any man will come after Me, let him deny himself.” Matthew 16:24
is the husk of the personal life. Individuality is all elbows, it separates and
isolates. It is the characteristic of the child and rightly so; but if we
mistake individuality for the personal life, we will remain isolated. The shell
of individuality is God’s created natural covering for the protection of the
personal life; but individuality must go in order that the personal life may
come out and be brought into fellowship with God. Individuality counterfeits
personality as lust counterfeits love. God designed human nature for Himself;
individuality debases human nature for itself.
characteristics of individuality are independence and self-assertiveness. It is
the continual assertion of individuality that hinders our spiritual life more
than anything else. If you say – “I cannot believe,” it is because
individuality is in the road; individuality never can believe. Personality
cannot help believing. Watch yourself when the Spirit of God is at work. He
pushes you to the margins of your individuality, and you have either to say –
“I shan’t,” or to surrender, to break the husk of individuality and let the personal
life emerge. The Holy Spirit narrows it down every time to one thing (cf.
Matthew 5:23-24). The thing in you that will not be reconciled to your brother
is your individuality. God wants to bring you into union with Himself, but
unless you are willing to give up your right to yourself He cannot. “Let him
deny himself” – deny his independent right to himself, then the real life has a
chance to grow.