Back in 2003 after having spent the year before reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance" I took her suggestion to heart and wrote my own daily devotional. Each day I took a line or two from one of the various spiritual authors from the last three centuries I was reading and wrote my own thoughts on the subject. I then looked for a scripture that illustrated the truth that had been revealed to me. What follows is the result.

"Our greatest bondage is to have our own way; our greatest freedom is to let God have His way." Warren Wiersbe

Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28

“To almost everyone the greatest person in the world is himself.  Our whole lives are made up of endless variations of the word me.”  Hannah Whitall Smith, Safe Within Your Love, pg. 111

The greatest enemy to the Christian life is Self because it has the capability of being camouflaged.  I can declare that I have died to Self, yet at the end of the day look back and see where Self has run the show.  It’s easy for me to identify Self when something happens to make me feel offended.  I can be sure I’ve allowed Self to be resurrected.  If I find myself defending something I’ve done, I can be sure it is indeed my Self that is speaking.  But what about sadness?  How can I discern the type of sadness God feels for his lost sheep from my own feeling sorry for myself?  How does human grief fit in with the Life of Christ in me?  Jesus wept when he was told his friend Lazarus had died, but it could not have been because he died since Jesus knew he would bring him back to life.  So why did he cry?  His sorrow was over Lazarus’ sisters’ and friends’ grief because scripture says he was “moved in spirit and troubled.”  I see now that even sadness is from Self if it is over some personal loss.  Only the sadness we feel when someone is not trusting the Lord for their salvation and life itself--only that kind of grieving is born out of the life of Christ within us.  So we must be careful not to linger in our fleshly grief.  We must recover quickly so that Self will not regain its foothold on us and deceive us into thinking that God does not care.

“But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep [dead], that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope."  1 Thessalonians 4:13

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