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Weekly Devotionals

Shalom To You

Romans 7

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Romans 8

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 

Have you ever found yourself torn between two opposing desires? It’s as if there are different parts within us, each yearning for something that seems incompatible with the other. The struggle to articulate our thoughts or desires arises because we feel conflicting emotions about the same things. It’s a part of being human—having multifaceted desires that sometimes seem at odds with one another.

For example, parenthood: the profound love for our children coexists with a longing for personal space and independence. Often, these desires stand in contradiction.

In the rhythm of life, we crave productivity and accomplishment, yet we also yearn for time to relax and unwind from the busyness of life or overthinking, perhaps watching a movie or doing something totally not productive. These paradoxes are evident in our Christian journey too. We strive to follow God’s commands, yet the allure of and temptation can be so captivating.

Paul grappled with this inner conflict, expressing his turmoil in Romans 7. He detailed the struggle within, feeling pulled in opposing directions, unsure which part truly defined him.

Yet, in Romans 8, Paul found resolution through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He affirmed that “ You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.” (Romans 8:9). Here lies the revelation of our true identity—the essence of our authentic self.

Our identity solely lies on the love of Christ since no matter how broken our parts are, our value and purpose come from that compelling love that surpasses our weaknesses. In the midst of our conflicting desires, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we find our true Self, despite our internal dichotomies, we are whole in Christ.

As you reflect on the year of 2023, you may recall moments of pride and joy, perhaps alongside moments of shame and disappointment. Regardless, please know that you are His beloved. He integrates us with His whole love, even our fragmented pieces.

May you experience the fullness of peace, embracing the integration of your being into a life filled with His truth and love, and that’s, my friends, Shalom.

May we journey forward, embracing our multifaceted selves, being grounded in the unwavering love and grace of our Creator, and knowing that we are cherished and valued beyond measure in the eyes of the One who sees and loves us in the most wholesome way.

I wish you Shalom, the entirety and integration of who you are and your memories, in the name of the Prince of peace.