The dryer is humming, the weekly calendar is laid out, the run has been run and the Bible has been read. The perfect start to a Monday morning in my book, yet, I am finding my heart is still a bit heavy thanks to this morning’s appearance of a dreaded visitor.
The drill sergeant. I hope you’ve never had her visit your home.
The drill sergeant snuggles for a second and then gets huffy if little people don’t hop to attention.
The drill sergeant barks at little people to EAT THEIR dag-gum EGGS!
The drill sergeant rolls her eyes at the evils of toothpaste smeared on the sink and dripping down the front of clean uniforms.
I can’t stand the drill sergeant and I want to say “over and out 10-4” to this demanding part of my heart that appears more often that I like.
“So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. Romans 7:14-25
Thank God indeed. Thank God that I can confess my unwholesome talk, my lack of gentleness and patience, etcetera, etcetera, and He is faithful to forgive me and cleanse me (especially the drill sergeant in me!) from all unrighteousness. And He doesn’t just forgive me and cleanse me, but He fills me with Himself! The Holy Spirit, the power source for every second of my life as a Christian, is bound by God’s Word to change me and make me more like Jesus. This makes the drill sergeant in me shout HOORAH!
EG came home from school last week and shared with me what our pastor had taught her class at chapel. She said, “Mommy, only God is good and we can’t staple the fruit of God to the tree, God has to make it grow from the inside!” The truth I’ve been teaching college students for a decade needed to be spoken to me by a 4-year-old and instilled in my by the Spirit all over again this morning.
So, with that truth, we can walking in confidence today. Not confidence in ourselves and our systems but in Him who has promised to make His fruit grow in us today! Because…
There is therefore now no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us,who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4
How are you seeing the fruit of God’s work in your life? Any other recovering drill sergeants out there?