I spent the past month battling with a kidney stone – ever had one? A man should never wish one on his worst enemy. Some women have told me that it is similar to having a baby. I’ve told them that can’t be true or no woman would ever have more than one child.
After a month, I finally had to have surgery two weeks ago. Thankfully, the kidney stone is gone. I prayed for God to “roll away the stone,” and He did – He just did it through a doctor.
For a month I kept talking to my family about “what is wrong with me.” However, in reality, there was nothing wrong with me. Instead, something was wrong in me. I had a stone in my kidney, but I, myself, wasn’t a stone. It was in me, but not me. The stone didn’t define who I am.
That’s how it is with the power of indwelling sin. In Romans 7:23, the Apostle Paul says that the sin is in my body. At salvation, we received a new spirit. Our soul is being renewed. But we still live in the same old body we’ve always had. And in that body is the residual effect of sin.
One day we will be given a glorified body, but until then we have the power of sin within us. Paul said that “evil is present in me” (7:21). He didn’t say that he was evil. The fact that indwelling sin still is present in our bodies doesn’t give us the identity of a sinner.
You are a saint who sometimes sins. You have a new identity now. You should no sooner call yourself a sinner because the power of indwelling sin is in your body than I would call myself “Rocky” because a kidney stone was in mine. Of course we don’t live sinless lives, but it isn’t our behavior that gives us our identity. Birth does that.
You have been born into the family of God through Jesus Christ. Now you possess His very nature. (See 2 Peter 1:3-4) Don’t define yourself by sin. The essence of who you are is grounded in the union you have with Jesus Christ. You are a Christian. There may be something wrong in you and it may manifest some ugly symptoms at times. But there is nothing wrong with you.
I’ve been told that one way to avoid kidney stones is to drink plenty of water. Jesus is the River of Living Water that flows from within us. (See John 7:38) Drink deeply of His life everyday. He alone will keep us from becoming stuck down by debilitating sin.