Self and the Power of Sin
When God created the angels and man, He gave them a separate personality, a power over themselves, with the intention that they should, of their own free will, present and offer up that life to Him in order that He in turn might fill them with His life and His glory. This was to be the highest blessedness of the creature. It was to be a vessel filled with the life and the perfection of God.
The fall of angels and men alike consisted of nothing but the perversion of their life, their will, and their personality, away from God, in order to please themselves. This self-exaltation was the pride that cast them out of heaven into hell. This pride was the infernal poison that the serpent breathed into the ear and the heart of Adam and Eve.
Man turned himself away from God to find delight in himself and the world. His life, his whole individuality, was perverted and withdrawn from the control of God that he might seek and serve himself.
You must utterly lose that life before the full life of the Spirit of God can be yours. To the minutest details, always and in everything, you must deny that self-life! "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 16:24).
A deep conviction of the entire corruption of our nature is an experience that is still lacking in many people. It appears to them both strange and harsh when we say that in nothing is the Christian free to follow his own feeling. Self-denial is a requirement that must prevail in every sphere of life and without any exceptions. The Lord has never withdrawn His words: "Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."
(continued with # 21 - "Is Your Heart Open?")