From a position of surrender {and: The Normal Christian Life Ch#2}

by Erika (daylilyoverflow)

Romans 7:18-20
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

I’ve found recently that the harder I try not to do something, the harder it gets to improve.

I’m trying to spend less time on the iPad. It still feels out of control, though I know I’m doing better. I think maybe I need to just focus on doing things in the real world and not worry too much about specific screen time. Focus on I am doing instead of what I’m not doing

I’m trying to interrupt and finish sentences for my husband less. I am so bad at that. I seem to do it all the time. I don’t know if I’ve just been doing it more since I made that goal or if I’ve just noticed it more and I really do interrupt him that often everyday.

It is humbling.

I need to wait and listen. And listen. And then talk.

After he has finished his own thought. And his own sentence. Then I can say mine. That is how conversations go. That is how connection is built and I learn more about him instead of just emphasizing my proclivity towards interruption.
—–

We think that if only we could rectify certain things we should be good Christians, and we set out therefore to change our actions.
- Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life.

Every time I try to do something under my own power sin gets in the way. There is no way I can improve on my own. I want to do good. I want to be more careful about how I spend my time. I want to be more careful about how I communicate my love.

The more we try to rectify matters on the outside the more we realize how deep-seated the trouble is.
- Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life.

I don’t understand it fully, but the only way I know how to overcome these failings of mine is to pray. And even then I am left with my sinful nature. I cannot not sin.

It is a matter not of my behavior but of my heredity, my parentage. I am not a sinner because I sin, but I sin because I come of the wrong stock. I sin because I am a sinner.
- Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life.

But somehow, by the grace of God, we are given life through Christ. Our sinful nature was crucified on the cross with him and we can live by the Spirit instead.

It is an attitude of surrender. It is waiting. It is listening. It is gradually learning to be more in tune with the Love of God and who He is. And who I am in Christ.

There is no need to make up our minds to lose our temper or to commit some other sin; sin comes freely and despite ourselves. In a similar way, if we are “in Christ” all that is in Christ comes to us by free grace, without effort on our part but on the ground of simple faith.
- Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life.

In order to overcome, I have to stop doing. Does that make sense? Not really.

In Christ there is more freedom. I only need to let go of my desire to improve and instead trust God.

Because we can overcome.

But it is not by my own strength. ever.

“We can overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of His Testimony.”

I can only live the life of a conqueror in a position of surrender.

Pray.

Live.

Praise.

Live.

Repeat til it becomes like breathing.

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