When One Knows Oneself Well….

“When one knows oneself well, one is not desirous of looking into the faults of others.” –John Moschus (ca 550-619 AD)

Woe is me! Woe is you?

Let us not be the judge of others since there is only one True Judge, Jesus the Righteous.

Let us remember that pride always sees the faults of others.

Let us pray for one another.

Carl

SELF

“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,…”  Ephesians 2:1

The opening scripture is describing our condition prior to finding forgiveness for our sins in Jesus Christ, our great Savior.  We were dead to God. What an awful thought.

Concerning this “dead” relationship to God, I want to share the following statement from William Law (1686-1761).  Law was a devout Christian Englishman who, through his writings, attempted to wake up the sleeping church in his day. He wrote the following about Self:

“Men are dead to God because they are living to Self. Self-love, self-esteem and self-seeking are the essence and the life of pride; and the Devil, the father of pride, is never absent from these passions, nor without an influence in them. Without a death to self, there is no escape from Satan’s power over us….

To discover the deepest root and iron strength of pride and self-exaltation, one must enter into the secret chamber of man’s soul, where the Spirit of God, who alone gives humility and meek submission, was denied through Adam’s sin…

Here in man’s innermost being, self had its awful birth, and established its throne, reigning over a kingdom of secret pride, of which all outward pomp and vanities are but its childish, transitory playthings….

Imagination, as the last and truest support of self, lays unseen worlds at his feet, and crowns him with secret revenges and fancied honors. This is that satanic, natural self that must be denied and crucified, or there can be no disciple of Christ. There is no plainer interpretation than this that can be put upon the words of Jesus, “Except a man deny self, and take up the cross and follow me, he cannot be my disciple.”

The Seduction of Christianity – Dave Hunt & T.A. McMahon

I have read this statement numerous times and each time I see something else about my Self.  May you linger over it until the Holy Spirit has shown you everything He wants to show you concerning your Self.

May we evaluate our discipleship in the light of the words of our Lord. Is our discipleship genuine according to His statement in Mark 8:34 or is it just a religious facade like the Pharisees had. Jesus described them as whitewashed tombs, pretty on the outside but full of death or Self on the inside.

Heavenly Father, God of all wisdom, please open our understanding to how deadly Self is. In Jesus’ precious name we ask this. Amen.

We believe in and therefore choose to walk in Paul’s words:

“…knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with , that we should no longer be slaves to sin…” (Romans 6:6)

Take up the Cross,

Carl

Snakes and Self

One Saturday years ago, when our four children were still at home, we decided to clear the forest between the front yard and the creek that was on the edge of our property. With our Aussie, Katy, watching over the kids and my wife and I, we began to cut down the small trees, underbrush and the vines that grew around everything.

After we had worked for awhile, someone noticed that we had a visitor . A harmless, slender, green snake had appeared in one of the small trees and seemed to be watching us. The vibrations we were creating in the forest canopy had gotten his attention and he descended, hoping to find an injured bird or insect, an easy lunch for him.

Instead of finding a meal, he became our captive and we were sidetracked from our work, letting the kids examine him. After a period of time, we let him go. Then it was back to working and sweating in the Louisiana humidity and heat.

The Holy Spirit reminded me of this event recently.  Just as that earthly snake came to check out the vibrations, the devil’s snakes always show up when we cause “life giving” vibrations in his kingdom of darkness and death.

The satanic messenger‘s goal is to divert our mind from being an obedient disciple of Christ and onto Self.

Self is the “old man” or “old self” that was crucified with Christ on the cross (Romans 6:6) and must be reckoned or considered dead if we are to be true disciples of Christ. Jesus said the following in Mark 8:34:

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Self is an endless vacuum that is never satisfied and is a constant slave to sin, seeking its own will and not the will of the Father.   There is a list of Self fruit in Galatian 5: 19-21.

To get us focused on Self, the snake uses sickness, fatigue, hopelessness, busyness, sleepless nights, worries, fears, relationships, imaginations and a host of other things.  Anything to distract us from dying daily (“take up his cross” ) and living in the power of the Lord’s Spirit. The Lord told us the following about this:

“And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and THE WORRY OF THE WORLD, and THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” Matthew 13: 22 (emphasis added)

Recently, I realized I was spending too much time thinking about my Self. I therefore decided that every time I find myself in this state, I would repent and pray for the persecuted church in the earth. So far I have prayed for the church in Spain, Portugal, and Ecuador.

If you are focused on Self as you read this, I pray that the Lord will open your understanding to see how you got there and you will repent and return to fighting the good fight of the Faith. God bless you as you put the snake to flight and continue to march forward with your cross.

Let us remember:

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interest of others. Have this attitude in your selves which was also in Christ Jesus….”

Be a witness

Carl