God’s means of delivering us from sin is not by making us stronger and stronger, but by making us weaker and weaker. That is surely rather a peculiar way of victory, you say; but it is the divine way. God sets us free from the dominion of sin, not by strengthening our old man but by crucifying him; not by helping him to do anything, but by removing him from the scene of action.
I have never met a soul who has set out to satisfy the Lord and has not been satisfied himself.
The greatest burden we have to carry in life is self. The most difficult thing we have to manage is self. Our own daily living, our frames and feelings, our especial weaknesses and temptations, and our peculiar temperaments, – our inward affairs of every kind, – these are the things that perplex and worry us more than anything else, and that bring us oftenest into bondage and darkness.In laying off your burdens, therefore, the first one you must get rid of is yourself. You must hand yourself and all your inward experiences, your temptations, your temperament, your frames and reelings, all over into the care and keeping of your God, and leave them there. He made you and therefore He understands you, and knows how to manage you, and you must trust Him to do it.
None of us are there yet, but if we each have this attitude, we will put to death our reactions to criticisms and offenses. And though we may still stumble, we will learn that carrying the cross is not merely dying to self; it is embracing the love of Christ that forgives the very ones who have crucified us, that the battle that comes against us has actually driven us into the embrace of God.
If worship is right because God is worthy of it, it is also the best of all antidotes to our own self-centredness, the most effective way to “disinfect us of egotism,” as one writer put it long ago. In true worship we turn the searchlight of our mind and heart upon God and temporarily forget about our troublesome and usually intrusive selves. We marvel at the beauties and intricacies of God’s creation. We “survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died.” We are taken up with God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…Because we are normally so turned in on ourselves, we will not find this easy. But we have to persevere, since nothing is more right or more important.
The one misery of man is self-will, the one secret of blessedness is the conquest over our own wills. To yield them up to God is rest and peace. What disturbs us in this world is not “trouble,” but our opposition to trouble. The true source of all that frets and irritates, and wears away our lives, is not in external things, but in the esistance of our wills to the will of God expressed by external things.
Paint Jesus Christ upon your canvas, and then hold Him up to the people; but hold Him up so that not even your little finger can be seen.
I am a committed to-the-death devoted follower of Jesus Christ. I am not a mere ‘fan’ who will walk away when I don’t like what he asks me to do or when my ‘self’ disagrees with his solution to a problem in my life.
I am a committed to-the-death devoted follower of Jesus Christ. I am not a mere fan who will walk away when I don’t like what he asks me to do or when my ‘self’ disagrees with his solution to a problem in my life.
When God would have us die to self, he always touches the tenderest spot…