For step 1, we are going to answer this question:

Are you powerless?

I am taking this question to mind along with my personal hurts, habits and hang-ups. There are so many events and things in my life that I have no control of. I am powerless over my desire to be pure in thoughts. I am powerless over my lack of vision and dreams because of depression. I am powerless over the continuous hurt and pain lingering in my heart because of rejection. I am powerless over other people’s reactions and responses. I am powerless over my own life’s events. 

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. (Romans 7:18 NIV)

As a single woman, I have been battling depression for almost 2 years now. There were times when I know that I am fine already, that the cloud of gloom and despair have escaped my life. But it is frustrating during the days when I was not even aware that it has come back as it eats away all my desire to live and proceed with life. In my pain, I found impure thoughts as a way to make me forget the pain I am dealing. I resorted to pornography, with all its arousing and exciting effects, to replace my lingering despair and resentment over my life. I was hopeless.

But as a believer of Jesus, living in sin will never be tolerated. I am convicted of this sin as an outright rejection of God. I am powerless over my addictions and habits. I have denied my hurts and tried to mask it with false remedies. 

No matter how I will it, I cannot just do it. 

In Romans, Paul admonishes us about the struggle we have as human. As a Christian, we have come alive already through the saving act of Jesus Christ on the Cross. He has already paid the penalty of our sins by boring all the wrath of our transgressions. It may have been so easy if after we have accepted Jesus into our hearts that we come to heaven right after. In that way, we may have never sinned again. 

But that is not the life we live. After the fact that Jesus came into our life, we are still living in this fallen world and breathing in this sinful body. That is why, we will really struggle between knowing the right thing to do and desirinh it but not being able to do it. Instead, we are still tempted to commit sins. 

For in my inner being I delight in Godʼs law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. (Romans 7:22‭-‬23 NIV)

What can we do about this?

The reality is, we are powerless.We cannot do anything about it. But this admission frees us from the guilt and despair. We must not live in denial of our powerlessness. Let us admit that we are powerless to do the right things. And by this, we ask Jesus to help us and empower us. 

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to Godʼs law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. (Romans 7:24‭-‬25 NIV)

We may never live the perfect life while here on earth but we can sin less and less and less everyday. It is only through Jesus that we can be saved from ourselves.

Dear Jesus, I admit that I am powerless. I do not want to be living in denial. I need You. Help me to take responsibility for the things within my control and submit to You everything outside my control. Help me to overcome myself. In Jesus’ Name, amen!