On Obedience after the Example of Christ
CHRIST. My son, whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from grace. And he, who seeks personal privileges, loses those that are common to all. When a man is unwilling to submit freely and willingly to his superior, it is a sign that his lower nature is not yet under his control, but frequently rebels and complains. Therefore learn to obey your superior promptly if you wish to subdue your lower nature, for the Enemy without is sooner overcome if our inner fortress remains intact. There is no enemy more wicked or troublesome to the soul than your self, when you are not in harmony with the Spirit, and you must have a very real scorn for self, if you are to prevail against flesh and Blood. It is because you are unwilling to yield your will to that of others, that you are still full of self-love.
Is it so hard for you, who are dust and nothingness, to subject yourself to man for God's sake, when I, the Almighty and most high, who created all things from nothing, humbly subjected Myself to man for your sake? (John 13:14) I became the humblest and least of all men, that you might overcome your pride through My humility. Learn to obey, you who are but dust. Learn to humble yourself, earth and clay, and to bow yourself beneath the feet of all. Learn to curb your desires, and yield yourself to complete obedience.
Direct your anger against yourself, and let no swelling pride remain in you. Show yourself so submissive and so humble that all men may trample over you and tread on you like the mud of the streets. (Ps. 18:42) Vain man, what right have you to complain? What can you, an unclean sinner, answer to any that reproach you, when you have so often offended God, and so many times deserved Hell? But I have spared you, (Ezek.20:17) for your soul was precious to Me, that you might know My love, and be ever grateful for My favor: also, that you might give yourself constantly to true obedience and humility, enduring patiently any contempt laid on you.
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