Have you ever felt you were obligated to do something you didn’t want to do? For me, when those situations occur, it always happens when something better is going on and I have to pass on it in order to do something I felt obligated to do. That causes frustration, disappointment, and a bad attitude. I spend the whole time thinking of what I could have done instead of being stuck doing what I felt obligated to do. It’s very disappointing to say the least.
Have you ever felt that way spiritually? Have you felt obligated to do something you knew wasn’t right or that God didn’t approve of? We all have at one time or another because we’ve all failed God. In every situation or temptation, we have a choice. We can do what God wants or what our sinful nature wants. Many times we choose what our sinful nature wants while knowing what God wants. After a while, we can begin to think we can’t beat the sin, so we give in to it every time.
James 4:17 says, “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it” (NLT). When we do what’s wrong when we know what’s right, we have the same emotions we do when we do something out of obligation over desire. In Romans 7, Paul talks about the struggle of wanting to do what’s right, but not being able to. When that happens, we realize we are a slave to sin and feel obligated to do what it wants instead of what God wants. In those moments, we can feel frustrated and disappointed in ourselves.
Coming out of that chapter of failure to do what God wants, I like what Paul reminds us of in Romans 8. He said, “Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.” You and I don’t have to have those feelings of disappointment. We don’t have to feel like we let God and ourselves down. We are not obligated to sin just because that’s what our mind and body wants. We can choose to do what God wants and forego the guilt and disappointment that comes from doing what’s wrong.
We don’t have to be slaves to our sinful nature. Christ has set us free from the law that binds us to go against God. He has placed His Spirit within us to bring the freedom to choose what God wants us to do. Once you accept Jesus as your savior, you are no longer obligated to do what you used to. You are no longer a slave to sin. You have been set free to live a Spirit-led life free from your obligation to sin. If you’re struggling still with slavery to sin, pray that God would give you a Spirit-led mind so you’ll be set free from slavery to sin and do what God wants.