“Self-Effort” was proud of herself. Her chest stuck out so far that she couldn’t see that her feet were standing on shaky ground. All she could see and think about were her many accomplishments and the next to come. She didn’t know that her day of ruling her life would soon come to an end for the “Angel of Destruction” had been assigned to destroy all her self-works.
“Self-Effort” had accomplished much along with “Self-Confidence”, her lifelong companion. The “Self” family all worked together vigorously with each member contributing its part to the “Kingdom of Self” which was a vast kingdom that covered the entire earth. One’s self-worth in this kingdom was entirely dependent upon self works,… not the true substance of living faith.
How high and lifted up was self worth, the much desired by-product of self works. The more and greater the works, the greater “Self-Effort” became in her eyes and in the eyes of others. “Self-Glory”, “Self-Confidence” and “Self-Effort” each shared the crown in the “Kingdom of Self”.
But then the terrible day came: The “Angel of Destruction” arrived suddenly blowing a horn so loud that the earth trembled. “Woe, WOE to you “Self-Effort”! Your time to lord it over others is over. Pride shall be no more!” he proclaimed in a voice that made “Self-Effort” fear for her life.
The “Angel of Destruction” took a huge thorn and pierced it into “Self-Effort”’s side and she became deflated in an instant, like a balloon oozing our noxious gases. “No, no, no!” she cried when she saw that her feet were standing upon sinking sand that was about to swallow her up. “Help me!” she screamed, calling upon the name of the Lord whose name prior to that moment had only been used in ritualistic prayers to build up self and never from a heartfelt need to change.
The “Angel of Destruction” had no pity on the workings of self, for the destruction of them was his duty to accomplish. With great sternness in his eyes that penetrated into the depths of “Self-Effort”’s being, he commanded: “Get get ready to die! You have only one hope”. He handed her the “Treasure Chest of Virtue” in which hope had been preserved, and then instructed: “If you will reach in and pull out hope for yourself- even the “Hope of Glory”, you will become what you were made to be. You will be changed from your old form and your name of “Self-Effort” shall be “God-Reliant” instead… But first, you must die “Self-Effort”: Are you willing to die?”
As he spoke this request, he touched her eyes with divine eye salve that caused her to see clearly. Because she had opened the “Chest of Virtue” and had pulled hope into herself, she knew that her destiny was to die… a wonderful destiny, for from before the beginning of time when the “Lord Jesus Christ”, the “Lamb of God” was slain, it was revealed that only through death could come life.
“Yes, I am willing to die!” she replied accepting what was to come with an unexpected joy.
Her heart beat with a new rhythm of life in the realization that death was not to be feared… that only through her dying could she find life. And then the awareness came that she couldn’t even die through self effort, but only by letting God accomplish it. She bravely proclaimed: “Not by might, nor by power… but by YOUR SPIRIT”, and laid down her life in the grave of rest with no effort at all.
Psalm 37: 37