It is increasingly more and more evident to me that absolute surrender to the Lord is the only way that I can experience His peace and joy. My ego is in a continual state of rationalization, looking for some justifiable way that I can pursue another course of action. Why, since God’s peace and joy have become the ultimate and most uplifting experiences I can have, do I even consider another way? My self-centered, conceited and arrogant ways are the greatest obstacles I have to overcome. Only through the cross am I able to simply and plainly silence the persistent strategizing of my carnal nature. In the end, dying to myself is one of my most important objectives and it is a relentless assignment. That is why my abandonment to God in every circumstance is the moment by moment attitude that keeps me continually and consciously aware of His presence. Only then am I able to abide in His righteousness, peace and joy.
"Then Jesus said to them all: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?'"
"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me."