The Review and Herald

410/1902

July 12, 1887

Union With God

[Morning talk at Grimsby, England, September 18, 1886.]

EGW

We have the promise, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” This is a precious promise to me for the reason I believe it. I believe God will do just as he said he would. And while we comply with the conditions to draw nigh to God, it is our privilege to claim the promise. Christ has said, “Without me ye can do nothing.” It is useless to think that we can do anything unless Christ is abiding in our hearts. RH July 12, 1887, par. 1

It is our privilege to have Jesus with us at all times and in all places. In order to have this mighty Helper by our side, we must empty the soul of everything that would corrupt or tarnish it. This is our work; it is to keep the eye fixed upon the glory of God, and be constantly seeking to yoke up with Christ as our companion and friend. And this is what the cause of Christ requires, that the heart should be stirred with Christ's words and Christ's wisdom. It is to have a close connection with Jesus. We must acquaint ourselves with God, which is identification with God. It is not enough to have a theoretical knowledge; we must have a living experience in the things of God. Our life can be and should be made radiant with God's wisdom. We must be lifted up to a higher level. We must take in knowledge from God's word, from God's presence; take in light from heaven, reflect light, and let our hearts go out in gratitude to God for the light of truth he has given us, and then let this light shine to those around us in steady, bright rays. The law of God is to be brought into our life, and its principles are to be carried out in actions, just as the building needs the great cornerstones and the solid beams. The Lord sees how deficient we are, and he wants to put his Spirit into our hearts. He warns us to build on the solid foundation; then we can find access to the souls he came to save. It is our work to open this most glorious truth to them. Just as soon as we separate ourselves from God by sin, which is the transgression of his law, Satan takes control of our minds. We want to seek earnestly to draw near to God. RH July 12, 1887, par. 2

What does the text mean which says, “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded”?—It means that some have been serving God with a divided heart. They esteem God some, but themselves more. We must not esteem ourselves more highly than we ought. Let not Christ's words and words of some finite being bear with equal weight upon your heart. Fill the whole heart with the words of God. They are the living water quenching your burning thirst. They are the living bread from heaven. We cannot have Christ's words dwelling in us richly, and at the same time have our thoughts centered upon ourselves, and think that we can do a great work, and that we have ability to reach the hearts of the people; for we can do nothing only as we have strength from Jesus Christ. We want to come into a place where we will surrender our souls to God. And it is not enough merely to surrender, but we must cling to Jesus, bring him into our life, and work for him with all the powers of our being. And we want by living faith to grasp the promise, and say, God has said the blessing is mine; I must have it, and I believe I shall have it; and keeping the mind on Christ, holding firmly to him, and at the same time surrendering ourselves to him, we shall find that Christ will come in. We shall have his presence abiding with us. He will give us access to souls, and success will attend our efforts. RH July 12, 1887, par. 3

Here in Europe we need much of the Spirit of God. There are a great many things that need a different mold, and we must be consecrated to God in order to do the work of reconstructing which he would have us do. We must be seeking to have Christ fashion us, and be molded as clay in the hands of the potter. Man may try to put his mold upon the work, but you will see that it is a perfect failure. Some have peculiar views and ideas, and none can approach them because of these peculiarities. They are not easily entreated. But what we want is for them to receive Christ's mold; we do not want to run anything after man's way; we want the fashioning hand of God to mold and direct us. And if the right hand is laid upon us to fashion us, we shall have a peculiar mold after the fashion of Christ, and shall pursue a course directed of Heaven. RH July 12, 1887, par. 4

In this work we shall meet with perplexities, and trials, and difficulties that we do not meet in America; but we can go forth knowing that we have Jesus with us to impress our hearts and minds with good, so that everywhere we can present to individuals the truth that he has given us. God will help us. The strong barriers of prejudice that have been built up will just as surely come down as did the walls of Jericho before the armies of Israel. There must be continual faith and trust in the Captain of our salvation. We must obey his orders. The walls of Jericho came down as the result of obeying orders. Joshua challenged the angel of Israel by asking, Whose side are you on? and the answer came, “Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy.” “As captain of the host of the Lord am I now come.” RH July 12, 1887, par. 5

The Captain of the Lord's host must go before us, if we meet with success. There are difficulties that we shall meet, and our only hope of reaching the people in England is through Jesus Christ. The Captain of the Lord's host is just as ready to help us as he was to help Joshua. It is for us to obey orders, and it will be in our work as it was at Jericho. By obeying orders and marching round the city as the Lord had commanded, a mighty angel was sent to throw down the walls of Jericho, and the armies of Israel marched straight into the city. We must have much less self-confidence and much more of Jesus. We want now to place ourselves in right relation with Jesus; let self be sunk out of sight in Christ, who is acquainted with every heart, who can impress the workers with the right plans of labor, and also impress the hearts of those for whom we labor, [by] which we can reach these precious souls. RH July 12, 1887, par. 6

But we are not to feel that we are capable or sufficient of ourselves; that it is by any power which we possess that souls are reached, and begin to praise self, and feel that we are sufficient for everything that comes under our hands. If we have accomplished anything in the work, it has not been us, but God, that did the work; and we want that our hearts shall be flowing out in constant gratitude to God. Is it not truth that human hearts are proud, and that we are so lifted up that we are ashamed to open our hearts in praise, and offer gratitude to God? The Lord would do great things for the workers, but their hearts are not humble. Should the Lord work in them, they would become lifted up, filled with self-esteem, and would demerit their brethren. God would have us elevated. We are free to talk of our difficulties and troubles, but when it comes to pouring out our hearts to God in earnest prayer, in gratitude and praise, how little there is of this! RH July 12, 1887, par. 7

Ours is the most solemn work that was ever given to mortals, and we are doing this work for eternity. We are to be a spectacle to angels and to men, and we want our spirits softened and subdued by the meekness and lowliness of Christ, and have his Spirit enshrined in the heart. We want that active, living faith that will take God at his word, and trust in his promises at all times. And as we on our part lay hold of the arm of infinite power, we must feel that it is an individual work; we must cling to the Mighty One; and if we seek God with all our hearts, we will find him, because he has promised to be found of us. He is the Captain of the Lord's host, and he will be with us; and if he gives us any measure of success, express thankfulness to him. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth God.” All heaven is interested in this work that God's messengers are carrying forward in the world, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. RH July 12, 1887, par. 8

This is a great work, brethren and sisters, and we should humble ourselves daily before God, and not feel that our wisdom is perfect. We should take hold of the work with earnestness. We should not pray for God to humble us; for when God takes hold of us, he will humble us in a way that we would not enjoy. But we must day by day humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. We are to work out our own salvation with fear and with trembling. While it is God that works in us to will and to do of his own good pleasure, we are to co-operate with him while he works through us. We must guard against lifting up our souls in self-esteem. But you will say, How am I to know that Christ is in my heart? If, when you are criticised or corrected in your way, and things do not go just as you think they ought to go,—if then you let your passion arise instead of bearing the correction and being patient and kind, Christ is not abiding in the heart. RH July 12, 1887, par. 9

Christ placed such a value upon man that he gave his own life to redeem him; and he requires every power and faculty of our being to be in perfect subjection to him. But we are not to esteem ourselves only in the light in which God esteemed us by the cross of Calvary. Let us not be afraid to show our humility by kindness, courteousness, and forbearance. Do not let self arise, and think, It is I they are trying to hurt by their false reports. God said to Samuel, “They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me.” Samuel looked to Himself, and felt that he was insulted and abused. So these things are not against you, but against Christ. What we want, dear brethren and sisters, is to be emptied of self; and when this is the case, you will feel that whatever is said or done that wounds and bruises the soul, is not against you, but against your Master, Jesus Christ. RH July 12, 1887, par. 10