Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

September 20, 1892

Walk Not in Darkness

[Morning talk at Lansing, Mich., September 4, 1891.]

By Mrs. E. G. White

“He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” If we are following Jesus, we know that we are not walking in darkness, but shall be all light in—not out of, but in—the Lord. If his light illuminates the mind, and shines into the chambers of the heart, we shall be, as Christ has said, “the light of the world.” We shall not walk in darkness. We shall see light, and shall talk of the love of Christ, talk of his goodness and marvelous mercy, and we shall always find enough to talk about on these themes, even to all eternity, when we have that life which measures with the life of God.

The trouble with many of us is, we get our eyes fixed upon the shadow that Satan casts between our souls and God, and we fail to discover the light beyond the shadow. We talk in a kind of hopeless way, as though we were serving as a slave to a tyrant. We represent ourselves to the world as those who are having a terribly hard time of serving the Lord. We pick up things to find fault about, to mourn over, and pity and sympathize with ourselves, and fail to make a favorable impression upon those who have not tasted of the gift of God.

Instead of talking darkness, instead of having thoughts of gloom, we should remember that we have everything to make us glad, and this gladness should shine forth out of the very countenance. Let the light shine in your very faces. Do not let the frown and the expression of gloom have place there. Take a look into the mirror of God's law, and see if you are cheerful in your service to him. Look upon Jesus, full of forgiveness, and mercy, and peace, instead of upon that which will bring you condemnation and gloom. Brethren and sisters, are you looking toward the light,—beholding the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world? When Satan tells you that you are a sinner, and points out this neglect and that wrong, tell him you know you are a sinner, but that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Tell him, “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Repeat the promise, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If you draw nigh to God, he will draw nigh to you. Present the promise to God in the name of Jesus, and you have his pledged word that he will let the Sun of righteousness shine upon you.

Jesus is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Will you not repent of your sins, and let him take away your guilt? Will you not say, “Lord, you come to take away my sins, and I will let you do it”? Will you let him take them away? will you let him take them upon his divine soul, and impute to you his righteousness?

Jesus stands between divinity and humanity, and he is fully able to save you. There is all sufficiency in him. He has not come to save partially, but to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by him. He came to wash away your transgression; for he forgiveth iniquity and sin. He pardoneth the guilty. He was manifested to take away our sins, to relieve our hearts of their sorrows and burdens, to put a new song into our mouths, even praise unto our God.

We are to respond to the invitations of the Spirit of God. Do we repent of our transgressions? This is an evidence that the Lord is drawing us to himself; it is Jesus that gives us repentance. “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” Then why not believe that he forgives our sins? It is his Holy Spirit that impresses us with the necessity of emptying the soul of all selfishness; and when we give ourselves to God, he will fill the vacuum with his own divine Spirit, and give us the precious graces of his own character.

From the light that I have had for years, I know that the great lack among us as a people is the lack of love. The God of heaven looks upon you and sees that you are self-sufficient. But any soul that comes hungering and thirsting for the waters of life, will have his soul refreshed from the living fountain. When you thirst, you will hear the voice calling, “The Spirit and bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Jesus points you to the fountain opened for Judah and Jerusalem, wherein you may wash and be clean. And when we have tasted of the waters of life, we shall be constrained by the love of Christ to say to others, “Come, taste and see that the Lord is good.” When we drink from the waters ourselves we shall echo the cry, Come. Whosoever is athirst, let him come, and take of the water of life freely. “Whosoever will.” Tell me who is excluded from receiving the benefits of this divine invitation. “Whosoever will, let him come.” All we have to do is to submit the will to God, to place the will on the Lord's side. Come and take the Lord at his word, and drink of the water of life freely.

If we have Christ abiding with us, we shall be Christians at home as well as abroad. He who is a Christian will have kind words for his relatives and associates. He will be kind, courteous, loving, sympathetic, and will be educating himself for an abode with the family above. If he is a member of the royal family, he will represent the kingdom to which he is going. He will speak with gentleness to his children, for he will realize that they, too, are heirs of God, members of the heavenly court. Among the children of God no spirit of harshness dwells; for “the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” The spirit that is cherished in the home, is the spirit that will be manifested in the church. O, we must educate the soul to be pitiful, gentle, tender, full of forgiveness and compassion. While we lay aside all vanity, all foolish talking, jesting, and joking, we are not to become cold, unsympathetic, and unsocial. The Spirit of the Lord is to rest upon you until you shall be like a fragrant flower from the garden of God. You are to keep talking of the light, of Jesus, the Sun of righteousness, until you shall change from glory to glory, from character to character, going on from strength to strength, and reflecting more and more of the precious image of Jesus. When you do this, the Lord will write in the books of heaven, “Well done,” because you represent Jesus.

Christians should not be hard-hearted, unapproachable; Jesus is to be reflected in our deportment, and we are to have a character beautiful with the graces of heaven. The presence of God is to be an abiding presence with us; and wherever we are, we are to carry light to the world. Those around you are to realize that the atmosphere of heaven surrounds you.

But many of you say, “How can I help sinning? I have tried to overcome, but I do not make advancement.” You never can in your own strength, you will fail; but help is laid upon One who is mighty. In his strength you may be more than conqueror. You should arise and say, “Through the grace of God, I will be an overcomer.” Put your will on the side of God's will, and with your eye fixed upon him who is the author and finisher of your faith, you may make straight paths for your feet. When you are tempted, say, “Jesus is my Saviour, I love him, because he has first loved me.” Show that you trust him. As you walk the streets, as you work about your house, you can communicate with your Lord. Lay hold upon him by living faith, and believe the word of God to the letter.

Now suppose that you put away all murmuring and complaining, and look to the light. Let us try it for this year, and see what kind of year we shall have. When Satan suggests doubt and darkness, begin to sing of the matchless love of Jesus. Ask God to help you place your thoughts upon Jesus, and Satan cannot control your mind. Let us put away all commonness, and become a light to the world. Let our words be as choice silver; and wherever you go, those around you will realize that a precious influence goes with you. The light and love and power of God will rest upon you. Determine that through Jesus you will elevate the soul above all that is low and earthly, and let your conversation be full of hope and courage in the Lord. Say, “I will be free, I am free;” and when Satan tells you that you are a sinner, tell him, “I know it, but Jesus said, ‘I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’”

Through the mercy of God we have been taken out of the quarry of the world by the mighty cleaver of truth, to be hewn, and polished, and fitted for the heavenly building. We have been brought into the highway cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. And we should go in this way with rejoicing, instead of with complaining. This way has been opened for us at an infinite cost, and we ought to manifest our joy and gratitude that we are permitted to be numbered among the children of God. Should we walk from day to day with rejoicing and gladness of heart, showing forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light, what effect would we have upon the minds of those around us? They would say, “Certainly they have been with Jesus, and have learned of him.”

There is no need to doubt, to be fearful that the work will not succeed. God is at the head of the work, and he will set everything in order. If matters need adjusting at the head of the work, God will attend to that, and work to right every wrong. Let us have faith that God is going to carry the noble ship which bears the people of God safely into port. When I voyaged from Portland, Me., to Boston, many years ago, a storm came upon us, and the great waves dashed us to and fro. The chandeliers fell, and the trunks were rolled from side to side, like balls. The passengers were frightened, and many were screaming, waiting in expectation of death. After awhile the pilot came on board. The captain stood near the pilot as he took the wheel, and expressed fear about the course in which the ship was directed. “Will you take the wheel? asked the pilot. The captain was not ready to do that, for he knew that he lacked experience. Then some of the passengers grew uneasy, and said they feared the pilot would dash them upon the rocks. “Will you take the wheel?” asked the pilot; but they knew that they could not manage the wheel. When you think that the work is in danger, pray, “Lord, stand at the wheel. Carry us through the perplexity. Bring us safely into port.” Have we not reason to believe that the Lord will bring us through triumphantly?

There are before me many who are old hands in the cause. I have known some of you for the last thirty years. Brethren, have we not seen crisis after crisis come upon the work, and has not the Lord carried us through, and wrought for the glory of his name? Can you not believe in him? Can you not commit the cause to him? You cannot with your finite minds understand the working of all the providences of God. Let God take care of his own work. You are to hang your helpless soul upon Jesus. Commit the keeping of your soul unto God, as unto a faithful Creator. When you do this, you will have something of the love of God; for it will abound in your heart unto his glory. The meetings will be uplifting in character; for the Lord will put a new song into your mouth, even praise unto our God. You will say, “Hear what the Lord has done for my soul.” Your soul will be all light in the Lord.

We have been looking on the dark side of the picture. Now let us turn to the other side. Let us turn the dark side to the wall. Let us look on the beautiful pictures of the love of God. Educate your tongue to talk of God's mercy, and speak forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Let us fulfill the purpose of God, and be indeed the “light of the world.”

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