Spirit: Growing Up Into Christ (3)
When the mind dwells upon self, it is turned away from Christ, the source of strength and life. Hence it is Satan's constant effort to keep the attention diverted from the Saviour, and thus prevent the union and communion of the soul with Christ. The pleasures of the world, life's cares and perplexities and sorrows, the faults of others, or your own faults and imperfections,--to any or all of these he will seek to divert the mind. Do not be misled by his devices.
Many who are really conscientious, and who desire to live for God, he too often leads to dwell upon their own faults and weaknesses, and thus by separating them from Christ, he hopes to gain the victory. We should not make self the centre, and indulge anxiety and fear as to whether we shall be saved. All this turns the soul away from the source of our strength. Commit the keeping of your soul to God, and trust in him. Talk and think of Jesus. Let self be lost in him. Put away all doubt; dismiss your fears. Say with the apostle Paul, "I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Gal. 2:20). Rest in God. He is able to keep that which you have committed to him. If you will leave yourself in his hands, he will bring you off more than conqueror through him that has loved you.
When Christ took human nature upon him, he bound humanity to himself by a tie of love that can never be broken by any power save the choice of man himself. Satan will constantly present allurements to induce us to break this tie,--to choose to separate ourselves from Christ. Here is where we need to watch, to strive, to pray, that nothing may entice us to choose another master; for we are always free to do this. But let us keep our eyes fixed upon Christ, and he will preserve us. Looking unto Jesus we are safe.
Nothing can pluck us out of his hand. In constantly beholding him, we "are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Cor. 3:18). It was thus that the early disciples gained their likeness to the dear Saviour. When those disciples heard the words of Jesus, they felt their need of him. They sought, they found, they followed him. They were with him in the house, at the table, in the closet, in the field. They were with him as pupils with a teacher, daily receiving from his lips lessons of holy truth. They looked to him, as servants to their master, to learn their duty.
Those disciples were men "subject to like passions as we are." (James 5:17). They had the same battle with sin to fight. They needed the same grace, in order to live a holy life. Even John, the beloved disciple, the one who most fully reflected the likeness of the Saviour, did not naturally possess that loveliness of character. He was not only self-assertive and ambitious for honour, but impetuous and resentful under injuries. But as the character of the Divine One was manifested to him, he saw his own deficiency, and was humbled by the knowledge. The strength and patience, the power and tenderness, the majesty and meekness, that he beheld in the daily life of the Son of God, filled his soul with admiration and love.
Day by day his heart was drawn out toward Christ, until he lost sight of self in love for his Master. His resentful, ambitious temper was yielded to the moulding power of Christ. The regenerating influence of the Holy Spirit renewed his heart. The power of the love of Christ wrought a transformation of character. This is the sure result of union with Jesus. When Christ abides in the heart, the whole nature is transformed. Christ's spirit, his love, softens the heart, subdues the soul, and raises the thoughts and desires toward God and heaven.
(source: © Ellen G White; From "Steps To Christ") (all rights reserved)
Collated Spirit Articles
Growing Up Into Christ (1).
The plant, the child, grows by receiving from its surroundings that which ministers to its life, air, sunshine, and food...more
Growing Up Into Christ (2).
A life in Christ is a life of restfulness...more
Knowledge of God.
Many are the ways in which God is seeking to make himself known to us and to bring us into communion with him. Nature speaks to our senses without ceasing...more
Growing Up Into Christ (3).
Constantly beholding him, we "are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Cor. 3:18)...more
Growing Up Into Christ (4).
They knew that He was before the throne of God, their Friend and Saviour still...more
The Sinner's Need of Christ (1).
But after his sin, he could no longer find joy in holiness, and he sought to hide from the presence of God...more
The Sinner's Need of Christ (2).
But he added, in the bitterness of his soul-anguish and despair, "I am carnal, sold under sin...more
Repentance (1). It is only through Christ that we can be brought into harmony with God, with holiness; but how are we to come to Christ?...more
Every desire for truth and purity, every conviction of our own sinfulness, is an evidence that his Spirit is moving upon our hearts...more
Repentance (3). One ray of the glory of God, one gleam of the purity of Christ, penetrating the soul, makes every spot of defilement painfully distinct...more
Many accept an intellectual religion, a form of godliness, when the heart is not cleansed...more
The Privilege of Prayer (1).
Jesus himself, while he dwelt among men, was often in prayer. Our Saviour identified himself with our needs and weaknesses...more
The Work And The Life (1).
The spirit of Christ's self-sacrificing love is the spirit that pervades heaven...more
The Work And The Life (2).
We are brought into sympathy with Christ through the fellowship of his sufferings...more
The Work And The Life (3).
We need not go to heathen lands, or even leave the narrow circle of the home, if it is there that our duty lies, in order to work for Christ...more
Faith and Acceptance (1).
You have confessed your sins, and in heart put them away. You have resolved to give yourself to God...more
Faith and Acceptance (2).
Henceforth you are not your own; you are bought with a price...more
Faith and Acceptance (3).
But even this parable, tender and touching as it is, comes short of expressing the infinite compassion of the Heavenly Father...more
The Test of Discipleship (1).
Every burden is light; for the yoke that Christ imposes is easy. Duty becomes a delight, and sacrifice a pleasure...more
The Test of Discipleship (2).
When the principle of love is implanted in the heart, when man is renewed after the image of Him that created him, the new covenant promise is fulfilled...more
The Test of Discipleship (3).
If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled...more
The Test of Discipleship (4).
Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God...more
Confession will not be acceptable to God without sincere repentance and reformation. There must be decided changes in the life...more
When sin has deadened the moral perceptions, the wrong-doer does not discern the defects of his character...more
What To Do With Doubt (1).
God never asks us to believe, without giving sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith...more
What To Do With Doubt (2).
There are many things apparently difficult or obscure, which God will make plain and simple to those who thus seek an understanding of them...more
"Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." (Jer. 29:13)...more