The Son can do nothing by Himself. (John 5:19 NLT)
That is the principle of the Cross. He accepted that position of being able to do nothing out from Himself. It must all come out from God. There is no way through otherwise.... There was a revolution in my life thirty years ago when that principle of the Cross came flat up against ministry – ministry that for years I had been producing – against all my study, reading and late nights, to get up the stuff for ministry, till the whole thing became an intolerable burden in myself. Others perhaps thought it to be pretty good, but the crisis when – listen to me, men and women who are in ministry, or contemplating it – the whole turn came upon the recognition of this principle, this principle of the Cross when, with the door closed, I said to the Lord ‘I am finished in all ministry, I am never going to preach again unless You do something now. I have been doing it all these years; I have been producing this, now I am finished. You have got to do it.’ But I saw that principle, you see, as the principle of the Cross and I meant it.
Forgive me speaking of myself, but I must bring this home in some way. The next week would have seen my resignation in with my church officers, and I would have gone out from ministry if the Lord had not done it. But the Lord was true to His own principle. It was an utter end of anything that I could produce for ministry, and I meant it to be like that, because I recognized that God meant that. That was the principle of the Cross – nothing out from ourselves. No fruit that labor and study of the mind and heart could produce has a way through in the work and service of God. God was true to His own principle – He always is. From that day to this, there has been no trouble about ministry. It is easy to let ministry go, and much more easy than to accept it. This clamoring for ministry – it is uncrucified flesh. Well, there has been an open heaven since then. Again I beg your forgiveness for making this personal reference, but this is a true thing. It is a principle which covers all the ground.
By T. Austin-Sparks from: The Cross and the Way of Life - Chapter 2