The Review and Herald

273/1902

August 5, 1884

Christian Experience

EGW

When the children of Israel were slaves in the land of Egypt, God called them out of bondage into a place where they could worship him without restraint. He wrought for them in the way by miracles; he also proved them by bringing them into strait places. But, notwithstanding the wonderful dealings of God with them, and their deliverance so many times, they murmured when tried by him. Their language was, “Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt.” RH August 5, 1884, par. 1

Many who profess to believe the truth for these last days think it strange that the Israelites were so ungrateful as to forget what God had done for them, and even to murmur at the hardships they encountered as they journeyed, when in the sight of God these very persons have done worse than they. God has given us great light. We have a truth so clear, so plain, that it cannot be resisted; yet this great blessing has not been prized, or even realized. If trials arise, some think they have a hard time, and begin to look back. Some do not know what purifying trials are, and make trials for themselves. They are easily discouraged, and Satan magnifies their grievances, and puts thoughts into their minds that, if given away to, will destroy their influence and usefulness. RH August 5, 1884, par. 2

It is a fearful thing to murmur against God. Should his hand be withdrawn from these complaining ones, and they be left subject to disease and death, then they would know what trouble is. They do not bear in mind that the way which they are traveling is a rugged, self-denying way, and that they must not expect everything to move on as smoothly as though they were traveling in the broad road. God proves his people in this world. This is the fitting-up place to appear in his presence. Here persons will show what power affects their hearts and controls their actions. If it is the power of divine truth, it will lead to good works. But if evil angels control the heart, it will be seen in various ways. The fruit will be selfishness, covetousness, pride, and other evil passions. RH August 5, 1884, par. 3

Professors of religion are not willing to examine their own hearts closely; and it is a fearful fact that many are indulging a false hope. Some are leaning on an old experience which they had years ago; but when brought down to this heart-searching time, when all should have a living experience, they have nothing to relate. When they subdue those sins which God hates, Jesus will come in and sup with them, and they with him. Drawing divine strength from Jesus, they will grow up in him, and be able to say with holy triumph, “Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” But it would be more pleasing to the Lord if lukewarm professors of religion had never named his name; for they are a stumbling-block to unbelievers, and a continual weight to those who would be faithful followers of Jesus. RH August 5, 1884, par. 4

The Lord is soon coming, and we should not put off that event. It is our present duty to prepare for the things that are coming on the earth, and to let our works correspond with our faith. The mind must be stayed upon God; our influence should tell on the side of truth. We cannot honor the Lord when we are careless and indifferent; we cannot glorify him when we are desponding. We must be in earnest to secure our own soul's salvation, and to save others. All importance should be attached to this work, and everything else should be secondary. RH August 5, 1884, par. 5

A form of godliness will not save any. All must have a deep and living experience. This alone will save them in the time of trouble. Then their work will be tried of what sort it is; and if it is gold, silver, and precious stones, they will be hid as in the secret of the Lord's pavilion; but if their work is wood, hay, and stubble, nothing can shield them from the fierceness of Jehovah's wrath. RH August 5, 1884, par. 6

The young, as well as those who are older, will be required to give a reason of their hope. But the mind, designed by God for better things, formed to serve him perfectly, is often allowed to wander aimlessly, or to dwell upon subjects of no real interest. It might have been trained to grasp the true foundation of the Christian's hope; but its energies have been absorbed by story-books, dress and show, pride and vanity. Those who allow themselves to be diverted with idle tales may have the imagination fed, but the mind is led directly from God. The interest is destroyed in his precious word, which has been given us to guide our feet through the perils of this dark world. RH August 5, 1884, par. 7

That precious word tells us how we can escape the wrath of God, and of the great Sacrifice that has been offered that we might enjoy his presence forever. If any come short at last, having heard the truth as they have in this land of light, it will be their own fault; they will be without excuse. The way has been made plain; but they allow other things to divert the mind, and take no interest to find out the divine will. God is trifled with by professed Christians, and when his holy word shall judge them at the last day, they will be found wanting. That word is the standard; their motives, words, works, and the manner in which they use their time, will be compared with the written word of God; and if they come short, their cases are decided forever. RH August 5, 1884, par. 8

Many measure themselves among themselves, and compare their lives with the lives of others. This should not be. No one but Christ is given us as an example. He is our true pattern, and each should strive to excel in imitating him. We are co-workers with Christ, or co-workers with the enemy. We either gather with Christ or scatter abroad. We are decided, whole-hearted Christians, or none at all. Says Christ, “I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” RH August 5, 1884, par. 9

Some hardly know as yet what self-denial is, or what it is to suffer for the truth's sake; but none will enter heaven without making a sacrifice. A spirit of self-denial should be cherished. Some have not laid themselves a sacrifice on the altar of God. They indulge in hasty, fitful tempers, gratify their appetites, and attend to their own self-interest, regardless of the cause of God. Those who are willing to make any sacrifice for eternal life will have it, and it will be worth all that it costs. The far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory will eclipse every earthly pleasure. RH August 5, 1884, par. 10

I wish that all could realize something of the wondrous love of the Son of God, to whom angels ascribe praise, honor, and glory. He was so interested for our salvation that for our sakes he left his high command in heaven, and patiently bore every indignity and slight which man could heap upon him. He was wounded, smitten, and bruised; he was stretched on Calvary's cross, and suffered the most agonizing death, that we might enjoy the light and glory of heaven, and live with him in the mansions he is preparing for us. RH August 5, 1884, par. 11

All heaven is interested in our salvation; and shall we be indifferent? Shall we be careless, as though it were a small matter whether we are saved or lost? Shall we slight the sacrifice that has been made for us? Some have done this, and the frown of God is upon them. But his Spirit will not always be grieved. After God has done all that could be done to save men, if they still show by their lives that they slight offered mercy, death will be their portion; and it will be a dreadful death, for they will have to feel the agony that Christ felt upon the cross. They will then realize what they have lost,—eternal life and the immortal inheritance. RH August 5, 1884, par. 12

Young and old have a conflict before them. They should not sleep for a moment, for a wily foe is constantly on the alert to lead them astray and overcome them. There must be an entire, unreserved surrender to God, a forsaking and turning away from the love of the world and earthly things, or we cannot be Christ's disciples. Jesus is soon coming: and will he acknowledge as his people those who are conformed to the world? Oh, no. He will accept as his none but those who are pure and holy,—those who have been purified and made white, and have kept themselves separate, unspotted from the world. RH August 5, 1884, par. 13

The life and spirit of Christ is the only standard of excellence and perfection; and our only safe course is to follow his example. If we do this, he will guide us by his counsel, and afterward receive us to glory. If we strive to walk in the footsteps of our Redeemer, if we live for it, and believe for it, God is willing to give us of his free Spirit,—more willing than earthly parents are to give good gifts to their children. Then we shall walk in the light, as he is in the light. And we shall “be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,” that we may be “filled with all the fullness of God.” RH August 5, 1884, par. 14