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Dying to Self
Taking Up Christ's Yoke
and Meekness

 

Daily Quotes
 
2/10/2014
1 Pet. 3:4 "...rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."

"There are many who have given themselves to Christ, yet who see no opportunity of doing a large work or making great sacrifices in His service. These may find comfort in the thought that it is not necessarily the martyr's self-surrender which is most acceptable to God; it may not be the missionary who has daily faced danger and death that stands highest in heaven's records. The Christian who is such in his private life, in the daily surrender of self, in sincerity of purpose and purity of thought, in meekness under provocation, in faith and piety, in fidelity in that which is least, the one who in the home life represents the character of Christ--such a one may in the sight of God be more precious than even the world-renowned missionary or martyr."—Christ Object Lessons, p. 403.2 

1/31/2014
Matt. 11:28 "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light"

"You have a battle to fight, and so have we all. We can make this battle very much more severe by turning away from Christ and from wearing the yoke that He asks every one of us to wear. Does He not tell us the truth when He says, "My yoke is easy"? If we manufacture yokes for ourselves, as many are doing, we shall find them extremely galling; but if we take the yoke that Christ has prepared for us, and become meek and lowly in heart, self will be hid with Christ in God. This is the correct position for us to occupy.  {2SAT 275.1}  
     A follower of Jesus refrains from gathering up burdens and responsibilities that he is unable to bear--burdens that crush the life-forces, and that give no relief. Christ has not given us any such work to do. We must receive Him, believe in Him, and reveal His character, showing by our religious experience that we have been born of God. Then we shall have healthy heart-beats, born again, "not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." The power comes to us through receiving Jesus Christ. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."  {2SAT 275.2} 

Introductory Thoughts

Dying to self is an important, but often misunderstood concept in Christian growth. It isn't something we can do for ourselves, but it is necessary just the same, and was mandated by Jesus in his conversation with the rich young ruler who wondered what he lacked to inherit eternal life. A variety of thoughts, quotations, and books will be featured here.

Surrender and "dying to self" speak of a similar, but not identical thing, in many cases an ongoing process. Surrender speaks of a decision or choice for Christ and following Him, and can be progressive as a person increasingly surrenders.

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Dying to self speaks of a particular kind of self-effacing surrender that the Bible suggests is fundament to achieving victory. In choosing to die TO self, we are choosing to die to the need to be in control and assert ourselves—is choosing to take the humble way of the cross (Fenelon wrote on this as did Gregory Mantle). At the same time there is a concurrent dying OF self as we starve self of those things that are not good for it.

It is also important to realize that dying to self is only part of the process, what I refer to as the emptying phase of sanctification.

We can't bring it about, but God can. He providentially orchestrates the events in our lives so that we die to self in increasing areas of our lives. A good example of such a process is the exodus experience.

Famous Christians who subscribed to the idea include, George Müller who made a famous statement on his dying to self, L. E. Maxwell who wrote Born Crucified on the subject, and Gregory Mantle who wrote "The Way of the Cross." WIlliam Law's on Dying to Self is also very helpful.

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Helpful Quotations on Dying to Self

"It is a blessed thing to fall into the hands of the dying God, and it is a more glorious thing still to fall into the hands of the risen interceding Lord. Then you shall be emptied also by defeat of self. I am sure of this, that the trials and the discipline God is putting you through are just the very thing to keep you fastened to the cross. It is the hammer of His providence that drives in the nails of trial to fasten you to the cross of Jesus, and all this discipline is but God Himself helping you to put self to death. Will you give Him leave to do it?"—Charles Fox

"Christians need to understand that bearing the cross does not in the first place refer to the trials which we call crosses, but to that daily giving up of life, of dying to self, which must mark us as much as it did Jesus, which we need in times of prosperity almost more than in adversity, and without which the fulness of the blessing of the cross cannot be disclosed to us. It is the cross, not only as exhibited on Calvary, but as gloried in on account of its crucifying us, its spirit breathing through all our life and actions, that will be to the Christian and the Church as it was to Christ, the path to victory and to glory, the power of God for the salvation of men."  Andrew Murray, Like Christ

"The greatest burden we have to bear in this life is self. Unless we learn in the school of Christ to be meek and lowly, we shall miss precious opportunities and privileges for becoming acquainted with Jesus. Self is the most difficult thing we have to manage. In laying off burdens, let us not forget to lay self at the feet of Christ." In Heavenly Places, p. 107

"The way to deeper knowledge of God is through the lonely valleys of soul poverty and abnegation of all things. The blessed ones who possess the Kingdom are they who have repudiated every external thing and have rooted from their hearts all sense of possessing. They are `poor in spirit.' They have reached an inward state paralleling the outward circumstances of the common beggar in the streets of Jerusalem; that is what the word `poor' as Christ used it actually means. These blessed poor are no longer slaves to the tyranny of things. They have broken the yoke of the oppressor; and this they have done not by fighting but by surrendering. Though free from all sense of possessing, they yet possess all things. `Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.' Let me exhort you to take this seriously. It is not to be understood as mere Bible teaching to be stored away in the mind along with an inert mass of other doctrines. It is a marker on the road to greener pastures, a path chiseled against the steep sides of the mount of God. We dare not try to by-pass it if we would follow on in this holy pursuit. We must ascend a step at a time. If we refuse one step we bring our progress to an end.” A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of Holiness

Those who are dead to self will not feel so readily and will not be prepared to resist everything which may irritate. Dead men cannot feel.” 2T 425 (1868)

“Behind our life the Weaver stands
And works his wondrous will;
We leave it all in his wise hands,
And trust his perfect skill.
Should mystery enshroud his plan,
And our short sight be dim,
We will not try the whole to scan,
But leave each thread to Him.”—F. B. Meyer, Joseph

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Genuine sanctification … is nothing less than a daily dying to self, and daily conformity to the will of God.” ST Sept. 12, 1878 (1878)

"Despair of purging the flesh or natural man of its sinful lusts and inclinations, and of practising holiness by your willing and resolving to do the best that lieth in your own power, and trusting on the grace of God and Christ to help you in such resolutions and endeavours. Rather resolve to trust on Christ to work in you to will and to do by His own power according to His own good pleasure. They that are convinced of their own sin and misery do commonly first think to tame the flesh, and to subdue and root out its lusts, and to make their corrupt nature to be better-natured and inclined to holiness by their struggling and wrestling with it; and if they can but bring their hearts to a full purpose and resolution to do the best that lieth in them, they hope that by such a resolution they shall be able to achieve great enterprises in the conquests of their lusts and performance of the most difficult duties. It is the great work of some zealous divines in their preachings and writings to stir up people to this resolution, wherein they place the chiefest turning point from sin to godliness. And they think that this is not contrary to the life of faith, because they trust in the grace of God through Christ to help them in all such resolutions and endeavours. Thus they endeavour to reform their old state, and to be made perfect in the flesh, instead of putting it off and walking according to the new state in Christ. They trust on low carnal things for holiness, and upon the acts of their own will, their purposes, resolutions, and endeavours, instead of Christ; and they trust to Christ to help them in this carnal way; whereas true faith would teach them that they are nothing, and that they do but labour in vain."—Walter Marshall (A Puritan), Sanctification

“I used to be looking for a series of experiences … of dying with the Lord, hoping that I would have done with that lesson and pass on to the next, that I would be able to appreciate I had risen with Christ and then pass on to know what it is to reign with the Lord. These are true together, they are always true and they are only true as they are held together in one complete identification of the sinner with the Saviour. Only as we die daily do we reign. We are never more reigning on the throne than we are dying on the cross. Daily we, too, are invited to save ourselves and come down. Whenever we do, we cease to reign and we cease to bless. Some small trial of daily routine, a crossing of personal preference in a very little thing, an accumulation of duties, unexpected interruptions, unwelcome distractions. Yesterday these things merely fretted you, and internally at least, ‘upset’ you. Today on the contrary, you take them up, and stretch your hands out upon them, and let them be the occasion of new disgrace and deeper death for that old self-spirit. You take them up in loving, worshipping acceptance. You carry them to their Calvary in thankful submission. And tomorrow you will do the same. These things naturally fret us and upset us. Let them be a call to deeper death. The cross never grows easier, but is inseparably linked with spiritual power.”—Fred Mitchel, a former Director of the China Inland Mission

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"Dear Christian, in affliction abide in Christ. When you see it coming, meet it in Christ; when it is come, feel that you are more in Christ than in it, for He is nearer you than affliction ever can be; when it is passing, still abide in Him. And let the one thought of the Saviour, as He speaks of the pruning, and the one desire of the Father, as He does the pruning, be yours too: "Every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth, that it may bring forth more fruit." So shall your times of affliction become your times of choicest blessing--preparation for richest fruitfulness."—Andrew Murray, School of Obedience

In order that Christ may be in the soul, it must first be emptied of self, then there is a vacuum created that may be supplied by the Holy Spirit. 2MR 338 (1892)

"But how is it possible that a believer, having sin in him--sin of such intense vitality, and such terrible power as we know the flesh to have--that a believer having sin should yet not be doing sin? The answer is: "In Him is no sin. He that abideth in Him sinneth not." When the abiding in Christ becomes close and unbroken, so that the soul lives from moment to moment in the perfect union with the Lord its keeper, He does, indeed, keep down the power of the old nature, so that it does not regain dominion over the soul. We have seen that there are degrees in the abiding. With most Christians the abiding is so feeble and intermittent, that sin continually obtains the ascendency, and brings the soul into subjection. The divine promise given to faith is: "Sin shall not have dominion over you." But with the promise is the command: "Let not sin reign in your mortal body." The believer who claims the promise in full faith has the power to obey the command, and sin is kept from asserting its supremacy. Ignorance of the promise, or unbelief, or unwatchfulness, opens the door for sin to reign."—Andrew Murray

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"While we remember our weakness, we forget His all-sufficient power. While we acknowledge that apart from Christ we can do nothing, we do not rise to the height or depth of Christian humility: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. While we trust in the power of the death of Jesus to cancel the guilt of sin, we do not exercise a reliant and appropriating faith in the omnipotence of the living Saviour to deliver us from the bondage and power of sin in our daily life. We forget that Christ worketh in us mightily, and that, one with Him, we possess strength sufficient to overcome every temptation. We are apt either to forget our nothingness, and imagine that in our daily path we can live without sin, that the duties and trials of our everyday life can be performed and borne in our own strength; or we do not avail ourselves of the omnipotence of Jesus, who is able to subdue all things to Himself, and to keep us from the daily infirmities and falls which we are apt to imagine an inevitable necessity. If we really depended in all things and at all times on Christ, we would in all things and at all times gain the victory through Him whose power is infinite, and who is appointed by the Father to be the Captain of our salvation. Then all our deeds would be wrought, not merely before, but in God. We would then do all things to the glory of the Father, in the all-powerful name of Jesus, who is our sanctification. Remember that unto Him all power is given in heaven and on earth, and live by the constant exercise of faith in His power. Let us most fully believe that we have and are nothing, that with man it is impossible, that in ourselves we have no life which can bring forth fruit; but that Christ is all--that abiding in Him, and His word dwelling in us, we can bring forth fruit to the glory of the Father"—Adolph Saphir, From Christ and the Church

In all the discipline of life, it is of the utmost importance to see but one ordaining overruling will. If we view our imprisonments and misfortunes as the result of human malevolence, our lives will be filled with fret and unrest. It is hard to suffer wrong at the hands of man, and to think that perhaps it might have never been. But there is a truer and more restful view: to consider all things as being under the law and rule of God; so that though they may originate in and come to us through the spite and malice of our fellows, yet since before they reach us they have had to pass through the environing atmosphere of the Divine Presence, they have been transformed into his own sweet will for us.” F B Meyer Joseph

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"What a hopeless task if we had to do the work! Nature never can overcome nature, not even with--the help of grace. Self can never cast out self, even in the regenerate man. Praise God! the work has been done, and finished and perfected for ever. The death of Jesus, once and forever, is our death to self. And the ascension of Jesus, His entering once and for ever into the Holiest, has given us the Holy Spirit to communicate to us in power, and make our very own, the power of the death-life. As the soul, in the pursuit and practice of humility, follows in the steps of Jesus, its consciousness of the need of something more is awakened, its desire and hope is quickened, its faith is strengthened, and it learns to look up and claim and receive that true fullness of the Spirit of Jesus, which can daily maintain His death to self and sin in its full power, and make humility the all pervading spirit of our life."—Andrew Murray

God's work of refining and purifying the soul must go on until his servants are so humbled, so dead to self, that when called into active service, they may have an eye single to the glory of God.” EG White, Review and Herald April 10, 1894 (1894)

"He finds that in the most unreserved obedience for which God's Spirit fits him, there is still a secret element of self and self-will. He longs to be delivered from it. He is taught in God's Word that this can only be by death. The Spirit helps him to claim more fully that he is indeed dead to sin in Christ, and that the power of that death can work mightily in him. He is made willing to be obedient unto death, this entire death to self, which makes him truly nothing. In this he finds a full entrance into the life of Christ. To see the need of this entire death to self, to be made willing for it, to be led into the entire self-emptying and humility of our Lord Jesus,-this is the highest lesson that our obedience has to learn -this is, indeed, the Christlike obedience unto death."—Andrew Murray, School of Obedience

"Be not afraid, though every stay
Should fail, or be removed away,
And thou be stript of all;
But lose thyself in that vast sea,
The ocean of the Deity,
And all they cares shall fall.

In death which is the most profound,
The purest life is always found;
Then, blindly, all forego!
He ne’re shall find, who will not lose;
Who sinks from self, shall gain repose,
Which none but he can know."—Gerhard Tersteegen

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“None of us can tell for what God is educating us. We fret and murmur at the narrow round and daily task of ordinary life, not realizing that it is only thus that we can be prepared for the high and holy office which awaits us. We must descend before we can ascend. We must suffer, if we would reign. We must take the via cruces (the way of the cross) submissively and patiently, if we would tread the vai lucis (the way of light). We must endure the polishing, if we would be shafts in the quiver of Emmanuel.” Meyer, Joshua p. 20

“I am sure of one thing, we lose the very sweetest times by rejecting willfully what God sends us; in avoiding people and disagreeable things. God says, ‘I will preserve thee from all evil.’ ‘I will preserve thy going out and coming in, from this time forth.’ ‘There shall no evil befall you.’ And yet we refuse to believe this for even a second, and go on plotting and praying for more communion with Him; and the moment He begins to work, we fly from Him. I want to realize this more than I do, it is evidently the reason of our deadness; there can be no confidence where there is distrust. If we think we are bound to look after ourselves, if we think these strong expressions are only figurative, or dependent on any particular frame of mind, they are useless to us. Unless we take them in their strength, we shall crawl along all our days.”—Charles Gordon, General Gordon’s Letters to his Sister

“This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die…. 12MR 51 (1897)

“Be strong” means that he felt weak; “Be of good courage” means that he was affrighted; “Be not thou dismayed” means that he seriously considered whether he would not have to give up the task. He was a worm, and no man; how should he deliver Israel? … It is when men are in this condition that God approaches them with the summons to undertake vast and overwhelming responsibilities. Most of us are too strong for him to use; we are too full of our own schemes, and plans, and ways of doing things. He must empty us, and humble us, and bring us down to the dust of death, so low that we need every straw of encouragement, every leaf of help; and then he will raise us up, and make us as the rod of his strength. The world talks of the survival of the fittest; abut God gives power to the faint, and increases might to them that have no strength; he perfects his strength in weakness, and  uses things that are not to bring to naught things that are.” F B Meyer, Joshua, p. 19

“We can receive of heaven's light only as we are willing to be emptied of self.” Desire of Ages, 181 (1898)

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"We can make little or no spiritual progress in the Christian life until we hate the indwelling Adamic self and gladly reckon upon the way in which God dealt with it. Failure to reckon upon the fact that we have been crucified with Christ is what hinders our prayer life, our fellowship with the Father and the Son, and the fruitfulness in our lives and service. This old life, received in natural birth from Adam, must be renounced, denied, hated, turned away from--for it is a crucified thing. Only as this is done will there be a manifestation of the life of Christ in and through us."—L. L. Legters

“What kind of vessels are meet for the Master's use?--Empty vessels. When we empty the soul of every defilement, we are ready for use.” EG White, RH, February 28, 1899  (1899)

"If the believer still sins, it is because he does not use his privilege to live as one who is dead to sin. Through ignorance or unwatchfulness or unbelief, he forgets the meaning and the power of this likeness of Christ’s death, and sins. But if he holds fast what his participation with Christ’s death signifies, he has the power to overcome sin. He marks well that it is not said, "sin is dead." No, sin is not dead; sin lives and works still in the flesh. But he himself is dead to sin, and alive to God; and so sin cannot for a single moment, without his consent, have dominion over him. If he sin, it is because he allows it to reign, and submits himself to obey it."—Andew Murray

"For there is still a great work for me to do. But that work is not to crucify myself: I have been crucified; the old man was crucified, so the Scripture speaks. But what I have to do is always to regard and treat it as crucified, and not to suffer it to come down from the cross. I must maintain my crucifixion position; I must keep the flesh in the place of crucifixion. To realize the force of this I must notice an important distinction. I have been crucified and am dead: the old Adam was crucified, but is not yet dead. When I gave myself to my crucified Saviour, sin and flesh and all, He took me wholly; I with my evil nature was taken up with Him in His crucifixion. But here a separation took place. In fellowship with Him I was freed from the life of the flesh; I myself died with Him; in the inmost centre of my being I received new life: Christ lives in me. But the flesh, in which I yet am, the old man that was crucified with Him, remained condemned to an accursed death, but is not yet dead. And now it is my calling, in fellowship with and in the strength of my Lord, to see that the old nature be kept nailed to the cross, until the time comes that it is entirely destroyed. All its desires and affections cry out, "Come down from the cross, save thyself and us." It is my duty to glory in the cross, and with my whole heart to maintain the dominion of the cross, and to set my seal to the sentence that has been pronounced, to make dead every uprising of sin, as already crucified, and so not to suffer it to have dominion. This is what Scripture means when it says, "If ye through the spirit do make to die (R.V.) the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Rom. 8:13). "Make dead therefore your members which are upon the earth." Thus I continually and voluntarily acknowledge that in my flesh dwells no good thing; that my Lord is Christ the Crucified One; that I have been crucified and am dead in Him; that the flesh has been crucified and, though not yet dead, has been for ever given over to the death of the cross. And so I live like Christ, in very deed crucified with Him."—Andew Murray

"To many it seems a hard speech, "Deny thyself, take up thy cross, and follow Jesus." But it will be much harder to bear that other word, "Depart from me, ye cursed;" for only they who now hear and follow the word of the cross shall then have no fear of the word of condemnation. For the sign of the cross will be seen in the heaven when the Lord cometh to judgment, and all the servants of the cross, who in their lifetime have been conformed to Christ crucified, will then draw near to Christ their judge with great confidence. Why, then, dost thou fear to take up the cross which fitteth thee for the kingdom? In the cross is life, in the cross is salvation: the cross defends against all enemies: in the cross there is the infusion of all heavenly sweetness; in the cross is strength of mind, joy of spirit; the cross is the height of virtue and the perfection of sanctity. There is no happiness for the soul but in the cross. Take up, therefore, thy cross and follow Jesus, and thou shalt live for ever. If thou bear the cross cheerfully, it will bear thee. If thou bear it unwillingly, thou makest for thyself a burden which still thou hast to bear. What saint was there ever who did not bear the cross? Even Christ must needs suffer. How then dost thou seek any other way than this, which is the royal way, the way of the sacred cross? He that willingly submits to the cross, to him its whole burden is changed into a sweet assurance of divine comfort. And the more the flesh is broken down by the cross, the more the spirit is strengthened by inward grace. It is not in man by nature, to bear the cross, to love the cross, to deny self, to bring the body into subjection, and willingly to endure suffering. If thou look to thyself, thou canst accomplish nothing of all this. But if thou trust in the Lord, strength shall be given thee from heaven, and the world and the flesh shall be made subject to thy rule. Set thyself, therefore, to bear manfully the cross of thy Lord, who out of love was crucified for thee."—Thomas A Kempis

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“We all have veils over our spiritual understandings; some of us have them thicker than others, we are quite blind till we get the veil removed. The veil is the flesh, it is never entirely removed while we live in the world; it is only made transparent by living in the Spirit, or mortifying the flesh, which are similar things. We all want to live in the Spirit and in the flesh also; this is impossible, thence the struggle. The more we apprehend that the death of the flesh is the life of the Spirit, the more we shall realize His presence. Death of the flesh is painful, but absolutely necessary, for, as we mortify the flesh, so shall we grow in the Spirit; we must feed on our flesh as it were.—Charles Gordon, General Gordon’s Letters to his Sister

Measure thy life by loss instead of gain;
Not by the wine drunk, but the wine poured forth;
For love’s strength standeth in love’s sacrifice;
And whoso suffers most hath most to give.” F B Meyer Joseph

Not until self dies can Christ live in us; not until self dies can we possess the faith that works by love and purifies the soul.” ST, October 11, 1899 (1899)

“How clearly through Old Testament type and symbol and story, the Holy Spirit flashes light upon this mystery — this fact of our co-crucifixion with Christ. Abraham must sacrifice his Isaac. Isaac was spared, yet, in spirit, Abraham offered him up. It was because he had done this thing that the promise was made: “In blessing I will bless thee and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of Heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore.” And even previous to that, we read, that it was from “the womb as good as dead” that he issued. Joseph is buried in an Egyptian prison before he rises to become a veritable saviour, seated on the throne which he seemed to share with the mighty Pharaoh. For forty years on the lonely slopes of Midian the fiery Moses is schooled. There were graves, if I may so speak, scattered all over the mountainside where hope after hope was buried until at last self goes down in utter annihilation. But for those graves, the Man of God who spoke face to face with Jehovah, who became the moral giant of antiquity, and whose guiding hand will be felt in the affairs of nations until the end of time, could not have been. If Leviticus with its myriad sacrifices, its rivers of blood, means anything, it means that God meets man on but one basis — the basis of the Cross. Our pleasure-infatuated, jazz-intoxicated age will stop its ears and gnash its teeth as those who stoned Stephen. For these things hurt. But, those who have tasted of the Lord, and pant after the wine of Heaven — those who cannot be satisfied with anything short of the fullness of the Spirit, and whose hearts are, as it were, “a furnace of desire” for the deep things of God — by them, these truths that cut and burn and blast away the old-life are welcomed with an unspeakable joy.

“The reason many in this age of the world make no greater advancement in the divine life is because they interpret the will of God to be just what they will to do. While following their own desires, they flatter themselves that they are conforming to God's will. They are sincere and earnest, but grow weary of protracted effort, of daily death, of ceaseless turmoil. Indolence seems inviting, death to self repulsive; and they close their drowsy eyes and fall under the power of temptation instead of resisting it.” AA 565 (1911)

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"In a certain Indian hospital there was at one time a candle whose light may have been directed to the world out of doors but certainly did not shine much on the indoor folk. And for them life was sometimes difficult. One day something was said to a younger helper which all but drew forth a flashing retort. At that moment this came, “See in it a chance to die.” The word was spoken inwardly, but it was far more clearly heard than many a word addressed to the outward ear. See in it, in this provoking, in this that should not have been, a chance to die to self and the pride of self, to that in you which would strike in self-defence. See in anything that rouses you to claim your “rights,” even to see them or to consider them at all, see in it a chance to die. Welcome anything that calls you to your only true position, “I am crucified with Christ.” A crucified life cannot be self-assertive. It cannot protect itself. It cannot be startled into resentful words. The cup that is full of sweetness cannot spill bitter drops however sharply knocked. Lord, fill my cup with sweetness. Keep very far from me the juice of gall – to be brought to that prayer is to be blessed by the flowers of God on our mountain."—Amy Carmichael (Missionary to India)

"Self is the root of all lack of love and obedience. Our Lord called His disciple to deny himself and to take up his cross; to forsake all, to hate and lose his own life, to humble himself and become the servant of all. He did so, because self, self-will, self-pleasing, self-seeking, is simply the source of all sin. When we indulge the flesh in such a simple thing as eating and drinking; when we gratify self by seeking or accepting or rejoicing in what indulges our pride; when self-will is allowed to assert itself, and we make provision for the fulfillment of its desire, we are guilty of disobedience to His command. This gradually clouds the soul and makes the full enjoyment of His light and peace an impossibility."—Andrew Murray, School of Obedience

"There is only one way of being delivered from this life of self. We must follow Christ, set our hearts upon Him, listen to His teachings, give ourselves up every day, that He may be all to us. By the power of Christ, the denial of self will be a blessed, unceasing reality. Never for one hour do I expect the Christian to reach a stage at which he can say, “I have no self to deny.” Never for one moment will he be able to say, “I do not need to deny self.” No, this fellowship with the cross of Christ will be an unceasing denial of self every hour and every moment by the grace of God."—Author Unknown

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"What is this conformity to the death of the cross that brings such blessings, and wherein does it consist? We see it in Jesus. The cross means entire self-abnegation. The cross means the death of self,—the utter surrender of our own will and our life to be lost in the will of God, to let God’s will do with us what it pleases. This was what the cross meant to Jesus. It cost Him a terrible struggle before He could give Himself up to it. When He was sore amazed and very heavy, and His soul exceeding sorrowful unto death, it was because His whole being shrank back from that cross and its curse. Three times he had to pray before He could fully say, "yet not my will, but Thine be done." But He did say it. And His giving Himself up to the cross is to say: Let me do anything, rather than that God’s will should not be done. I give up everything, only God’s will must be done. And this is being made conformable to Christ’s death, that we so give away ourselves and our whole life, with its power of willing and acting, to God, that we learn to be and work, and do nothing but what God reveals to us as His will. And such a life is called conformity to the death of Christ, not only because it is somewhat similar to His, but because it is Himself by His Holy Spirit just repeating and acting over again in us the life that animated Him in His crucifixion. Were it not for this, the very thought of such conformity would be akin to blasphemy."—Andrew Murray, Like Christ

“Where we stop doing and worrying, God begins, and He will be everything in our nothingness.”—Gerhard Tersteegen

"The deepest death to self lies in the motives and intentions, hence this all-consuming motive to want to be nothing but a capacity for Christ to live in lies at the foundation of the death of self and the highest life of Christ. With this pure motive fixed in the heart, we are to habitually and willingly accept of every occasion for humiliation and self-abasement which God’s providence brings to us. While on the one hand we are neither to make or seek a cross, on the other hand we are to sweetly and willingly accept of every blow, or mortification, or inconvenience, or painful annoyance which comes to us in the order of God’s providential will. Humiliation is the very quintessence of the Christ-life, and we must appreciate every opportunity of sinking into humility. Hence when reproaches, unkind treatment, poverty, loneliness, persecution, mental distresses, seeming failure in our work, disappointments, deep perplexities, or any disagreeable thing comes to us, if we are in a state of divine recollection, we are to calmly face these things as appropriate occasions for losing our own will and letting the omnipotence of God take charge of them. We can thereby in these humiliations be more delicately and firmly knit to the will of God."—G. D. Watson

"We know the “self” has within it the faculties of volition, emotion, and intellect. To believe that our “self” was crucified with Christ does not imply that all these faculties are cancelled out or annihilated. The soulical faculties of a person are never destroyed! To die with Christ simply denotes that self is no longer allowed to rule over its will, thoughts, and feelings but that the Spirit of the Lord is to exercise control over all these faculties of the soul and cause them to obey the life of God within. Unless self dies, it will never obey the Holy Spirit. The moment our self comes down from the cross, the self returns to its old position. A believer himself has neither the power nor the method to control his self. But Galatians 2:20 gives us light on this point: “I [the self] have been crucified with Christ ... and ... I now live in the flesh.” Paul clearly states in the first clause that he has been crucified with Christ; nevertheless, in the latter clause, does he not also say that his self yet lives? Hence, the crucifying of self does not indicate the annihilation of the self; it simply denotes the cessation of the activity of the self and the allowing of the Lord to be Lord."—Watchman Nee

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"God does not share His glory with us; therefore He is obliged to bring us from failure to failure – not however to end in discouragement, but that we may come to condemn and abhor ourselves. Then when we have found there is no more anything to hope for in ourselves, we learn to come in a new way – perhaps after a long career of Christian profession – as undone ones at His feet; ready now, on the ground of our dreadful experience, to be introduced into the Divine simplicity of a life like Christ by the Holy Spirit, who never ceases to work even when we are halting at the first steps of Christ’s redemption. He introduces us, through the Holy Scriptures, into the simplicity of Divine secrets when we are yielded up to Him in full despair about ourselves and in despair of bringing forth anything worthy of Christ and of God. Then we learn how all must be done by Him in us and that the Holy Ghost waits to show His power to transform us into the image of Christ, even through our very failures."—Otto Stockmayer (Stockmayer was a Swiss Pastor who was a much used speaker at the Keswick Conventions)

"It is this whole-hearted surrender to His guidance, this implicit submission to His authority, Christ asks. We come to Him asking Him to teach us the lost art of obeying God as He did. He asks us if we are ready to pay the price. It is entirely and utterly to deny self! It is to give up our will and our life to the death! It is to be ready to do whatever He saith! The only way of learning to do a thing is to do it. The only way of learning obedience from Christ is to give up your will to Him, and to make the doing of His will the one desire and delight of your heart. Unless you take the vow of absolute obedience as you enter this class of Christ's school, it will be impossible for you to make any progress."—Andrew Murray, The School of Obedience

"It is the man who is willing for entire, self-emptying, is willing to be and live as the servant, 'a servant of obedience,' is willing to be humbled very low before God and man, to whom the obedience of Jesus will unfold its heavenly beauty and its constraining power. There may be a strong will, that secretly trusts in self, that strives for the obedience, and fails. It is as we sink low before God in humility, meekness, patience, and entire resignation to His will, and are willing to bow in an absolute helplessness and dependence on Him, as we turn away wholly from self, that it will be revealed to us how it is the one only duty and blessing of a creature to obey this glorious God!"—Andrew Murray, School of Obedience 

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More Resources on Victory:

Hannah Whitall Smith
Rosalind Goforth
Charles Trumbull
Hudson Taylor
Life More Abundant (Theodore Monod; on experiencing the more abundant life!)
A Bible Study on Victory (Rosalind Goforth's)
Overcoming Temptation (What to do when the urge strikes!)
More Help With Temptations (Fenelon shares helpful ideas)
My Angel Overcomes My Temptations (A Web visitor shared this)
Warning Admonition Against Temptation (Helpful thoughts on what to avoid)
The Life of Victory: "Abiding in Christ" (How to keep walking with Jesus)
Danger of Cherishing One Sin (Thomas Watson)
How To Attain Holiness (J. C. Ryle)
Second Conversion (George Müller speaks of his second conversion experience)
Soul's Wrestle with Doubt - Faith's Reckoning (Wonderful from F. B. Meyer)
The Rest of Faith (Canon Battersby's testimony of how victory came to him)
Jesus the Great Physician (John Newton reflecting on Jesus' role as his great physician)
John Bunyan Finds Victory (A few paragraphs from Bunyan on the secret to victory in his life)
Holiness: A Possible Experience (A short but clear article on holiness)