Who will receive me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
— Romans 7:24-25

By Kyle Idleman

Do you ever find yourself struggling with things that you thought you had left behind a long time ago? 

When I was in high school, I remember being on my way to pick up a girl for a date. As you would expect, I had to walk through her front yard. As you might not expect, it was a minefield of doggie-doo. And being nervous about the date, of course, I wasn’t watching where my big feet landed.

Her mom answered the door, smiled politely, and invited me in. As I sat on the sofa next to my date, I noticed a certain unpleasant aroma. I had no clue about its source. I sniffed my date, which, in retrospect, wasn’t a good move for a new relationship. I leaned towards her parents – It wasn’t them either.

The source of the smell was me. I was ground zero! I looked down at my Doc Martens and realized that I had really stepped in it this time. Not only that, but I had tracked it through the entryway, across the carpet, and into the family room. Suddenly I wasn’t breathing well.

Some of us have mistakenly believed that once we became Christians, life would be free of complications, smooth sailing, a rosy journey with no splinters or thorns along the way.

No trials or difficulties. No sins, no struggles, No doggie-doo.

But, even the apostle Paul discovered that following Jesus simply doesn’t work that way: “Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me” (Romans 7:21). He described a sin nature that just kept on waging war, even making him prisoner. Paul concluded with his self-evaluation: “What a wretched man I am!” (Romans 7:24).

The problem is that we have tried to follow Jesus without leaving something behind.

It’s hard to understand, because we know our sins are forgiven, but we still have the old desires, the old habits.

And this is the challenge for many of us. @@The problem is that we have tried to follow Jesus without leaving something behind.@@

What are the habits, desires, and sins that still cling to you? 

What stuff in your life should have been destroyed  long time ago but is still managing to come along for a ride? Maybe you’d be honest enough to write them down, with today’s date, and surrender them anew to the lordship of Jesus. Memorize Romans 7:25.


KYLE IDLEMAN is the teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and is the author of the award-winning and bestselling book, not a fan. You can follow him on Facebook.