I thought I could do it alone, but I found out I cannot do it at all. Every time I fell I would get up and promise myself it was the last time. I would find the point of weakness, put a fence around it, and promise to stay away, but the fences had holes. A little more will power, a few new strategies, or a new ascetic practice, none of it was of any value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
It was like trying to strangle myself with the power of my own two hands: it couldn’t be done. Either self-preservation would kick in and I would stop, or if I managed to make any progress, as the strength of my flesh would start to die, so would the very strength I needed to finish the job. You cannot subdue the flesh by operating in its power.
Someone else must do it, and there is only one who can transfer us from the domain of darkness into the Kingdom of light. He has to be someone who was able to stand against every temptation that came His way. He then, not deserving of any punishment himself, must have been willing to lay His life down to bear our curse, and even that would not be enough. He also needs to be able to take his life up again, for death is the enemy that needs to be overcome, and that same resurrection power is needed to give new life to our spiritually dead hearts.
There is only one who is able to do that, and it is Jesus Christ. For those who have faith in Him, He has made us alive together with Him, having forgiven our trespasses, by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities, and put them to open shame by triumphing over them (Col. 2:13:15).
There is only one who has the power to deliver us: to overcome our sinful nature and the wrath it deserves. It is only by Jesus that we can be saved. I will then trust in Him, and the means He has provided for our growth. He has promised to conform me to His image. I cannot do it alone, I cannot do it at all, but with God all things are possible.