1/1/2011: The Life that Wins
“Do you know the life that wins? Are you ashamed of the kind of Christian life you live? Have you failed so terribly in your striving for victory that you cry out, ‘Wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me…?’ (Rom. 7:34)” (Translator’s preface to Watchman Nee’s The Life that Wins).
Right now, I feel bad about myself. I spent the first day of the new year, mostly on my desires and the things of the flesh, which is computer games. I tried to fight, and yes, in the morning, I managed to have a long walk with God, but it all went downhill from there. Why? Why is it so difficult for me to pray and to focus on God? When I sit down on my seat in front of the computer, thoughts to do evil came. I just can’t sit and pray. It’s so hard. Many times, I have to go outside, like taking a walk, for me to focus on God. When I sit in front of my computer, temptation comes. I want to do other things instead of spending time on God. I get distracted and that is not good.
I’m still fighting, still struggling to have self-control, to live by the Spirit. Yesterday evening, I spend two hours designing a map with properties for TripleA, a map of my spiritual life. I downloaded a map maker and utilities, but, I always get sidetracked to playing TripleA games instead. In my intuition, I knew that making that map would be wonderful. It can help me map out my spiritual battle and I think it can also provide a guide for other people too. When I want to make maps, the difficulty of making it channels me to play games instead. Yes, “wretched man I am! Who shall deliver me?” I am still not only trying to be saved from sins, but I’m also trying to be saved from this world.
And also, to settle this nagging thought, from the world’s standards, I know I suck. But, it doesn’t matter if I suck, what matters is whether I follow and love God or not. People can make fun of me, point at me, and shame me, but, I will still try to do God’s will for my life. I see people in this world who are so powerful, so good, so high, so etc, that my first tendency is to admire and learn to become like them. But no! I must not! I need to become great in the eyes of God, not in the eyes of men.
The thing is, I’m also afraid to be great. My whole life, I have never been popular, admired, or great. When attention comes to me, my natural instinct is to hide and go back to the shadows. My fear of being great needs to change too. I need to follow God, whether I become great or not. I find that with God, I tend to be more perfect, more courageous, more strong, have more joy, have a clearer mind, and of course, I write better. Right now, I’m not writing very well because I am not as close to God as I should be. I am turning to other idols instead of turning to God. That is why I’m feeling a disconnect; that is why I’m not as smart, clear, strong, courageous, happy (lasting happiness) now. I’m only strong with God. I’m only strong when God makes me strong and God makes me strong because I love and follow Him. I will become like the real Steven, like in Narnia, but now, due to sin and imperfection, the good Steven that you see is only a trace of what it could be.
“I see,” [Lucy] said. “This is still Narnia, and more real and more beautiful than the Narnia down below, just as it was more real and more beautiful than the Narnia outside the stable door! I see… world within world, Narnia within Narnia….”
A TripleA WW2 game. I have been playing different maps and variations like these for a few weeks now, but although it was fun and challenging in the beginning, I overplayed and abused it so that it became enslaving. If I seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, I would have done better.