To practice putting aside your will and your glory is not easy. You may feel that you are willing or at least willing to be made willing. But very soon a situation will arise, and you will see that you are not. Why is it that you have been seeking the Lord and meeting with the saints for so many years and yet have so little growth in life? It is because of your will and glory.
It would be helpful to pray-read these verses over and over: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing from Himself except what He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, this also the Son does in like manner.…I can do nothing from Myself; as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me.…For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me.…He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but He Who seeks the glory of Him Who sent Him, this One is true, and unrighteousness is not in Him” (John 5:19, 30; 6:38; 7:18).
To overcome sin, self, and the world is not a problem. The reason you are defeated and have become so worldly and sinful is that you are so much in your will and your glory.
It is beyond our ability to lay aside our will and our glory, however willing we may think we are. Such a life can be lived only in resurrection. The Lord Himself is the resurrection (John 11:25). Only in Him can we have a life under the cross. As A. B. Simpson’s hymn says,
’Tis not hard to die with Christ When His risen life we know.
This hymn came out of the author’s experience of Philippians 3:10: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed unto his death” (Gk.). A. B. Simpson learned how to experience the death of Christ in the resurrection power. In ourselves we do not have such a power.
A CRUCIFIED LIFE IN RESURRECTION
Compare a stone with a grain of wheat. There is no life inside the stone. The seed, however, has something concealed in it. There is life inside. When the seed falls into the earth and dies, this very death stirs up the life power within. This illustration, which the Lord gave in John 12:24, is of a crucified life in resurrection.
The Father’s pleasure is that we fall into the earth and die, i.e., that we have a crucified life. When we die, the inner power of life will be energized. Death ushers in the resurrection power. “Lord, open my eyes to see that my will and my glory have to be put aside. Then show me that You are the resurrection power within me. I praise You that I am not a lifeless stone. I’m a grain of wheat. Within me You are the resurrection power. Lord, give me the vision that if I die You live. I am here before You.” The Lord will work in us the willingness. It does not come from ourselves.
In Luke 12:50 He said, “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” He was saying that until He entered into death, He was pressed or restricted. Death released Him. In us the Lord Jesus again has a baptism to be baptized with. Our humanity is a restriction, just as the resurrection life in the Lord Jesus was restrained when He was in the flesh. The death of the cross broke the shell of the grain of wheat and released the inner resurrection life.
We need to be conformed to the death of Christ. This breaks the shell of our humanity so that the resurrection life may come forth. From this life comes “much fruit” (John 12:24). The saints will be edified, the church built up, and God’s eternal purpose accomplished.
What is the good pleasure of God? He wants you to live a crucified life in resurrection. He wants you to enter into the death of Christ and remain there to be conformed to it. This will shatter every part of your humanity. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Cor. 4:7). The treasure is released when the earthen vessel is shattered.
“We which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you” (vv. 11-12). As this death works upon us, the life within goes to others. If you are a sinner, this life will save you. If you are a believer, this life will edify you.
What the Lord is seeking to recover is a crucified life in resurrection. May we all see that the resurrection power is waiting within us for a chance to be released. We must remain in the death of Christ and be conformed to it. This death will stir up and usher in the resurrection power. The result will be nourishment, building up, and the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose. This is the life that pleases God.
The life which He imparted to us at our new birth He longs to see expressed. Where can God find on this earth those who are men of God? Who will lay aside the human life to express the divine life? It can only be those who deny their own will and their own glory, as the pattern of the Lord Jesus reveals. In ourselves there is no possibility of realizing this. That is why we must pray for Him to make us willing. He is working in us “to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). We were marked out to be His sons even before we were created. As we live this crucified life in resurrection, day by day this eternal purpose of His is being brought to pass. We are among those human beings who are learning to live a divine life.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 34, by Witness Lee)