Yesterday I was cut to the quick from Oswald Chambers’ devotional that fits so well with what I’ve been studying in the Beatitudes. If there is even a trace of individual self-satisfaction left in us, it always says, “I can’t surrender,” or “I can’t be free.” But the spiritual part of our being never says “I can’t”; it simply soaks up everything around it. “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
Our spirit hungers for more and more. It is the way we are built. We are designed with a great capacity for God, but sin, our own individuality, and wrong thinking keep us from getting to Him. God delivers us from sin— we have to deliver ourselves from our individuality. This means offering our natural life to God and sacrificing it to Him, so He may transform it into spiritual life through our obedience.
We must recognize that we need a Savior because we can’t save ourselves, and we need a Master because we can’t change our hearts without His supernatural work within us. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matt 5:3-4)
God pays no attention to our natural individuality in the development of our spiritual life. His plan runs right through our natural life. We must see to it that we aid and assist God, and not stand against Him by saying, “I can’t do that.” God expects us to discipline ourselves. God will not bring our “arguments…and every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:5)— we have to do it! Don’t say, “Oh, Lord, I suffer from wandering thoughts.” Don’t suffer from wandering thoughts. Stop listening to the tyranny of your individual natural life and win freedom into the spiritual life.
“If the Son makes you free….” Do not substitute Savior for Son in this passage. The Savior has set us free from sin, but this is the freedom that comes from being set free from myself by the Son. It is what Paul meant when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)
His individuality had been broken and his spirit had been united with his Lord; not just merged into Him, but made one with Him. “…you shall be free indeed”— free to the very core of your being; free from the inside to the outside. We tend to rely on our own energy, instead of being energized by the power that comes from identification with Jesus. For that, “He must increase [in prominence], but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) I need to further humble myself, mourn over any trace of self-satisfaction, and yield my intense personality to Him who gave me life more abundantly. It is when I yield my personality to Him that I bridle myself and become meek for His glory. Please keep me in prayer.