For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. - Ro 7:19 NASB
We can all relate to the apostle Paul's statement above, can't we? How often do you find yourself slipping back into old habits or attitudes that you thought you had slain for good? How often do you fight yourself with that current habit or thought pattern you are trying to break? Yes, the good that we want to do, we don't do, but the bad we want not to do, that we do. It is a tug of war, indeed, caused by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and receiving the Holy Spirit of God inside of us. The Holy Spirit is what causes us to be "torn" on the inside by the battle between our old and new selves.
Yes, we are new creations (2 Cor 5:17) at the time of salvation, but we don't get spiritually strong overnight. We must purposefully access the power of the Holy Spirit through reading of God's Word, prayer, scripture memorization, and fellowship with other mature believers. We must renew our minds to God's way of thinking and not our own. This process takes time, but it is possible because the same power that raised Christ from the dead to everlasting life and reign at God's right hand is ours for the taking. God wants to empower us to do all that He has asked us to do. Here is what the Holy Spirit can help us accomplish in our lives:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. - Galatians 5:22 (NASB)
The fruit - those good character qualities described above - is ours for plucking off of the tree. God can help us to do the things we couldn't before and be the person we weren't before. The tug of war inside of us may rage on, but our good nature will get stronger and eventually win out as we grow in our faith day by day. We can win the game. We can get the fruit.
To tug at your heart:
How is your tug of war game going? If you feel that you are losing the battle, how often are you in God's Word to gather strength and nourishment? What are you going to do today about your lack of strength?