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.

Romans 7:22 (NIV, 1978)

Paul’s description of the internal war raging in his spirit provides us with both a warning as well as a word of comfort as we mature in our walk with Jesus Christ. 

Let me explain. . . 

Years ago, a former pastor recounted the story of when he became a Christian. As a college student, he had been dating a young lady who was the pianist at her church. (He asked that his motivation for attending church not be judged!) On one particular night, he was convicted by the message and earnestly accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He said he experienced everything that he had ever heard associated with salvation: love, freedom, belonging, and a sense of purpose in knowing he was a child of God. The next day, he returned to his construction job where he accidentally hit his hand with a hammer—as builders sometimes do. Out of his mouth came that which Jesus had died for on the Cross! He was devastated. What happened to being a “new creation?” Why had all those “old things” that had supposedly “passed away” not totally “become new?” Was he not truly saved or was God not able to do what He promised?

The redeeming power of the blood of Jesus is instantaneous. He hears and responds to the desperate cry of the lost reaching out for help to a Savior they now know is real. Sins are forgiven. Heaven is assured. Hope begins to be restored, but everything else, simply put, is a process. Our minds, as Paul later said, must be renewed. Our random thoughts must be taken captive. Our desires must be brought into submission to the Holy Spirit. This is more than work—it’s a war for internal peace and purpose that can only come in winning our daily battles begun at the moment we became His.

In our exhaustion, we sometimes forget that the enemy doesn’t play fair. But our faith is not just for days when the sun is shining, but for the days when the battle is real.