This devotional first appeared in https://www.revivalandreformation.org
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. John 1:6, 7, NKJV.
God’s word to us is “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” He calls upon everyone to crucify self. Those who respond grow strong in Him. They learn daily from Christ, and the more they learn, the greater is their desire to build up God’s kingdom by helping their fellow beings. The more enlightenment they have, the greater is their desire to enlighten others. The more they talk with God, the less they live to themselves. The greater their privileges, opportunities, and facilities for Christian work, the greater is the obligation they feel to work for others.
Human nature is ever struggling for expression. A person who is made complete in Christ must first be emptied of pride, of self-sufficiency. Then there is silence in the soul, and God’s voice can be heard. Then the Spirit can find unobstructed entrance. Let God work in and through you. Then with Paul you can say, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” But until self is laid on the altar, until we let the Holy Spirit mold and fashion us according to the divine similitude, we cannot reach God’s ideal for us.
Christ said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” This life is what we must have in order to work for Christ, and we must have it “more abundantly.” God will breathe this life into every soul that dies to self. But entire self-renunciation is required. Unless this takes place, we carry with us that which destroys our happiness and usefulness.
The Lord needs men and women who carry with them into the daily life the light of a godly example, men and women whose words and actions show that Christ is abiding in the heart, teaching, leading, and guiding. He needs men and women of prayer, who, by wrestling alone with God, obtain the victory over self, and then go forth to impart to others that which they have received from the Source of power.
God accepts those who crucify self, and makes them vessels unto honor. They are in His hands as clay in the hands of the potter, and He works His will through them. Such men and women receive spiritual power. Christ lives in them, and the power of His Spirit attends their efforts. They realize that they are to live in this world the life that Jesus lived–a life free from all selfishness; and He enables them to bear witness for Him that draws souls to the cross of Calvary.–The Signs of the Times, April 9, 1902.