The Christian’s struggle with sin can be compared to one woman’s effort to connect the pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. The silver-haired woman sat at her kitchen table with the puzzle pieces spread out before her. After a few hours with little progress, she called her neighbor and asked if he could help her.

The neighbor walked into the house and looked at the table. Then he asked, “What are you are making with these pieces?”

“It’s a rooster. Can you help me put it together?”

“That is unlikely, given the circumstances.”

“And why not?”

The neighbor’s eyes shifted from the rooster on the box, to the pieces all over the table, to the silver-haired woman. As politely as he could, he said, “Ma’am, why don’t you go and make yourself a cup of tea? I’ll put the cornflakes back in the box.”

The woman had wasted her time attempting to assemble something which would never fit together. Many Christians make the same mistake when they try to live God-honoring lives in their own strength. Not only are they unable to do this for even a short time, but the harder they try, the harder it is to do what is right. A spiritual struggle impedes their progress and nearly drives them to despair.

What is to be done about this problem? Must Christians forever struggle with lust, anger, pride, gossip, bitterness toward their spouses after an argument, or insubordination to church leadership? No. God has provided the means for our victory, and it comes through Christ. That is the short answer. Over the next few days, we will explore this in more detail.

Put the cornflakes back in the box, Christian. You can’t overcome your sin problem in your own strength. Accept the daily battles you face, as well as the dilemma of your depravity. But never accept failure. The pieces will not fit together until you bring your struggles to God. Confess your faults to Him, and you will begin traveling the road to victory.

You are not able to subdue the least sin apart from Christ. But, by the help of the Holy Spirit, there is nothing that can master you. — Charles H. Spurgeon

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.