The whole point of being “crucified with Christ” is that we are liberated from self-rule, self-preservation, and self-promotion (Gal. 2:20; 6:17).
Consider Jesus. As you are crucified, watch Him handle His crucifixion. Your Lord bequeathed to you an example of the high art of being crucified. Behold how He reacted to betrayal, to lies, to false witnesses. Jesus Christ absorbed these pains, even as they added the shamefulness of being crucified in public. Humiliated, degraded, defamed, tortured and then murdered. That day he raised acceptance of the cross into an art form. He learned to accept all things from the hand of His Father.
When the corn is nearly ripe it bows the head and stoops lower than when it was green. When the people of God are near ripe for heaven, they grow more humble and self denying.
Whenever a man has seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ…at once he comes right into a head-on collision within his own personal living, with all of his principles and motives upon which he has lived until this moment…. if there is to be a continual manifestation of Holy Spirit life, there must be a constant submission to the crucifixion of the flesh, not simply sometimes, but always.
Shall we retreat and turn back from our high calling in Christ Jesus; or dare we advance at God’s command in face of the impossible?…Let us remind ourselves that the Great Commission was never qualified by clauses calling for advance only if funds were plentiful and no hardship or self-denial involved. On the contrary, we are told to expect tribulation and even persecution, but with it victory in Christ.
The person without self-control is easy prey to the invader. He yields himself to the first assault of his ungoverned passions, offering no resistance…Having no discipline over himself, temptation becomes the occasion of sin, and hurries him on to fearful lengths that he had not contemplated.
Lifestyle worship is sacrificial. A sacrifice is a gift of the essence or the product of our lives. It may be a gift of our time, a gift of our talent, or a gift of our treasure. Whatever shape it takes, it is a sacrifice given with no regard for a return on the investment.
Whatever the particular call is, the particular sacrifice God asks you to make, the particular cross He wishes you to embrace, whatever the particular path He wants you to tread, will you rise up, and say in your heart, “Yes, Lord, I accept it; I submit, I yield, I pledge myself to walk in that path, and to follow that Voice, and to trust Thee with the consequences”? Oh! but you say, “I don’t know what He will want next.” No, we none of us know that, but we know we shall be safe in His hands.
Character is made up of small duties faithfully performed–of self-denials, of self-sacrifices, of kindly acts of love and duty.
Let every one consider what his weak point is; in that is his trial. His trial is not in those things which are easy to him, but in that one thing, in those several things, whatever they are, in which to do his duty is against his nature. Never think yourself safe because you do your duty in ninety-nine points; it is the hundredth which is to be the ground of your self-denial. It is with reference to this you must watch and pray; pray continually for God’s grace to help you, and watch with fear and trembling lest you fall. Oh that you may (as it were) sweep the house diligently to discover what you lack of the full measure of obedience! for, be quite sure, that this apparently small defect will influence your whole spirit and judgement in all things.