Self Does Not Die Without Our Full Consent
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Galatians 5:17
The Holy Spirit and the fallen human self are diametrically opposed to each other, for, as the Apostle Paul wrote to the Roman church, "because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
Before the Spirit of God can work creatively in our hearts, He must condemn and slay the "flesh" within us; that is, He must have our full consent to displace our natural self with the Person of Christ! This displacement is carefully explained in Romans 6, 7 and 8. When the seeking Christian has gone through the crucifying experience described in chapters 6 and 7 he enters into the broad, free regions of chapter 8. There self is dethroned and Christ is enthroned forever!
In the light of this it is not hard to see why the Christian's attitude toward self is such an excellent test of the validity of his religious experiences. Most of the great masters of the deeper life, such as Fenelon, Molinos, John of the Cross, Madame Guyon and a host of others, have warned against pseudo religious experiences that provide much carnal enjoyment but feed the flesh and puff up the heart with self love.
A good rule is this: Nothing that comes from God will minister to my pride or self-congratulation. If I am tempted to be complacent and to feel superior because of an advanced spiritual experience, I should go at once to my knees and repent of the whole thing. I have fallen a victim to the enemy!