Defeat is certain if we are constantly contemplating defeat…as soon as our eyes are set on ourselves, we will surely fail.
The law is a storm which wrecks your hopes of self-salvation, but washes you upon the Rock of Ages.
As the self is cleansed of its false attachments, the Holy Spirit will set up shop. We will lose our old ways, but gain something new – the fruits of the Spirit such as joy, peace and patience. God will have begun to do serious work through us.
For every look at self take ten looks at Christ.
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.
From birth we have been learning the rules of self-reliance as we strain and struggle to achieve self-sufficiency. Prayer flies in the face of those deep-seated values. It is an assault on human autonomy, an indictment of independent living. To people in the fast lane, determined to make it on their own, prayer is an embarrassing interruption. Prayer is alien to our proud human nature. And yet somewhere,someplace, probably all of us reach the point of falling on our knees, bowing our heads, fixing our attention on God and praying. We look both ways to be sure no one is watching; we may blush; but in spite of the foreignness of the activity, we pray,
The self-sins…dwell too deep within us and are too much a part of our natures to come to our attention till the light of God is focused upon them. The grosser manifestations of these sins – egotism, exhibitionism, self-promotion – are strangely tolerated in Christian leaders, even in circles of impeccable orthodoxy. They are so much in evidence as actually, for many people, to become identified with the gospel. I trust it is not a cynical observation to say that they appear these days to be a requisite for popularity in some sections of the Church visible. Promoting self under the guise of promoting Christ is currently so common as to excite little notice.
God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves.
Be natural; forget yourself; be so absorbed in what you are doing and in the realisation of the presence of God, and in the glory and the greatness of the Truth that you are preaching, and the occasion that brings you together,…that you forget yourself completely. That is the right condition; that is the only place of safety; that is the only way in which you can honour God. Self is the greatest enemy of the preacher, more so than in the case of any other man in society. And the only way to deal with self is to be so taken up with, and so enraptured by, the glory of what you are doing, that you forget yourself altogether.