Absolute Essentials…Overcoming the Wretched Man ~ blog
There is nothing our enemy would love more than for us to give in to discouragement. We can be overwhelmed by the fact that we are doing battle with demonic forces. Then when we try to stop using porn a Godzilla rises up from somewhere from deep inside of us and seeks to grind our face into more porn and we feel helpless against it.
We feel there is no way out. We feel God certainly has stopped loving us. We doubt that perhaps we were ever really saved or if we were God has tossed us aside because of our seemingly endless list of broken promises.
Congratulations…you are experiencing exactly what you need to be experiencing. You have learned the TRUTH about your true spiritual and physical reality and maybe…just maybe you realize how much help you are going to need.
Do you know who else felt this way…other than you, me, and about 60%+ of all Christian men in the world today? Let’s listen to how one man puts it…
“For I do not understand what I am doing; for I am not practicing what I want to do, but I do the very thing I hate.”
“For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.”
Paul is describing his own internal battle against his own flesh. Please note that he is writing in the present tense and uses first-person pronouns throughout. People want to say this is not Paul or this is Paul before he became a Christian believer. Sorry but the grammar of the Greek does not support that.
However, notice what he says at the end of the passage…
“Wretched man that I am!
Who will set me free from the body of this death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
In this statement of his reality, Paul cries out an incredible truth that we all must learn is true about ourselves. “Wretched man that I am!” This word wretched is a combination of two words in the Greek. “Talas” means someone who is greatly afflicted, miserable, and beaten down from a continuing strain. “Poros” is the word for a callus. It describes a person who has been beaten down for so long his body is covered with calluses.
Paul is not saying that he is a man who has been beaten down by God. Absolutely not! He is a man, like us, who has been beaten down by his flesh. He had to learn the same lesson we all have to learn and that is our freedom from this sinful body of death is only achievable through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This is a hard lesson to learn. I believe God has used my sexual sin and the years I kept it hidden and secretly trying to overcome it on my own…so nobody would need to know…He allowed me to stay in the ring of that battle until I had the “Self” beaten out of me. And only when I realized how wretched a man I truly was and how utterly I needed to receive from Him the life I longed for…that the gates of His grace opened up and He began the process of freeing me from this body of death.
If there is one thing I know, one Absolute Essential this painful lesson has taught me is this…
Only God can free me from this body of death. He allows us to become so entangled by our flesh in this porn-filled world that we come to the only real solution there is in life…
There’s a life God wants to give me…
That I can never achieve on my own!!!
To live a Christ-like life I must learn and use what God has given to me so that I cannot only survive this world, my flesh, and demonic forces…but so that I can be a conqueror.
I can find the daily power coming from the Spirit of God
who dwells inside of me.
I need to surrender my body to Him as a daily sacrifice as commanded in Romans 12:1-2.
I must ask the Holy Spirit to fill me and learn how to walk in the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 and Galatians 5:16
I can stand strong in the strength of His might by daily putting on the full armor of God.
Paul understood what it was like to be the wretched man unable to do what he wanted to do and continue to do what he did not want to. His answer and our answer are Jesus Christ. We have to come to the end of ourselves and porn is what did it for me. It became a part of my life at 11 years of age and took me far down the dark hole of sexual sin.
And God our Father is not standing over us just waiting to clobber us for our continuing failures. His arm is outstretched, and His hand is open waiting for you to cease your own striving and allow Him to free you from this body of death.
Tomorrow…we will learn the Absolute Essentials we need to be doing and actually begin to do that.