If any one thing is characteristic of ALL of us, it’s likely that inner struggle we feel…
“I want to do this, but I know I should do that…”
“I don’t know WHY I did that thing right there— I’d already decided I wasn’t going to…”
We do this with “big” things and “small” things, with actions we would classify as sins and everyday occurrences as simple as sleeping in too late, fudging on the diet, loosing our temper, letting something fluster us, or even allowing something to get under our skin…
Paul wrote about it in Romans 7:14f— “the good the I want to do, I don’t do… and the evil I don’t want to do… I find myself doing that!”
Who can relate?
Yeah— all of us, in some way, if we’re honest…
❌ That’s the bad news.
✅ The good news is that Jesus was tempted in every way we’re tempted (Hebrews 4:15). That means, yes, He faced— and beat— the same struggle…
And, then He actually DEFEATED it on our behalf.
Theologians use the term “bondage of the will” to refer to this tension…
… and it goes ALL THE WAY BACK to the Garden of Eden.
Whereas Adam gave away his freedom- and ours- in the garden, Jesus regained it. And Jesus has returned it to you.
Here’s what happened: Matthew says that Jesus prayed, “Not My will, but as You will... (see 26:39f.).”
Notably, this is written in the context of Jesus wishing there was another way to secure our redemption- another way besides facing the Cross.
(In other words, even then He faced that same internal tango between this/that + that/this.)
Before praying, Jesus tells us disciples that they should “watch and pray” with Him. He says that the spirit is willing- but that the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41).
Yes, Jesus sensed the internal tug-of-war that we all experience. The “good” in you (God’s Spirit) wants to walk the perfect path God has ordained- no matter how difficult it may be. The flesh, though, often wants another route.
(Don’t emphasize the weakness of the flesh— Jesus didn’t. Lean into the strength of the Spirit!)
When Jesus laid down His will in a DIFFERENT Garden, His obedience became ours— because His life is now our very life….
Want to be free of the inner struggle?
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