“I Will to do Good, but…”
“I will to do good but evil is present with me.” The Apostle Paul was a bloke like the rest of us and faced his dark side. I bet that this lamentation revealed it even prevailed on occasion. I don’t think Paul was saying that he was abject evil; he was merely recognizing that there was darkness within his heart which opposed every noble enterprise he had. Yes, he wrestled with Satan.
But Satan is so much more than the popular conception that we have of him. I think he is that tendency to stagnate, to succumb to inertia, to not participate in the flow of life. That is merely another way of saying, “a tendency to not allow the Spirit of God to have free rein in our heart and life.”
Paul summed it up with the famous observation, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
And I close with my frequently quoted observation of W. H. Auden, “We wage the war we are.”