I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Rom. 7:15)

THE LITTLE WHITE CHURCH STOOD ALONE in the middle of a field, next to a busy highway. One day the strangest thing happened. A semi veered off the highway, crashed through a fence, across the field, and straight through the little church. The truck went in one side and out the other. The driver apparently had something stuck in his throat and lost control of the truck. It is amazing to think that, of all the places the truck might have gone, it somehow found its way into that pretty little church—surely not where the driver wanted to go!

Paul put himself in the shoes of a person who has been awakened to his or her sinfulness but lacks the power to avoid it. When we first begin to move toward God, we may go through some days of spiritual defeat like this. We may know what we should do and even want to do it, but it may seem impossible to avoid doing the wrong thing.

Paul was imagining someone who did not yet have the Holy Spirit. In such a state, we are still slaves to sin, a condition from which God wants to free us. So do not be discouraged if you fail at the beginning of your spiritual journey. There is more to come! The Spirit has a marvelous new life in store for you.

Ask the Holy Spirit to direct your steps away from temptation today.

Ken Schenck is dean of the School of Theology and Ministry and professor of New Testament and ancient languages at Indiana Wesleyan University. His publications include The Early Church: Reaching the World (WPH) and more.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.