Could “self” truly be one of the greatest obstacles to overcome in this life?
How often do I get my own “self” in the way?
After spending some time repenting of some things in my life this morning, I began thinking of how “self” can be such a great obstacle. It is truly one of the things I struggle with the most. Selfishness is something I can’t blame anyone else for, and yet how often do I try to “place the blame” for something that is hiding right there within my own heart?
I spent some time in The Passion Translation this morning…
“For your self-life craves the things that offend the Holy Spirit and hinder him from living free within you! And the Holy Spirit’s intense cravings hinder your old self-life from dominating you! So then, the two incompatible and conflicting forces within you are your self-life of the flesh and the new creation life of the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:17 TPT
“We are all in love with our own opinions, convinced they’re correct. But the Lord is in the midst of us, testing and probing our every motive.” – Proverbs 16:2 TPT
I’m thankful that the Holy Spirit searches and reminds me –convicting me, and bringing me back to the truth and the reality that I’ve got to be on guard against my own selfish ways… those things that constantly try to rise up within myself.
I don’t need to get to the point of frustration about myself, I don’t need to get into “self-condemnation”, I simply need to learn to recognize when a thing is trying to rise up within me, to hear Him when He shows me, to be quick in casting it down, allowing Him to cleanse my heart and renew my mind… and move on.
I love this verse, because it is literally a prayer that I can pray to invite Him to show me the things that could cause issue within my own heart.
“God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.” – Psalm 139:23 TPT
I’m thankful that He gives me the opportunity to tune into His voice, to take heed. He is faithful to alert me and show me when I’m getting myself in the way.
“Selfishness” hiding in the heart, is like that game where someone pulls that one piece out of a whole, tall stack of logs, that one piece that can pull all of the logs down into destruction… “that thing” comes out at the worst time if it remains hiding there, but Lord You have this way of carefully removing it so that I don’t crumble and fall. You have this way of taking care of the issue so that destruction can be averted.
“God has given me grace to speak a warning about pride. I would ask each of you to be emptied of self-promotion and not create a false image of your importance. Instead, honestly assess your worth by using your God-given faith as the standard of measurement, and then you will see your true value with an appropriate self-esteem.” – Romans 12:3 TPT
“But those governed by selfishness and self-promotion, whose hearts are unresponsive to God’s truth and would rather embrace unrighteousness, will experience the fullness of wrath.” – Romans 2:8 TPT
“So I lifted my grace from off of their lives and I surrendered them to the stubbornness of their hearts. For they were living according to their own selfish fantasies.” – Psalm 81:12 TPT
“For if you choose self-sacrifice, giving up your lives for my glory, you will embark on a discovery of more and more of true life. But if you choose to keep your lives for yourselves, you will lose what you try to keep.” – Luke 9:24 TPT
“The beautiful message you’ve heard right from the start is that we should walk in self-sacrificing love toward one another.” – 1 John 3:11 TPT
“So it’s necessary for him to increase and for me to be diminished.” – John 3:30 TPT
Lord, sometimes it’s hard to admit to things that have been hiding within my own heart. Sometimes it’s hard to look at those ugly things. But I know that I am not alone in facing the things that You reveal. You reveal to heal. You know what is best, and You know what it takes to wash me clean, to heal my heart, and to grow me in capacity so that I can truly learn to love. Help me, Lord. Thank You for the work that You do, and for loving me through every step of the way.