BLOG site of Amy R. Maxwell

I am the wife of B.J. Maxwell (married August of 1997) and mother of our four adopted children.
I am blessed with the awesome privilege to care for & love my husband, invest in & love our children, and keep our home.
May I steward these gifts well, for the glory and praise of Christ Jesus our precious Lord & Savior!

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus . . . sweetest name I know!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Death to Self

Recently, a dear sister in Christ, Heather Pflasterer, gave me a book entitled, “Let Go”. It is written by by Francios de Salignac de La Mothe Fénelon, archbishop of Cambrai, France, during the 17th century. He was also a spiritual advisor to the court of Louis the 14th. (However, King Louis developed a dislike for Fénelon, whose spirituality grated upon his materialism, and he was banished from his courts.) Fénelon was a Roman Catholic theologian that we (Protestants and Catholics alike) can still glean much from today.

It has been a GREAT read for me. God is GOOD to bring His Word and truths to light just when we need to hear and embrace them! The entries that I have read recently have dealt with suffering and peace, and in light of my last BLOG (Blessing our Enemies), I have been reminded over and over again that self must die. Below is a quote from Fénelon’s book:

Even now my soul is suffering, but I am aware that it is life of self which causes us pain; that which is dead does not suffer. If we were really dead, and our life hid with Christ in God, we would no longer struggle with those pains in spirit that now afflict us . . . We can add to our God-given cross by agitated resistance and an unwillingness to suffer. This is simply an evidence of the remaining life of self . . . A cross which comes from God ought to be welcomed without any concern for self . . . May the Lord deliver us from falling into that state of soul in which crosses are of no benefit to us.

That which is dead does not suffer.
I desire a life free of “self”, but I find that the stinch of my flesh permeates every area of my life. What happens when “crosses are of no benefit” to me? What happens when I cease to rejoice in suffering and forget to love my enemies? Until we
are fully glorified in Christ, we will deal with suffering. We will continually deal with the effects of sin.

So, why is it that I know truth yet so often find myself swimming in a mire of doubt and disobedience? I am reminded of Paul in Romans 7:18-19, 24-25 – “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want . . . Wretched [woman] that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Christ has set us free from the law of sin and of death! “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6) So, how do I suffer? I set my mind on the Spirit and “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)

Abba! Father! Continually teach me to die to self and help me to embrace the cross.

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