PART 5: BE FREE FROM SELF OCCUPATION
Part 5 shows how a reader can move from an undesirable position of self-occupation to the desirable one of Christ-occupation. This is a continuation of the whole theme of the renewal of our minds by right believing. Part 5 shows the goal and why it is important and how it can be done.
Chapter 13: Be free from self-occupation
Joseph Prince emphatically states the need to move from self-occupation to Christ-occupation. Too many are self-occupied and as a result suffer from the consequences. They are overly concerned about what others think or say about them. They suffer from an inferiority or a superiority complex. They are often insecure and dwell on negative thoughts about themselves and others. He used the example of how David slayed Goliath as an example of someone whose trust in God, rather than the bigness of the problem occupied his mind. It set him free from fear and anxiety that plagued the other fighters in the battlefield.
Chapter 14: Jesus be the centre of it all
In chapter 14 and 15 Prince moved to the practical steps that help us move from self- to Christ-occupation. Chapter 14 shows that the way to do it is to see Jesus in the scriptures. His main text is the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (“warm baths”). The disciples were discouraged and confused over Jesus’ death. The resurrected Lord, unrecognized by them began to show them how Jesus fulfilled the scriptures. He showed them Jesus in the Old Testament. He reproved them for being slow to understand and to believe. This then is one practical thing to do to move to Christ-occupation. Whenever we read scriptures look for God. Do not see more rules and laws to obey. See more of Jesus and his beauty. Then our hearts will have a warm bath just as the two disciples’ hearts burned with holy fire.
Chapter 15: Worship with the words of David
Joseph Prince uses a story in the life of David. He had fled from Saul who wanted to kill him. He went to Gath and pretended he was mad. They released him and he hid in the caves and Adullam. Prince used Psalms 34 to highlight how David sang and worshipped and prayed and this helped him shift from a self-occupation that discouraged him to a Christ-occupation that inspired him. Prince traced the shift from self to Christ in Psalms 34 thus showing that the act of praising God and praying moves us from self to Christ-occupation.
As a whole this was a practical part. It motivates you to co-operate with God bath yourself in scripture and prayer and praise. It reminds me of the traditional “means of grace”: scripture meditation and prayer. In fact the whole of church community life is meant to revolve around the word and the sacrament, both of which point to the finished work of Christ.