The Upward Look

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December

The Invisible Conflict, December 1

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. Ephesians 6:14. UL 349.1

The enemy is on the track of every one of us, and if we would resist temptations which assail us from without and from within, we need to make sure we are on the Lord's side, that His truth is in our hearts, that it keeps watch in our souls, ready to sound an alarm and summon us to action against every enemy. Without this defense amid unseen foes we shall be like the willow bending to blast, driven of the wind and tossed. But if Christ abides in the soul we may be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.... UL 349.2

The mind can be expanded and ennobled and should be made to dwell upon heavenly things. Our powers must be cultivated to the uttermost, else we shall fail of meeting God's standard. Unless ... [the mind] flows in a heavenward direction it becomes an easy prey to the temptation of Satan to engage in worldly projects and enterprises that have no special connection with God.... All zeal and devotion and restless energy and feverish desire are brought into this work, and the devil stands by and laughs to see human effort wrestling so perseveringly for an object that it will never gain, which eludes its grasp.... UL 349.3

To be independent and self-reliant in some respects is [a] duty that we owe to ourselves. But here, where the enemy will come in with his delusive snares, pride takes the place of humility. And when you or I trust to our own resources, our own wisdom, and seek counsel of our own heart, then certain disappointment, shame, and confusion will be our portion at last. We are in a fair way to triumph only when we are closely connected with God, and have on the whole armor of righteousness.... UL 349.4

It is essential that you feel the power of the truth as well as to believe it. It should have a steady, abiding influence upon the mind. But dreamlike projects are favored and bar the way to deep and thorough heavenly principles. The things of this life have the precedence of the interest pertaining to the future, immortal life. The common and earthly deaden the sense of the eternal. UL 349.5

There is one safeguard against Satan's deceptions and snares—that is the truth as it is in Jesus. The truth planted in the heart, nourished by watchfulness and prayer, nourished by the grace of Christ, will give us discernment. The truth must abide in the heart, be felt in its power in spite of all the alluring enchantments of Satan, and your experience and mine must be that the truth can purify, guide, and bless the soul.—Letter 17, December 1, 1886, to “My Dear—“(addressee unknown). UL 349.6