“In me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing.” —Rom. 7:18.
What is your opinion of your old self? Do you truly repudiate it? Do you recognize and believe as Paul said in Rom 7:18 that “In me, that is, in my flesh, dwelling NO good thing?” Are you prepared to tell yourself that you will not listen to a word it has to say? That you will not allow it a single thought, however natural–not a single feeling, however gratifying–not a single wish or work, however right? If you are not prepared to take this attitude, then you still believe there is value in your old self.
If you are to truly yield yourself as a living sacrifice on God’s altar as one alive from the dead (Rom.6:13, 12:1), you must be willing to give up everything to do with your self life and surrender it to God. Each talent, gift, and possession that is really to be sanctified and used by God must be separated from the power of sin and self, and laid on the altar to be consumed by the fire of God’s holiness. It is in the mortifying, the slaying of self, that the wonderful power of God Himself at work through you, can be set free for a complete surrender to God. (Rom 12:1-2)
It is only when the life of Christ is allowed to take full possession, that self can be kept in its place (crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20), and under its sentence of death. Only then will self have no dominion over you. Jesus Christ becomes your second self.
Believer! If you want to truly and fully abide in Christ, prepare yourself to part for ever from self, and not to allow it, even for a single moment, to have anything to say in your thoughts or desires. If you are willing to come entirely away, out of self, and to allow Jesus Christ to become your life within you, inspiring all your thinking, feeling, acting, in everything, He is ready to undertake the charge.
Too often believers come to Christ in faith, but believe the walk of faith is something they need to try to do in their strength, and therefore in the power of self. Even in this we need to learn to recognize that self needs to be kept in it’s place, “crucified with Christ,” and live only by the power that comes through Christ’s life living through us (Gal 2:20).
Learn to never trust on self and the power of the flesh for holiness. Don’t depend on the acts of your own will, your purposes, resolutions, and endeavours, instead of Christ. Don’t think Christ is going to help your flesh or your self-will to live the Christian life. True faith teaches that you are nothing, and your labour is in vain. Resolve to trust on Christ to work in you to will and to do His good pleasure by His own power. (Phil 2:13)
The one is the carnal way, in which we put forth our utmost efforts and resolutions, trusting Christ to help us in doing so. The other the spiritual way, in which, as those who have died, believing we can do nothing, our one care is to abide, to depend on Christ day by day, and at every step to let Him live and work in us.
To do this He asks but one thing: Come away out of self and its life, abide in Christ and the Christ life, and Christ will be your life. As He becomes your life, His interests will become your interests and His influence will begin to extend to even the minutest of the thousand things that make up your daily life.
- How much do you live in dependence upon self vs dependence on God?
- As you seek to live the Christian life, and pursue holiness, are you doing it by the power of Christ’s life in you, or are you depending on your own self-will and determination?
- How often do you experience the life of Christ living and acting through you? Are you interests His interests, or mostly yours? How much does His influence extend into the minutest details of your daily life?
- What has these thoughts revealed to you about yourself and where you need to grow?
Adapted from Abiding in Christ, Chapter 29 – Andrew Murray