15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin (Romans 7).
This passage must be taken as a whole, for I know of no other in Scripture that takes that terrible look inside and so zooms in on our spiritual problem. Is not the very nature of nightmares the fact that they consist of our trying to do that which we cannot — running from this and trying to pull away from that? We awake in a sweat after reaching the point of “wretchedness” and cry for help: “Who will set me free from this torment?”
Jesus stands at the end of all our spiritual nightmares, reaching out and saving us from the wretchedness of sin, breaking all shackles that imprison us, and inviting us to live bright and joyful days in service to Him. He is more real than the nightmare.
Lord, thank You for always awakening us from our spiritual nightmares! Help us to live This Day as Your instruments to help others awaken from theirs. Amen.