November 25, 2015

The Place of Evil

Romans 7:21-25

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.

—  Romans 7:21

God’s Word not only notes the reality of evil, but it also goes so far as to say that evil is always present. This means that belonging to Jesus does not by itself keep us away from evil. “I find this law at work: . . . evil is right there with me,” says Paul.

I don’t like that, but knowing this law helps me keep perspective. Rather than being surprised by the presence of evil and temptations in my life, and wondering what their presence might say about me, I can instead focus on standing against it, with Christ’s help. I can admit that evil is here, with me. It was present for Paul, and it was present for Jesus. The question is: What am I going to do about it? How am I going to cope with its presence?

Sometimes what hurts us in the battle against evil is that we don’t openly admit there is a battle. Then we may end up either not fighting, or simply fighting on our own.

So a place to start is to recognize the presence of evil and its temptations and to ask for God’s help in battling it. In addition, ask for the counsel and prayers of a trusted Christ-follower when you’re engaged in a specific battle with evil. The point is not to deny it, but to claim our place in Christ, and to keep fighting.

Lord, I don’t want to be ignorant of the evil that is right here with me. I belong to you. Help me fight what is evil and do what is good. In your strength, Amen.

About the author — Henry Kranenburg

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