I think I should be frank about something that has been really tearing at my heart.
The recent series on reforging the sword in DI (and the discussions during cell time) really struck a chord with me and brings about a greater sense of urgency in some of the things I have been struggling with in my spiritual walk. It has been an uphill battle, a continued civil war of the soul, and honestly, I'm not doing well. If anything, it just reveals more and more about all the things that are just not right about how I am living my life, to the extent that it's really overwhelming.
I think over time I have allowed myself to become cynical and hopeless. In the struggle against sin and attempting to live the life that Christ has called me to live, I find myself failing over and over again to a point where things feel like they'll never be okay. I have become cynical of any form of repentance in myself, constantly having this thought that any form of determination I have to overcome is useless and will fade away after a short while. Things will go back to 'normal', and I would still be losing the fight of faith.
I find myself extremely discouraged by this staleness in my walk. It becomes a spiritual inertia, where I no longer find myself having the will to do what I know I ought to do.
So I go through life each day, adding on head knowledge but not translating it into into a faith filled life. I feel like I face an insurmountable challenge, and that I really reached the end of the rope, no longer knowing what to do. I know what Paul says about the civil war. I know plenty of things that the Bible speaks about fighting the fight of faith, of renewing our minds, of grace being sufficient, of being more than conquerors, of relying on God's strength not my own, and how nothing is impossible with God and so much more. The past few months especially I have been trying to read up more on all these and been writing on them as well. It's just, the theory is not being translated into practical living.
Each day I find myself not living up to who I am meant to be, and I know it is not okay, but I find myself stuck. Like I have somehow been caught in a trap laid by satan and am powerless to be free. Everything about where I am seems to have a thousand and one Biblical verses on how to get out of it but it doesn't seem to be working.
About two months ago I started rereading the screwtape letters and I just felt like I could really identify with what was being said. Like screwtape himself if he existed was messing with me and doing the things that he advised wormwood in the book:
The great thing is to prevent his doing anything. As long as he does not convert it into action, it does not matter how much he thinks about this new repentance. Let the little brute wallow in it. Let him, if he has any bent that way, write a book about it; that is often an excellent way of sterilising the seeds which the Enemy plants in a human soul. Let him do anything but act. No amount of piety in his imagination and affections will harm us if we can keep it out of his will. As one of the humans has said, active habits are strengthened by repetition but passive ones are weakened. The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.It was, a new step in the right direction, being able to find such literature that so strongly resonated within me, and finding myself so deeply caught in the clutches of satan. I still struggle, but it helped me recognise how precarious my position is and convicted me of the need to continue to try and find ways to rise above all these, irregardless of how tiring, how unfruitful, how impossible it may seem.
And right now two months later, I see that even more. How I really cannot afford to stay the way I am any longer, how God has placed me in unique positions and made me who I am with plans for me to do His work, but I'm not doing it, and each day, each second that passes is a loss. I see clearly that some form of breakthrough must come, because there is a great urgency in the Kingdom.
The problem of course, is that I still can't quite seem to get the upper hand in this civil war within me. Knowledge and revelations are useless if they are not acted upon.
So I want to try again. I have become afraid of trying because I think I will fail. The sheer amount of things I find that I have to concern myself with is intimidating, but I will try to reduce it to the basics and just go, step by step. To renew my mind, taking control of every thought and giving it to God, demolishing strongholds (and highways) that set themselves up against God. This restoration needs a change in mindset, going very down to the cores of my instinctive thoughts and attitudes. As Margaret Thatcher said:
Watch your thoughts for they become words.So I will need to rewire myself all the way from the beginnings of watching my thoughts, for only then can habits, character and destiny be altered.
Watch your words for they become actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become your character.
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
Eunice mentioned that she would rather humble herself than let God humble her. Today I asked God to give me the strength to humble myself, but if that fails that He may just go ahead and humble me because I would rather go through some temporary pain that eventually leads to restoration than find myself trapped forever.
Honestly, I don't have confidence that this will work out. I really don't. I feel like I'm going to falter and fail again and all these is worthless text. That all these efforts are going to be pointless, because that has been the way it always has been, and it is not as if this is the first time I am trying.
But there is one difference this time though. And it is that I'm writing this all out here, in all honesty, in public space. I really hesitate to speak about this, it is something that I am quite ashamed of really (shame is another thing that theorycraft teaches me its from the devil but still I take the bait so often), but I really do not think I can do this on my own. So I ask for your help, to pray for me, with me, and keep me accountable to whatever I have written. It isn't something that will be over in a day or two, but it will probably take at least months to get somewhere that is at least more stable. If you are willing, would you help me in this fight of faith?
It is a baby step, but I guess olympic runners too started with baby steps. And I will keep in mind what C.S. Lewis wrote from Screwtape's perspective:
The most alarming thing in your last account of the patient is that he is making none of those confident resolutions which marked his original conversion. No more lavish promises of perpetual virtue, I gather; not even the expectation of an endowment of "grace" for life, but only a hope for the daily and hourly pittance to meet the daily and hourly temptation! This is very bad.On the side of heaven though, this is very good.
Just a couple of miscellaneous stuff, probably more for myself than anything else: