In Romans 7, Paul gives an account of his own struggle with sin, and the power it has over him. We relate to it because it's something we all struggle with.
The context is that the law reveals our sinful nature, and our response to want to do what is right, but still do what is wrong reveals that we are controlled by our sinful nature.
Here's the historical account of what he says:
Struggling with Sin
14"So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
18And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.d I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
21I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22I love God’s law with all my heart. 23But there is another powere within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin."
Verse 25 is our steadfast foundation. Jesus is our hope, our redeemer, our deliverer, our Saviour, our Lord.
1 John 1 says:
5"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all b sin.
8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us."
Look at verse 9. It says "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
Proverbs 3:5 says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and HE will direct your path."
God is merciful, and gives us grace, but He also wants obedience.
1 John 5 says "1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christa has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. 3Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God."
Have you prayed to ask the Holy Spirit to show you if there is any unconfessed sin in your life? Once He reveals it to you, confess it, and repent. Repent means to turn away from it completely and turn to God. It means that you agree with God to what He says about sin. Ask Him to show you how your sin looks to Him. He will show you and it will make you hate that sin. Pray for the courage and strength to do it, you can't do it in your own strength, none of us can.
In regards to feeling His presence, we don't always feel His presence. I know that when I have repented and asked for forgiveness from a certain sin, I do know and feel that He has heard me and forgiven me.
Let us know how you're doing.
Journal...the 4 keys to hearing Gods voice...1. Be still 2. Wait and watch 3. Spontaneity, thoughts HE speaks to you 4. Write down what he says. 2 ways journaling, ask God a question in your journal....be still,wait,prayer, write down His answer
Spontaneity can be a tool of the enemy as well as the work of God, or our own imaginations. While keeping a journal is an excellent practice we must weigh all things against the Word of God. If what we think we hear is from God it must align with His Word.
To you original post .... though our spirit is born again in the salvation event we still live in the sinful flesh, a flesh that will war against us the whole of our lives. By the Word of God and the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit we can overcome, but that does not mean we will never struggle. It is my opinion that our worst enemy is not Satan the tempter and tormentor (those are external pressures), but rather our own sinful fallen unregenerated flesh.
Yet, we have a hope ... in the twinkling of an eye the old will be gone and the new will have come, but until then we bare the scars of a fallen world.
In addition to the future hope we have the conviction of the Holy Spirit Who dwells within the child of God. When we fail he convicts us and we repent of our sins. That conviction, while not pleasant, is for our good. The fact that you feel guilty is a positive sign (though not conclusive in of itself) as unregenerated man does feel some sorrow over bad actions, yet that is not the same conviction we feel as children of God from the Holy Spirit when we stumble or fall. On top of the conviction that is for our good we also know that God is longsuffering and eager to forgive our transgressions when we, Under conviction of the Holy Spirit, come to Him in true repentance.
To your last statement in the opening ... while it is true that we may experience the presence of God at times in varying degrees we also understand that we do not go on feelings alone. We must trust the Word of God, the work of Jesus on the cross and the work of the Holy Spirit in us. Feelings are not trustworthy, but He is trustworthy. When He said He will never leave us He meant exactly that.