the same thing – how quickly we forget the miracle of God’s salvation, the provision He provides every day….all the many many blessings we have to be thankful for.
I don’t know about you, but if my life were a story that was written down in a book….1,000 years from now, I don’t want someone to read it and think “She was so stupid, why did she complain so much, look at how God blessed her, how could she forget so quickly”.
How about your story….what would people say? Break out of the cycle.