One thing that consistently robs us of our joy and peace with God is our endless striving to please Him in our flesh. We try to please the Lord in our human power but it will never be enough. Any victories will be short-lived, and the next time we are tempted, we will fall even farther.

Satan comes to you and whispers, "What about that sin you indulged in just yesterday? You are guilty!"

You can answer, "No, I've already asked forgiveness for that. And I've asked God to keep me from doing it again. It's all under the blood."

"But you are still tempted."

"True. But my Jesus has made a way of escape for me. His Word says I will be able to bear the temptation. He will deliver me, because He promised He would" (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).

"But God still has something against you. There are still unsettled matters in your life."

When the accuser brings up an "unsettled issue," some war that still rages within you, you can answer with this passage:

"And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight" (Colossians 1:21-22).

You can say, "Even when I was alienated in my mind by awful, evil works, even when I was in the pits of lust, even when I was one of God's worst enemies, the Bible says He loved me. He sought me out and reconciled me to Himself. He has translated me from the kingdom of darkness into His kingdom of light and made me to be at peace with Him. He loves me!"

The Bible says when we strive, we are "trying to establish our own righteousness." “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3). It is our flesh at work!