The Review and Herald

825/1902

May 12, 1896

Operation of the Holy Spirit Made Manifest in the Life

(Concluded.)

EGW

The Lord works in his own way, in order that men shall not lift themselves up in pride of intellect, and take the credit and the glory to themselves. The Lord would have every human being understand that his capabilities and endowments are from the Lord. God works by whom he will. He takes those whom he pleases to do his work, and he does not consult those to whom he will send his messenger as to what are their preferences concerning whom or what manner of person they would like to bring the message of God to them. God will use men who are willing to be used. The Lord would use men of intelligence if they would permit him to mold and fashion them, and to shape their testimony after his own order. Men high or low, learned or ignorant, would better let the Lord manage and take care of the safety of his own ark. The work of men is to obey the voice of God. Whoever has a connection with the work and cause of God, is to be continually under the discipline of God. “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” RH May 12, 1896, par. 1

There is a great need of taking self in hand when we find ourselves watching to make capital out of the missteps of a brother, a sister, or a friend. Although we do not acknowledge that the object of defaming another is to exalt self, self-exaltation is behind the practise of noting the shortcomings of others. Let every soul remember it is best to be on guard, and to make straight paths for his own feet, lest the lame (spying ones) be turned out of the way. None of us are in danger of being too devotional, or of possessing too much Christ-likeness of character. The remedy for unlikeness to Christ, for giving occasion for your good to be evil spoken of, is to live humbly, to keep looking unto Jesus in prayerful watchfulness, until changed into the likeness of his beautiful character. RH May 12, 1896, par. 2

The soul cannot be satisfied with forms, maxims, and traditions. The cry of the soul must be, give me the bread of life; lift up a full cup to my parched, spiritual nature, that I may be revived and refreshed; but do not intrude and interpose yourself between me and my Redeemer. Let me see him as my helper, as the man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. Thou, O Lord, must be my helper. Thou wast wounded for my transgressions, bruised for my iniquities, the chastisement of thy peace was upon me, and with thy stripes I am healed. RH May 12, 1896, par. 3

Christ was crucified for our sins, and was raised from the rent sepulcher for our justification; and he proclaims in triumph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus lives as our intercessor to plead before the Father. He has carried the sins of the whole world, and has not made one mortal man a sin-bearer for others. No man can bear the weight of his own sins. The crucified One bore them all, and every soul who believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. The disciple of Christ will be fitted by his grace for every trial and test as he strives for perfection of character. By looking away from Jesus to some other one, or to something else, he may sometimes make mistakes; but as soon as he is warned of his danger, he again fastens his eyes upon Jesus, in whom his hope of eternal life is centered, and he plants his feet in the footprints of his Lord, and travels on securely. He rejoices, saying, “He is my living intercessor before God. He prays in my behalf. He is my advocate, and clothes me with the perfection of his own righteousness. This is all I require to enable me to bear shame and reproach for his dear name's sake. If he permits me to endure persecution, he will give me grace and the comfort of his presence, so that his name shall be thereby glorified.” RH May 12, 1896, par. 4

There are souls famishing for the bread of life, thirsting for the waters of salvation; and woe unto that man who by pen or voice shall turn them aside into false paths! The Spirit of God is appealing to men, presenting to them their moral obligation to love and serve him with heart, might, mind, and strength, and to love their neighbors as themselves. The Holy Spirit moves upon the inner self until it becomes conscious of the divine power of God, and every spiritual faculty is quickened to decided action. Jesus said, “I will send you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.” A deep, thorough work is to be wrought in the soul, which the world cannot see. Those who know not what it is to have an experience in the things of God, who know not what it is to be justified by faith, who have not the witness of the Spirit that they are accepted of Jesus Christ, are in need of being born again. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” What can the world know of Christian experience?—Verily, nothing. “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” The great Teacher explained this instruction, saying, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” RH May 12, 1896, par. 5

In this age, the word of God is not considered reliable. The word of Christ, that cuts directly across human desires and indulgences, and condemns popular habits and practises,—the Word which was made flesh and dwelt among us,—is ignored and despised. The teachings and example of Christ are not made the criterion for the life of the professed follower of Christ. Many who name the name of Christ are walking in the light of the sparks of their own kindling, rather than following in the footsteps of their professed Master. They do not represent the same character that Christ represented in his pure, sincere love to God, and in his love for fallen man. They do not take God at his word, and identify their interests with Jesus Christ. They do not form the habit of communing with Jesus, of taking him as a guide and counselor, and thus learn the trade of living a well-defined Christian life. Those who not only hear but do the words of Christ, make manifest in character the operation of the Holy Spirit. The result of the internal operation of the Holy Spirit is demonstrated in the outward conduct. The life of the Christian is hid with Christ in God, and God acknowledges those who are his, declaring, “Ye are my witnesses.” They testify that divine power is influencing their hearts and shaping their conduct. Their works give evidence that the Spirit is moving upon the inward man; those who are associated with them are convinced that they are making Jesus Christ their pattern. RH May 12, 1896, par. 6

Those who are in connection with God are channels for the power of the Holy Spirit. If one who daily communes with God errs from the path, if he turns a moment from looking steadfastly unto Jesus, it is not because he sins wilfully; for when he sees his mistake, he turns again, and fastens his eyes upon Jesus, and the fact that he has erred, does not make him less dear to the heart of God. He knows that he has communion with the Saviour; and when reproved for his mistake in some matter of judgment, he does not walk sullenly, and complain of God, but turns the mistake into a victory. He learns a lesson from the words of the Master, and takes heed that he be not again deceived. Those who truly love God have internal evidence that they are beloved of God, that they have communion with Christ, that their hearts are warmed with fervent love toward him. The truth for this time is believed with sound confidence. They can say with all assurance, “We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.... We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.” RH May 12, 1896, par. 7

The inner life of the soul will reveal itself in the outward conduct. Let the word of God bear its testimony in behalf of the messenger whom God hath sent with a message in these last days to prepare a people to stand in the day of the Lord. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” The wisdom of so-called intellectual men cannot be relied upon, unless they have learned and are daily learning lessons in the school of Christ. Men, in their supposed wisdom, may plan and devise theories and systems of philosophy, but the Lord calls them vain and foolish. The Lord says, “The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” RH May 12, 1896, par. 8

No one has been created in Christ Jesus for mere self-enjoyment. He who lives unto himself is not a Christian; for self-denial and cross-bearing are the portion of every true follower of Christ. We have been bought with a price, in order that we may render willing service to our Master. Every hour that we have failed to acknowledge Christ as our personal Saviour, we have robbed God; for Christ purchased us by the ransom of his own blood. The Christian cannot serve the world, or yield to the claims of any power, relation, or society, that will make him deny Christ, dishonor God, and prove disloyal to his holy law. The Christian is to surrender himself unreservedly to God as his purchased possession. God claims him for himself, and will impart to the believer special favors, enabling him to be complete in Christ, more than conqueror through him that hath loved him. RH May 12, 1896, par. 9