This is the fourth post (first & second & third post) I’m doing in the series about things that have happened, and what they were allowed to happen for in terms of what the Lord wanted to teach and reveal about Himself. I am praying it might bless you if you have ever experienced them as well, or if you are going through them right now!
When I say I have despaired of my self, I am talking about that spiritual experience where the Lord allows you to be broken in your self, where you see truly by the Holy Spirit’s working in your heart just how truly vile you really are apart from the Lord.
We despair of our self when we realize that we are utterly incapable of measuring up to the Lord’s standards.
We come to see the reality of our depraved humanity, and we are left despairing over our self and it’s cursed nature!
The Process Of Being Broken
The Lord will target whatever thing is our strong point—whatever thing in us, NATURALLY, that carries us along in this life—APART FROM THE SPIRIT OF GOD. For example, if we have natural strength and ability APART from God’s Spirit living in us, The Lord will arrange (through loving discipline) for that natural strength to be a failure over and over until we learn not to trust our OWN STRENGTH, and until we reach a place where we acknowledge that we do not live by man’s strength, but by the strength and life of Christ within. Every dealing from God is aimed at the wounding and weakening of this “self”. He thwarts our own ways and efforts to kill our will and self—that we may become broken in spirit! That is the ONLY way to be near to God—“God is near to the brokenhearted”.
So in this process, we may be truly born again, but like the Corinthian believers, we must be shown that we are living in our natural self with it’s own power, knowledge, will, and feelings—instead of by the Spirit of God in us. And in that specific letter, Paul brings in the Cross to come between the natural life of these believers, and the spiritual life of them. He explains the Cross in fuller detail in order to have the Cross register in their hearts by the Spirit working in and through them, unto the emptying of this natural life.
I Despaired Of My Self
In my experience, this worked out in my own life when time and time again, I found myself coming to the point of getting no where with the Lord and the things He had been showing me. He would show me something important, and then I would try to make that thing happen in my own strength and natural mind. I was living out from my own natural life and not the Spirit of God.
And when things in my life all around were sorely being broken, my heart was too, and that’s when the Lord allowed me to despair over myself once and for all! I came down to the point where I truly realized I could NEVER be good enough in my natural self, and that unless Christ stood in my place and worked in and through me, I would never make it! And He showed me the reason for this devastating experience as we will see presently!
In Order That….
So when I despaired my last despair over my self and my inability to EVER match up to the Lord’s standards, it was all in order that:
- I would see the true meaning of the Cross of Christ
- I would reckon my natural life as dead
- I would have my life in Christ ALONE
The True Meaning Of The Cross
In this time, what began to unfold in my heart by the Spirit was simply the fact that when Christ died on the Cross, He died as a representative of the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE OF ADAM. He died as representing every single person who is born in this world, after Adam. And as a member of the Adam race, I died when Christ died! And it was not just my sins that the Lord Jesus died to remove from me, it was to remove this natural life in Adam all together!
Reckoning Natural Life Dead
And so now, seeing that the Cross of Christ crucified me to my own natural self, I saw that by faith I must reckon my natural life as dead according to Romans 6! And what JOY! What glorious experience—-to see and know that WE CAN DO NOTHING IN OURSELVES! And that it is not in our natural life to ever be able to live a spiritual life in Christ!
Life In Christ Alone
And presently, I am still being shown what this life in Christ really means and what it is all about and what it is unto—mainly being transformed from what we were to the new kind of Man in Christ. Just as we were in Adam before we were born again, we are now in the Race of Christ! And it is this new kind of race and it’s characteristics and it’s nature that is being developed in us—-only in Christ alone!
This is important to grasp, God willing, mainly that in Christ, we are not now being transformed in our own natural life. Our natural life that we got from Adam, it is still present (as we all know because of our many failures), but it is no longer able to have POWER over us in Christ unless we voluntarily give it power. If we are now in Christ, the Holy Spirit is the true power in us and over us to guide us in our ways, thinking, judgments, etc. It is no longer our natural mind, ways, thinking, etc. that is in the seat of power and control over us as it was when we were in Adam before being born again.
So now that we see that our natural life has been displaced as the governing thing over us, we must see that Christ has taken the place, and it is in Him alone that we are to walk and have our being in this world. We are to refer all things to the Spirit within us—in all situations and things that come up where we do not know what to do—we must seek the Spirit’s mind about it as within us in order to gain that witness of life in order to proceed forward with whatever it is.
I have by no means mastered this, and I doubt any man has perfectly mastered this (except Christ). But it is going to be the very main thing in our new life in Christ, namely to be broken of the strength of our natural lives, and learning to walk in the Spirit and not our natural self in all things.
Applying The Cross In Daily Life
In my experience, the Lord is opening my eyes to the true meaning of His Cross and how it applies to my life on a daily basis, and what He has been showing me lately is that it is a matter of surrendering fully and absolutely to Jesus Christ as Lord of my life. When Christ is truly Lord over my life, I no longer say, do, think, want anything for my own personal interests to be satisfied. It is no longer, “What am I going to get out of this?”, now it is all about “What is the LORD going to get out of this?”—-it switches over from being all about ME, to all about THE LORD and what HE wants to do. This is not a list of rules or regulations.
In order to truly follow Christ as LORD, we must be full of His Spirit and walking in the Spirit in order to have fellowship with Christ inwardly, and to know what He wants us to do in any situation. That is how Christ lived on the earth, abiding in the Father–never doing something because HE wanted to do it—-it was the Father doing the works THROUGH Jesus. In the same way, we are called to abide in Christ, so that it is “no longer I, but Christ”—–
It is no longer us trying to do a million things “right”, but it is CHRIST, living through us by His Spirit which dwells in us!
One of the principles of the Cross that the Lord has shown me is that The Cross means a selfless concern for what is of God alone. That means that my interests are no longer about myself—they are for the Name of the Lord and His Honor and Glory— my interests are what His interests are—– His interest is to have a dwelling place among men—- He wants to Presence this world in and by His Church, made up of individual believers having Christ dwelling in their hearts by His Spirit.
The Cross working out in our lives can be practically expressed in the power we have been given by Christ to let go to God and surrender all things to His Lordship and His sovereign rule—-even our marriages! This HAS to touch home! The Testimony that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD MUST BEGIN IN OUR MARRIAGES AND HOMES!
What the Lord is showing me lately is that if I want to be filled with Him, I have to “die daily”, as the Apostle Paul says! I must let go of my own rights! My own personal interests for my marriage, my child, my life—–
My marriage, my child, my life— must all be for His interests—-for His purposes—- For His rights as Lord!
It is no longer about what I want, it is about what HE wants in my life!
When we are focused on how things are going to effect us, instead of what the LORD wants to do in the situation—–we are still on natural ground of the self, and until the Cross is accepted and applied, we will not move forward in His plans and purposes!
When we get to the place of the Cross, although it brings death to what is natural in us, it brings in a whole new world of the heavenlies, and found there in Christ is true freedom, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit as we set our hope and trust in the Lord to accomplish His purposes in conforming us to Christ! 🙂