Summary: "Test yourself to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!”
Because there were individuals in the Corinthian congregation who believed they were Christians and were not Paul wrote in his letter to the church, “Test yourself to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!” There are a number of ways we can examine ourselves. We can compare ourselves with others, or by whether we are living up to the standards set in the church manual. If we really want to follow Paul’s
instructions there is only one safe way to examine ourselves and that way is the Word of God, the Bible, for “there is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end there-of are the ways of death” (Proverbs 12:12).
If we are to come into a right relationship with Jesus and see His power demonstrated in our hearts we must die out to self and self attitudes. Our will must be
broken to His will. This is not easy. It is painful and humiliating, but it is the only way we can have a right relationship with Jesus.
Jesus cannot live in us and reveal Himself through us until the proud self within us is broken. That hard to the core, unyielding self, which justifies everything we do, wants its own way, and seeks its own glory, must bow before the Lord and cry out, not my will but
your will. It must surrender rights and discard its own glory so that the Lord might have all our lives and be our all.
If we honestly look at our lives and the lives of others we can see how much of self there is in each of us. It is self that tries to live a Christian life, hiding behind the claim I’m doing the best I can. It is self who is often doing Christian work, looking for
praise. It is self who gets irritable, envious, resentful, and critical. It is self who is unyielding in its attitudes to others. As long as self is in control of our lives, the Lord can do little with us, because the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5), which the Lord wants to fill us is the opposite of the unbroken spirit within us.
The breaking of the hard, unyielding self is both the Lord’s work and ours. The Lord
brings His pressure to bear on self and we must make the choice to surrender or resist. If we are really seeking fellowship with the Lord He will show the nature of our proud, unyielding self that causes Him pain. He will show us why it is necessary we surrender to His will. We must decide the course of action we will take. We can stiffen our necks and refuse to repent or we can bow before the Lord and surrender our all to Him. This is not easy and can be costly when we see what is involved in surrendering our all to the Lord.
But dying to self is not a thing we do once and for all. It is a constant dying. This is the only way the Jesus will be constantly revealed through us. All day long the choice to do our own thing or the will of the Lord will be before us. When we must make a choice between doing our own thing and the will of the Lord, we must not forget, the only life that is pleasing in the sight of the Lord is one that is centered in His will.
Surrendering to the will of the Lord is only the beginning of our relationship with the Lord. We present our broken, empty self to Him and He mends it, fills it and keeps it filled with His glory and power. The choice is ours.
What do you want Jesus to do in your life today? What you want Him to do He will do, but it begins with the breaking of the proud unyielding self.