The Lord Cancels Chess

As some of you are aware, I am a big believer in the following prayer. “Lord help to keep me on the straight and narrow. If I go off it , please let me know. Yell it out to me if you have to. Keep me walking righteously before you.” And as I often pray this prayer, I am aware and watching for His guidance. I fully expect He will do what I have requested.

When Jesus heard about the young dead girl, He said “Do not be afraid, only believe.”(Mark 5:36). Those two little words -“only believe” really nail our whole Christian experience. Because if we can’t believe, we’ll lose faith as Scripture says. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”(Hebrews 11:6).

It all started about 10 years ago. One evening, while bored, I went on the computer and saw an advertisement for pogo games. I joined up and saw chess. I had been not at all interested in this game,  only playing it maybe 4 or 5 times in my life. Ofcourse it was the actual table game I had known up to that point. Anyway, I join up and get into the “chess room”.

Online chess is the same as regular table chess, except for its format. This pogo system had regular ratings for all players (the standard international chess rating system). I started to play. I’m sure my moves were quite unusual and amateurish (not really knowing what I was doing,lol).So I played a couple of games that night, but something clicked in me. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had entered into a powerful magnet, that would take hold of me for close to 10 years.

After that night, I played again the next night after work.  And so it went. Night after night I would be on the computer playing chess. In this pogo system, you get to play chess players from all over the world. So while you play , you can chat with them on the side as well. Soon I found myself not going out of the house much in the evenings or on Sunday, to play more games of chess. I was fascinated with this game because of the utilizing of your mind and it’s requirement of foresight thinking. I even bought Bobby Fischer books to learn more.

As the old saying goes “the more you practice the better you get” and it was true. I steadily climbed up the ratings scale. They rate you as follows. Blue players are the beginners (the bottom skilled players). Green players are intermediate. Orange is the advanced rating. Purple is the expert rating. And the rarefied rating is called Master. Believe me the “masters” are in a class by themselves. Their moves are so advanced, some thinking 10 or more moves ahead!

In my chess “career” I was able to advance up to expert, with my two big games of my life coming about the 2 year of my playing. Beating  master players. But as the years went on I was up and down like a yo-yo. From expert to blue and back again. But regardless, I enjoyed the fascinating moves and how there was always a different challenge on each game. I thrilled when I was way behind and somehow mated the opposition against great odds.

Fast forward to about 3 years ago. When the Lord changed my life and woke me up. It started with my obeying the Sabbath. As  this blog has  told, my experiences gradually changed and my values as well. The Lord took control and I happily consented.

As He was guiding me in the walk, I learned all the 10 Commandments, and started to put each one into action in my life. I called my Dad, who I had not spoken with for several years (Honor thy Father and Mother). I started keeping the Sabbath “holy”. I started watching carefully how I charged my customers (appliance repair) (Thou shall not steal). And so on.

But then after I converted, I started to hear from the Holy Spirit, about my chess playing. The 2nd Commandment forbids us to have “idols”. It became clear chess was indeed an idol. I played everyday and it was taking up precious hours of my free time. The Lord was keeping His part of the bargain, He was warning me where I was off the path.If there was any doubt about a certain aspect of my walk, I took it before the Lord.

So I went in prayer before the Lord. I told Him I would cut down the playing to two days a week . This went on for about a year and a half. Then I began to feel I needed to cut it back to one day a week (Sunday). For the last year this was my routine. The Holy Spirit was still working on me as I was becoming aware that  chess was something I shouldn’t be doing at all. In (James 4:17) we read “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”  I began to know that,  for me,  playing chess was not “good” and staying away was good.

So even  down to just one day a week (Sunday) I began to feel more and more guilty about it yet I did not want to leave it out of my life, I still enjoyed the games. But the Lord came first, and I knew I had to clear this issue.  So finally, recently,  I went before the Lord and said  “Lord if You want me to give it up for good, let me know”. I have learned that there is nothing more precious than the close feeling with our Lord, and I didn’t want have anything in my life that was separating me from Him.

So I was on “lookout” for the answer.  I was expecting  communication from the Lord, His clear answer to me.  This has been our relationship since  observing my very first Sabbath about 3 and half years.

 See our posts under the heading “God’s signs” for an examples of inspiring signs given from the Lord.

As we’ve posted many times before,  the Lord has promised to reveal Himself to us when  He said,  “He who has My Commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves me will be loved by the Father, and I will reveal Myself to him” (John 14:21).  Revealings certainly come in the form of signs.

So on Sunday morning I awoke, and as usual I was soon on the computer playing chess. I played a few games then went off and did some other things. Then as my custom was I took a short nap in the afternoon. After the nap I woke up and wanted to get in another chess game. So I click over to the chess site and WHAT? What happened I thought? The chess system had been removed! At first I was bewildered, but then it hit me. The Lord has answered my prayer! I looked up and said “Thank you Lord”. I went into my room and we talked.

The Lord will always be faithful in this regard.Draw close to Him and He will draw close to you (James 4:8).

So the Lord’s answer came, chess would be forever history.   I was content to know my Lord’s will and follow it. The Lord knows each of our walks, what is right and what is not,  individually. The straight and narrow path will be shown to each of us, if we humbly ask for it. 

 If you have any area in your walk that you’re not sure about, take to the Lord! Ask to be guided, and He will answer you in a way that you will know. Do this frequently and your walk will bring you closer and closer to our Great Lord.

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4 Responses to “The Lord Cancels Chess”

  1. Mari Says:

    Rob, so good to receive your post every Sabbath, but this one is like way personal…I felt like He was talking to me too, I don’t play chess online but still play games…He spoke directly to you, but He also reaching others through your blog. God bless and keep you always focus on Him, yours in Christ, Mari

  2. Godsloveandlaw Says:

    Thank you Mari for your very encouraging words. It really makes this effort worthwhile to read responses like yours. May our ever seeing Lord continue to guide you.

  3. anonymous Says:

    Hi Brother Rob,
    Thanking you with a warm heart for the wonderful scriptures that you send me. It is helpful and soothing . God bless you.

  4. Godsloveandlaw Says:

    My sincere pleasure every week to relay the messages I am inspired to give. Thank you sister for being a faithful reader.

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