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Facing sin
Living faith
Watchman Nee once told the story about the time he was standing on a dock by the side of the lake. Next to him was a friend who happened to be an excellent swimmer. They were both watching a man who was swimming a rather long way from the shore. All of a sudden, the man in the water got into trouble. He began to scream for help and thrash the water. Nee turned to his friend and asked urgently,

"Aren't you going to help him? The man is in trouble!"

"Not yet," his friend calmly answered.

A few moments passed and the man in the lake went down and came up again, struggling and fighting for air.

"Save him! Save him!" Nee begged.

"Not yet," his friend calmly responded.

Finally, the man stopped thrashing the water and all was calm. Nee's friend jumped into the water and with expert strokes swam to the drowning man and began to pull him to shore. Arriving at the shore, Nee's friend administered aid and the drowning man, coughing and sputtering, was revived.

After the incident was over, Nee confronted his friend. "Why did you wait so long to save this man? He could have drowned!"

"I had no other choice," his friend responded. "If I would have gone to him immediately, he would have panicked and pulled me down with him. I had to wait until he stopped kicking. Then I could save him."

Are you willing to stop kicking? Are you willing to see all your little problems and unresolved conflicts, discouragements and disappointments, bad habits, negative attitudes, faults and failures as being means whereby God is at work bringing you to an end of yourself? Are you willing to be nailed to the Cross of Christ and buried in the waters of your baptism?

Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin and decay. But look for Christ and you will find him,     and with him everything else thrown in." - C.S. Lewis.

- Don Matzat, Christ Esteem

God does not need to wait for us to stopped kicking; God will not be burdened by us. I think the end of "being saved" in this scenario was a true change of heart. And we can never experience a true change of heart until we stop kicking. It might seem startling, but most of the time we feel the need to change not because we want to repent. Sometimes, we want to change simply because of pride; it looks too bad on us. Sometimes we say we need to change because our previous behaviour just looked too unbecoming for a 'holy Christian', and we need to get some bad habits past us to attain a sort of external, image-based equilibrium. But true repentance seems a distance away. Often I find that people who are truly repentant are those that are really broken and so damaged that they have not a single modicum of pride to salvage. It is like a wreck and everyone's dead. There's no need to scavenge for any survivors. Until that self has died are we able to have an honest look at our state and then begin a full handling over of reins to God.

When dealing with sexual sin, it's always true that the people who are more successful with overcoming it are often the people that really want to overcome it. There's no end to the steps one might/would take to overcome it. You will only succeed as much as you want to succeed. Most people still leave a backalley, some leeway to resume practice. Worse, some of us just sweep it under the carpet and talk about it only because it's a shameful sin. And committing shameful sins just do not befit our image as Christians. What a thought. Are we truly dead yet?