Occupied With Christ--Not Self
"If we have become united with Him by the likeness of His death, we shall be also by the likeness of His resurrection" (Rom. 6:5).
Let us beware of testifying, "I am dead," for it is drawing attention to ourselves, and is "I" in a subtle form. We may speak of the Lord and all that He is, but it is for Him to bear witness to what He has done for us. Let us welcome also every criticism--kind or unkind--so that we may learn to know ourselves, and seek deeper deliverance. By this means the outward life will soon be brought into conformity to the inner life, and discrepancy between lip and life be avoided. Beware of dogmatizing over spiritual truths. Let God bear witness, and then we need never assert anything about ourselves. First Corinthians 8:2 is always true!
Let us put ourselves in the hand of God for Him to do as it pleases Him, leading us in any path that He may choose. Let us take care lest we get overanxious in seeking further blessing. God cannot work while we are anxious, even about our spiritual experience. Let us take Him at His Word, and trust the fulfillment of it to Him.
Let us never judge God's Word by our experience, for the Word of God is true whatever our experiences may be. We must beware of having faith in our "faith" rather than in the God who undertakes to make the reckoning of our faith true!
Let us beware also of "trying to grasp" the truth of God, for this is usually mental effort and hinders the Holy Spirit from doing His work. Yield to the Holy Ghost, and He will make the truth grasp us.
Rest On God's Word
The Lord has never promised that we shall be able to look within, and say to our own satisfaction that "self" is gone. While we believe God's Word that we have died with Christ and count upon Christ as the Living One to manifest His life through us, others will see that it is true, while we are occupied with Christ.
When the Holy Spirit has applied the death of Christ experimentally and brought the soul into real emancipation, it remains to be a momentary attitude maintained by abiding in Him. There need be no effort to "abide" if we count upon the Holy Ghost to keep us abiding unconsciously.
When we step out upon God's Word, we must take heed that we do not look within to see if the work is done, and watch the "operation of God" (Col. 2:12). As we rest on His Word, the work is being wrought in the depths of our being by the mighty inward Operator. If we begin to question, "Have I died with Christ or have I not?" He has to wait until He can get us to look away from ourselves and rest upon the Word again.
Let us be prepared that the adversary will dispute every inch of ground. The devil is not dead, for when we hide in Christ, he seems more alive than ever, but let the Living Christ who dwells within, guard us from all his subtleties, then it will be victory all the way, for the devil is a defeated foe!
Remember, it is vain to ask God to set us free from ourselves, if we retain one single thing that ministers to the self-life. An honest desire to let Christ entirely possess us, and a practical committing to the Cross of all that is revealed, will bring full deliverance.
Let us remember too, that in God's dealing with us, He will allow a "trial" to remain until we cease to writhe under it. We may as well say, "Yes, Lord," at the first!
Finally the "end of the Lord" (James 5:7-11) is LIFE--life out of death. Let us trust Him to do His work while we yield to His dealings. Trust Him implicitly, and obey Him promptly.