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Gaining victories

By Alan Dean
Retired pastor

Seventh-day Adventist Church
Watchman Nee was a Christian writer who became a Christian in 1920 in his home country of China. As a boy he used to love gathering with his friends at the local swimming hole in a large creek. It was always a good time to cool off and to have a lot of fun.
One day while they were swimming, one of his friends got a severe cramp in his leg out in the deeper water. The boy tried to swim ashore but he wasn’t able. “Help” he cried, “I can’t swim, someone help me.”
Nee’s friends all froze in fear. They only knew how to “dog paddle,” not how to save a drowning boy. Only Nee knew how to swim well, and be able to save their friend. So the boys looked to Nee, expecting him to go quickly out to the rescue.
But Nee just stood there watching the boy struggle in the water. “Do something!” someone shouted. Nee didn’t move. The other boys were going wild now, screaming for Nee to help. Eventually the boy in the deep quit struggling and sank below the surface.
Instantly Nee dived into the water and with strong strokes came to the boy. Reaching down, he grabbed the boy’s hair and pulled him to the surface and quickly brought him to shore. Nee turned him face down. The boy coughed a few times and then took a deep breath.
The group turned to their hero: “Why did you wait so long? He almost drowned!” Nee explained, “If I had gone while he was struggling, we both would have gone down. I had to wait until he gave up.”
Sometimes Jesus has to do the same with us. As long as we are intent on saving ourselves, Jesus can’t do anything for us. So he waits until we are at the end of our rope, or until we give up. Then He will take over, if we ask Him, and come to our rescue. He will come to give us the victory for which we have been struggling so hard.
Jesus told the Apostle Paul in 2 Cor 12:9 that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Therefore, to gain spiritual and moral victories in our life, we must allow Jesus to give us His strength and not depend on our willpower.

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