"Full of self and sin am I,
Thou art full of truth and grace...."
I remember singing these words so many times as a little girl. Only recently have I really sang them, fully appreciating what they say.
In reading "Embraced by the Cross," formerly titled, "Born Crucified," by L.E. Maxwell, I had to stop and re-read these parts several times, marveling at the truth in them...
Until Christ works out in you an inner crucifixion which will cut you off from self-infatuation and unite you to God in a deep union of love, a thousand Heavens could not give you peace.
That description - self-infatuation. Wow. Never heard it said like that before, but does it ever sum up my life.
Man was meant to have GOD as the center of his life, his very breath, his light and deepest joy -
"the central Sun of his universe - from this secret place of the Most High, man broke off and plunged out into the far country of self, into the alienation and night of separation from God. God has been cast down. Self has usurped the throne, a usurper who never abdicates. Self is the new and false center upon which man has fixed. He loves himself as nothing else under the sun. Even his best deeds are but refined forms, the filthy rags, of his secret selfishness. He does always with his right hand so that the left hand of self satisfaction may know it....
"The Son of Man was made sin - made a curse - lifted up like a serpent....Only the serpent can symbolize the truth. That throws an awful ray of light upon me. It shoots me through and through. I am perfectly photographed - not my sins only, but myself. What I did only sprang from what I am. The unvarnished truth is out. It is I, my very self. Why pull down the blinds?
"....Does such an admission seems too dreadful? Do I halt from owning it? But dare I disown it? Until I own it, I can never disown it. From the throne of the Cross, high and lifted up, I am drawn first to own and then disown self.... I must sign my own death sentence....
"Such a denial of self is not mere severing of this or that indulgence, but putting the ax to the very root of the tree of self. God says, 'Cut the tree down,' not merely trim it back. ALL self-righteousness, self-esteem, self-vindication, self-glory, and fatal self-pity - these and ten thousand other manifestations are but the fleshly foliage, the myriad branchings of that deeply rooted tree of self."
Full of self and sin am I,
Thou art full of truth and grace.
What a good God I love and serve!