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Morning Meditation
5382
“Hagar, the Slave Girl”
by F. B. Meyer   
March 15th, 2015

"Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar." -- Genesis 16:1.

We none of us know all that is involved when we tear ourselves from the familiar scenes of our Harans to follow God into the lands of separation which lie beyond the river. The separated life cannot be an easy one. We may dimly guess this as we step out into the untried and unknown; but God graciously veils from our eyes that which would needlessly startle and daunt us; unfolding to us His requirements, only as we are able to bear them.

The difficulties of the separated life arise, not from any arbitrary appointments of Divine Providence, but from the persistent manifestation of the self-life in its many Protean forms. It is absurd to say that it dies once for all in some early stage of the Christian life; and it is perilous to lead men to think so. When men think or boast that it is dead, it peeps out in their very assertions, and laughs at the success of its efforts to blind them to its presence. This is the masterpiece of its art: to cajole its dupes into thinking that it is dead. Bands of thieves always like to secure the insertion of a paragraph in the newspapers, announcing that they have left the neighborhood, because in the false security which is induced by the announcement, they are more able to carry out their plans of pillage.

We say, in the first moments of consecration, that we are eager, not only to be reckoned dead in the sight of God, so far as our self-life is concerned, but to be dead. And if we really mean what we say, God undertakes the work, first of revealing the insidious presence of the self-life where we had least expected it, and then of nailing it in bitter suffering to the cross of a painful death. O ye who know something of the analysis of your inner life, do not your hearts bear witness that, as the light of heaven breaks with glowing glory on your souls, it reveals unexpected glimpses into the insidious workings of self? -- so much so that you are driven to claim, with no bated breath: first, Divine forgiveness for harboring such a traitor; and then, the interposition of Divine grace to mete out that death which is the only condition of growth and blessedness.   F. B. Meyer

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