It is impossible to be united with Christ unless we are willing to let go: to let go not only of sin but of our entire way of looking at things. In 1 Timothy 6:19, Paul writes that God wants us to “take hold of the life that is truly life.” But before we can take hold, we must let go. If we wish to be born from above in the Spirit, the first thing we have to let go of is pretending we’re something we’re not. What our Lord wants us to present to him isn’t goodness or honesty or endeavor; it’s real, solid sin. In exchange, he gives us real, solid righteousness. First, though, we must give up the idea that we are worthy of God’s consideration; we must give up the thought that we are anything at all. After we do, the Spirit will show us what else there is to relinquish. The giving up must happen repeatedly, in every phase. Every step of the way, we must give up the claim to our right to ourselves.

Am I willing to relinquish my hold on my possessions and affections? On everything? Am I willing to be identified with the death of Jesus? There is always a painful shattering of illusions before we finally do relinquish.

When we truly see ourselves as the Lord sees us, it isn’t the abominable sins of the flesh that shock us; it’s the awful nature of pride in our hearts against Jesus Christ. When we see ourselves in the light of the Lord, shame and horror and desperate conviction strike home. If you have come to the point where you must relinquish or turn back, go on through. Relinquish all, and God will make you fit for what he requires.

Wisdom from Oswald

If there is only one strand of faith amongst all the corruption within us, God will take hold of that one strand.  Not Knowing Whither, 888 L