Derek Prince - You Need To Come To The End Of Yourself
We're continuing with the theme which I entitled 'The Cross in My Life.' This teaching is taken mainly from the epistle to the Galatians and in the previous session I began by pointing out that the Galatian Christians, although they were Spirit baptized and had witnessed miracles of God in their midst, were under a sinister satanic power which Paul defined as witchcraft. The evidence was that they'd lost the vision of the cross. They no longer really grasped what had been accomplished for them and in them through the cross. The result was that they had degenerated into carnality and legalism, and were at least in danger of coming under a curse.
I sought to point out that there are two main aspects to the cross. There's what the cross does for us, which we all get excited about and quite a lot of people preach about. But there's another side which is what the cross is intended to do in us. And for many people that's much less exciting. I think a lot less is said about it. I would suggest to you the results of that not being taught are manifest in the church today. In fact, without going into a lot of details, we have seen a lot of sad scandals and problems recently in the church in the United States and other nations. I would say every one of those problems goes back to the root cause that the work of the cross was not effective in the lives of the people involved.
In fact, I think in a way that's the root of all our problems in the Christian life, that we don't avail ourselves of the provision God has made for what the cross is intended to do in us. I said also the remarkable thing about Galatians is it not merely pinpoints the problem but it states the solution. The solution is a five-fold deliverance which is provided for us through the cross. And in the previous sessions we looked at the first two deliverances.
Galatians 1:4, deliverance from this present evil age. May I just ask a question, because it interests me. I'm not trying to pinpoint anybody but, for how many of you was that a new thought that we've been delivered from this present evil age? Would you just raise your hands so I can see. Well, that's really the majority of the people here. I expected it would be that way. I'd have to say this is a truth that the Lord led me to individually, I don't think I've ever heard anybody else preach it. I'm not saying it's never been preached. I'm sure in the days of the Puritans and probably in the days of Wesley and other revivals this truth was probably central. That's why they had revival. And really, there never will be revival without this truth, not genuine revival because the things that are dealt with in us by the cross are the things that hinder revival.
So, the first deliverance was from this present evil age. The second deliverance, how many of you can remember what that was? From the law, that's right. And that was one which shocked some of you. I do want to say again emphatically I am not talking about civil law. I'm not talking about the law of the nation. I'm talking about the law only as a means of achieving righteousness with God. I personally believe the New Testament teaches that basically, with a few exceptions, Christians are obligated to be law abiding people. The only exceptions would be where the civil law conflicts with our duty to God, in which case our duty to God must come first.
There are three more deliverances that I want to deal with in this session. The next one is in the verse following deliverance from the law. Galatians 2:20, Paul says: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. And notice again it's the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross that provides this deliverance. What is it that is dealt with in verse 20? You can answer not just in one word but in one letter. I, that's right. The old ego. You know, ego is the Latin word for I.
I think this is as important as any deliverance that's mentioned in Galatians. I have been crucified with Christ. The Old King James says I am crucified with Christ. It's not just something that has happened, it's something that's a continuing state of my being. I am continuously and permanently crucified with Christ. I have come to the end of myself. How many of you... Don't put your hands up, how many of you ever had a hard time coming to the end of yourself? I see some of you are willing to put your hands up anyhow! How many of you discovered that God sometimes has to use a very hard road to bring us to the end of ourselves? And we complain and we are disturbed and upset, we think, 'God, what are you doing with me?' He's bringing you to the place where Galatians 2:20 really is true in your life. I am crucified with Christ. I've come to the end of me.
You see, like most ministers I've dealt with all sorts of people in all sorts of places. I meet many people who are running away from their problems. They may be running away from their wife, their husband, their family or some particular problem they got in. But what I discover is the real problem is one we can't run away from because we take it with us wherever we go. What is that? It's me, myself. The only way that we can get free from that problem is through the cross. I would interpret this statement as escape from personal ambition, pride and self-centeredness.
Let me say those three words again. Personal ambition, pride and self-centeredness. I would say those are by far the commonest problems in the Christian ministry today. I must be careful not to be negative but I think there's not a single person in the ministry today, including Derek Prince and primarily Derek Prince, who does not have to be continually on our guard against those three related things: personal ambition, pride and self-centeredness.
I've come to the conclusion that nobody in the Christian life goes into error except through pride. Pride is the only reason why Satan can bring us into error. And yet I see countless Christians going into different sorts of error. You see, if you stop to consider, what was the first sin in the history of the universe? Pride, that's right. And it didn't take place on earth, it took place in heaven. It took place in the full light of eternity and of God's glory. That's a frightening thought, isn't it?
So, if pride could break through there, it must be much more easy, for pride to break through here on earth. Somebody said this to me once, and I think it's worth bearing in mind. Pride is a sin about which Satan never makes you feel guilty. I mean, I've taken that to heart. And you see, when it comes to self-centeredness I'm being very open with you I really got nothing to hide and nothing to lose. I'm in the ministry because God has put me there and as long as it pleases Him to keep me there I'll be there.
When that's over, I'm not hanging onto anything that I know of. But I was born an only child. I never had brothers or sisters. I was blessed with a good brain and I was always successful at school and in college. Basically, I expected to be number one. I made my way up to the age of 25 that way. A brother that has ministered with me quite a lot in the past said one day that I was the most... What did he say? Self reliant person he'd ever met. I don't know whether that's true or not, but all through the first 25 years of my life I relied on myself. And within limits I did a good job. Then God revealed Himself to me and started to change me.
Let me say He hasn't finished changing me yet but He did a radical work in one night. He totally redirected me. I made a U-turn and I've been going in a different direction ever since. But God, I'd have to say, has a sense of humor because I had no idea what His plan for my life was. About four or five years after I was saved I was married to a Danish lady in Jerusalem who had a children's home. And not only did I get a wife but I got eight daughters in one day!
Now, girls were a strange, remote race to me. So, if you could ever think of anybody less qualified by background than me for that position, you'd have to look a long way. All through this I realized for years God had been dealing with my self reliance. I'm one of those people, every time I'm confronted with a problem my first reaction is what am I going to do about it? Thank God I've come to the place where I quickly say that's not the point. What is God's answer? But it's taken a long while for me to get there.