Asked what was the secret of his service for Christ, George Muller (1805-1898) answered: “There was a day when I died,” and, as he spoke, he bent lower, until he almost touched the floor. Continuing he added, “Died to George Muller, his opinions, preferences, tastes and will; died to the world, its approval or censure; died to the approval or blame even of my brethren or friends; and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God.”
In like vein, J.N. Darby (1800-1882) exclaimed, “Oh, the joy of having nothing and being nothing, seeing nothing but a living Christ in glory, and being careful for nothing but His interests down here.”
The vital subjects of death to self and dedication to Christ are highlighted in Gerhard Tersteegen’s (1697-1769) mighty hymn:
Thou hidden Love of God, whose height,
Whose depth unfathomed no one knows,
I see from far Thy beauteous light,
And inly sigh for Thy repose;
My heart is pained, nor can it be
At rest, till it finds rest in Thee.
Thy secret voice invites me still
The sweetness of Thy yoke to prove;
And fain I would; but though my will
Seems fixed, yet wide my passions rove;
Yet hindrances strew all the way;
I aim at Thee, yet from Thee stray.
’Tis mercy all that Thou has brought
My mind to seek its peace in Thee;
Yet while I seek, but find Thee not,
No peace my wandering soul shall see.
O when shall all my wanderings end,
And all my steps to Theeward tend?
Is there a thing beneath the sun
That strives with Thee my heart to share?
Ah, tear it thence and reign alone,
The Lord of every motion there;
Then shall my heart from earth be free,
When it hath found repose in Thee.
O hide this self from me, that I
No more, but Christ in me, may live!
My vile affections crucify,
Nor let one darling lust survive
In all things nothing may I see,
Nothing desire or seek, but Thee!
O Love, Thy sovereign aid impart
To save me from low thoughted care;
Chase this self-will from all my heart,
From all its hidden mazes there;
Make me Thy duteous child that I
Ceaseless may “Abba, Father” cry.
Ah no! ne’er will I backward turn:
Thine wholly, Thine alone I am!
Thrice happy he who views with scorn
Earth’s toys, for Thee his constant Flame;
O help that I may never move
From the blest footsteps of Thy love!
Each moment draw from earth away
My heart that lowly waits Thy call;
Speak to my inmost soul and say,
“I am thy love, thy God, thy all!”
To feel Thy power, to hear Thy voice,
To taste Thy love, be all my choice.
Galatians 2:20 reads: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”