My friend, missionary Mark Kuntz, has shared this condensation of my book on self…hope you enjoy. Feel free to email Mark if you’d like his regular email teachings…
I wanted to share with you a few thoughts from a book I recently read by David Alsobrook. This book and many others from him are available on Amazon or he can be contacted at Sure Word Ministries, (www.DavidAlsobrook.com).
I really loved this book because David shares from his real life experiences his personal struggles with self and how through God’s grace, he experienced a personal soul transformation. He now walks in permanent peace. The book is called ” You Can Be Free From Yourself”.
David has been involved in extensive traveling ministry for 40 years and has written more than 45 books that have gone into 50 countries and numerous languages. Here are some direct quotes from his book. To understand more fully what David is sharing, please take the time to read the entire book. You won’t be disappointed.
Before I share from David’s book we need to understand a little about the nature of our soul man or soul. Although our spirit man is perfect, newly created in Christ in every way, our souls, or the core of our mind, will, and emotions need to be restored, renewed and regenerated. This is in essence is the “working out our salvation” part of our Christian experience, in Him. The daily struggles we have are not because of external issues, (rent, mortgages, marriages, jobs, children, finances, other people, etc.) but rather with our soul man or our “self”. This self part of us, due to the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, and eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, always wants to feel and or be in control. Our true problem is not the devil, simply because he has no power over us, unless we allow him power, through our soul self. He has been utterly and openly defeated and God has given us everything to make sure he stays defeated in our daily personal lives. We empower what we focus on. Our primary problem is due to our unwillingness to give up control of our self to God. We want to make all the decisions in our lives instead of realizing, that bond slaves have freely given up all their rights to God.
David says, Before a sudden radical transformation can occur within the soul of a believer the individual must experience death in his or her soul-life. This is the reason for the great inward struggle many are undergoing at this present time. They find themselves in their own personal Gethsemanes and have yet to align all of themselves to their Father’s will — they must die with Christ on the Cross so that the part of them that is false can be dissolved or taken away. This is the reason they are “sweating great drops of blood” throughout various problems in daily lives. “It is hard to kick against the goads” Jesus commented to Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:5). A lot of Christians are kicking at goads too, causing unnecessary suffering in their souls and bodies. They are struggling hard and long against the will of God, but in their unconscious state, the state Jesus and Paul referred to as “sleep”, they do not realize it. They may actually view themselves as devout, sincere Christians because they have conformed their outward manner of life to scriptural standards, but inwardly they are yet miserable and void of Abundant Life.
No brother, life isn’t meant to be as hard as we make it, and Jesus did not suffer agony on the Cross to produce more agony in us. He suffered in our place so we could enjoy the peace of God permanently. For some of you,” Your mind just told you that what you just heard is too good to be true, didn’t it?” That is the problem, ” What was spoken in your head is not you, is it? Not the real you.” The alignment needed, (to allow the unreal you to dissolve) but resisted within believers produces great inner battles and you suffer greatly from your resistance to God’s will. What is needed is that you identify fully with Christ and surrender your identification with self. When transformation occurs you will experience the peace of God as never before and the abundant life Jesus promised will become actual reality within you. You will no longer live in pain, defeat and turmoil. John 14:27
Some Christians have been focused on the Spirit’s power to manifest His wonderful gifts through them more than they have cared to notice or have dared to believe in His power to radically change them inside out. The Holy Spirit’s goal is to make us like Jesus, the Model Son, the One with whom the Father was fully pleased — His Firstborn among many brethren (Rom. 8:29). He wants to “bring many sons to glory” not only in the hereafter but in the here and now as well. (Heb. 2:10). The way of life for most Christians is a tug of war between the false self in the soul and the new life in the spirit. None of these struggling believers will admit that they enjoy their personal struggles but some of them are so completely lost in the false self, that they derive a weird type of pleasure by the pain they themselves create. This is why when things are going smoothly in the family, office, or church that they find it necessary to create problems where none had existed. They enjoy observing the misery they create for others, and then complain, after people have seen through them, that no one is friendly anymore. They remain blind and miserable continually judging others, unable to see that they are the cause of their own misery. Self blinds them to it.
Disillusionment is based, as the word suggests, on illusion. The “dreams” people pursue are illusions, not truth. Dreams turn into nightmares as loss is experienced in one or more of its various forms. ( The dreams David is speaking of here, in my opinion, are the dreams of attempting to obtain fulfillment in life, outside of intimacy with Christ. Self fulfilled dreams.) This realization — that self-ruled life is futile and empty — provides an opportunity for an individual to come to the realization of life’s true purpose. The chief purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. But how many will even acknowledge the emptiness they feel within themselves? Do you feel empty inside? Have you had enough of surface life to know that it is, in itself, ultimately unfulfilling? Instead of realizing the deeper truth that loss provides a great opportunity for Kingdom advancement, many Christians live out their final days sighing about “this old life”. All they think they have to look forward to is Heaven, but this can be self-pity in another form.
Some believers seek medication for inner pain but when presented with what appears to self, as “bitter medicine” — dying to self, which producers wholeness — self ruled people balk. When you tell someone who is pain that their solution lies in dying, it sounds to them as though you are speaking in tongues. Unless a believer has taken the words of Jesus in the Gospels seriously, it is doubtful that they have heard of the believers self-death required in the soul of every disciple of Jesus. This message doesn’t tickle the ears, after all, who wants to die? It is only when a believer experiences true surrender of his soul to God then he or she experiences the death of self-the “old man” as Paul termed it. It is then that the soul of a believer is transformed. The soul of the believer is then restored to the original state it knew prior to Adam’s fall. This occurs when a believer embraces and experiences his own death by taking up his cross. When the soul is restored to its original function in a human being, the soul ceases as adversary to the believers spirit, and once again becomes its servant. Instead of continuing in the misery of soul-rule, the believer becomes Spirit ruled. As a consequence of proper soul alignment the transformed believer has come to the end of self-induced suffering. Life becomes vibrant.
Each of us needs fixing. God has made the perfect fix for each one of us. This is why my cross is not the same as yours; each cross is tailor made by the One who knows us best. You are different from me, and I from you. We may have many of the same similarities, but each of us is also unique. The sure cure for self is each disciple’s own cross. Your Heavenly Father, out of His great love for you, has fashioned your particular cross according to your particular needs. Your cross is seen when any life situation crosses whatever it is you want and you submit yourself to God’s will in the matter. After submission to God, He takes over and gives grace to bear the situation or changes it altogether. You only concern is that you are submitted to His will now. It is by bringing acceptance to your present outward reality of your family, your job, your so called “life”, that you align yourself with the Father’s will for you at any given moment. This is the path to true transformation of the soul. This is precisely what the Master meant when He instructed each of His disciples to “take up your cross”. ( Any “life situation” includes any and all circumstances that you are currently in. Usually the ones in which you are not having your way and want to run from or you blame on others. This is your cross. You don’t have any problems, you only have opportunities.) .)