Romans 7:21-25 (ESV)
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
It is clear Paul is struggling. Paul, like us, knows the difference between right and wrong and even has the desire to do what is right and avoid doing what is wrong. The problem does not lie in his head knowledge, it lies in the application of that knowledge. How often do we recognize that something we are doing is wrong—gossiping, using foul language, overeating, etc.? But, although we know it is wrong and we don’t want to do it, we find ourselves doing it anyway.
Paul recognizes that he is a wretched man and cannot save himself from doing the things he doesn’t want to do. He knows his only hope lies in Jesus. The same is true for us. We cannot save ourselves and we cannot always will ourselves to do what is right. But because of Jesus’ death on the cross—taking on our punishment for our sins, and His resurrection, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can and will empower us to do what we cannot do on our own.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Although we will always struggle to do what is right, what God desires us to do, we will always be provided a way out and empowerment by the Holy Spirit to take the way out.
Heavenly Father, reveal to us areas in our lives where we are not taking the way out You have provided. Show us how we can live in accordance with Your will for us and not give into the desires of our flesh.