In the New Testament we are given examples of two trees.
The following are examples of the self-life:
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Mat_3:10
But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Mat_15:13
Boast not against the branches. But if you boast, you bear not the root, but the root you. Rom. 11:18
Below are verses that represent life in Christ:
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love. Eph_3:17
Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Col_2:7
For if the first-fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. Rom 11:16
Watchman Nee calls this the “Exchanged Life.” If we still hold onto the one, we cannot have the other. When our hands are tied down with one thing, it cannot hold onto another. This is where the “rubber meets the road” and where self-denial must exist in order to live fully consecrated lives that are abundantly blest in Christ Jesus. In order to marry, the self-life must be crucified. Otherwise you have what the world often gets, where two people are still seeking to live their own lives. But in Christ-like marriage, both are seeking the other’s good.
The same in our relationship for the Lord. If we hold onto grudges, bitterness, hurt, anger, resentment, depression. We will never have the true riches of Christ: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. If ALL of self is not rooted out, how unfortunate we are to miss out on ALL that He has for us. If we choose self, in any area, no matter how big or small, we miss out on HIM, limiting Him. So He waits for us to come to Him, to cease from striving because He knows self only brings destruction. So He waits for us to come to end of self.
This is the works of the flesh versus the working of His Spirit in us. The possibilities of the “exchanged life” are endless. How much He wants to bless us, if only we would yield further unto the working of His grace in and through us to perform that which we commit to Him this day. Yielding our members unto righteousness rather than to unrighteousness (Rom. 6).
“Oh, Love, our Lord, are You not power? Must we make no other use of our liberty but to resist Thee? Oh, what a sad gift it is which employ, the ability to resist You! Oh, freedom of will, oh, gift, your only true employment is the sacrificing of yourself to your Lord.” – Jeanne Guyon
“Victory is a matter of letting go of one’s self and expression. An overcoming life is none other than Christ Himself.” – Watchman Nee