Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

March 17, 1898

Sufficiency in Christ

Christ would never have given his life for the human race if He had not had confidence in the souls for whom He died. He knew that a large number would respond to the love He had expressed for humanity. It is not every heart that responds, but every heart may, and can if it will, respond to that love which is without a parallel. “My sheep hear My voice,” Christ said. A heart yearning for God will recognize His voice. God can not work for one soul who does not respond to His grace offered, His love bestowed. But He is waiting for a response from souls. He bids them to the marriage feast; He sets before them the banquet that will satisfy every want. His word is full of marrow and fatness. “Ye shall seek Me and find Me,” He says, “when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.”

Christ is everything to those who receive Him. He is their comfort, their safety, their health. He is acquainted with all their peculiar weaknesses, all their wants and griefs. He appreciates the human beings for whom He has done so much. When about to suffer, bearing the sins of the whole world, He left them a rich legacy,—“even the Spirit of truth; whom the world can not receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him. But ye know Him,” he said; “for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me; because I live, ye shall live also.”

“I am come,” said Christ, “that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” “In Me is no darkness at all.” With sadness Christ saw that there were some who loved not the light, and would not come unto the light, because their deeds were evil. They would not come to Jesus to be delivered from the power of evil. But why can not all who need help and rest come to the Burden-bearer, that they may have light and life? The Lord wants them to receive Him, to learn to bear His yoke and lift His burdens, that Heaven may behold that they are laborers together with God. There need be no cloud between the soul and Jesus. We are not one of us to act as if the word, the life and the light, were to be given to us grudgingly. Christ's great heart of love is longing to flood the soul with the bright beams of His righteousness. “And let him that is athirst come,” He says. “And whosoever will let him take the water of life freely.”

Every one will be tested and tried in the way that is the most trying. Men can not trust to their own wisdom. Self-sufficiency, if indulged, will prove a stumbling-block. Self must die—not to have a resurrection every other day. The words must be spoken from the heart, “I live, yet not I; but Christ liveth in me.” The “I” is a very hard personality to kill. “I” rises into life in full proportions if given the least encouragement. Then, confident in their own supposed wisdom, men forsake the right way. Thus many who have been real Christians, who have known the right way, but have forsaken it, come under the jurisdiction of Satan, to be used as his instruments against the truth as it is in Jesus.

Satan's masterly power will be exercised to prevent men and women from obtaining the crown of life. But when the Lord sees that we will trust Him implicitly, He will work in our behalf, and we shall see the salvation of God. The Lord proves us, He tests us to see if we will make the Lord our only trust. We need a much keener faith than we now reveal. We need constantly to cultivate an earnest, living faith, and to keep our petitions constantly ascending, seeking the Lord for clear discernment. Sharp spiritual eyesight will be given every true seeker. The Lord bids us, “Seek ye My face.” And individually we should respond, “Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” This is the call of God, and this the appropriate answer to that call. The Lord wishes us to know Him as a kind, tender Father, who has our interest and happiness in mind.

We are now amid the perils of the last days, when many shall be purified, made white, and tried. But the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. The warning is given, “Let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” O, that the work of reformation so essential might begin! O, that all on duty would stand at their post, saying, “Here am I, send me”! He who is wise in counsel is waiting for all to see their need of help; and it is abundantly provided; it is waiting for you. As a present help in every time of need, God's presence is revealed. As you call upon His name for help, He says, “Here I am,” close beside you, ready to help you if you are ready to be helped.

Communion with God, personal and direct, is waiting for each one. Then watch unto prayer, and you will know that your life is hid with Christ in God. Those who live in these last days are to be overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. There is no time now for levity, self indulgence, and stupidity in the understanding of the work we have to do. Activity and devotion are to be united; work and piety must blend. Sufficient strength will be given for daily duties. The lamp must burn; and this is impossible unless it is fed with the holy oil. And the oil which is so precious is efficacious only as its light is shed upon the pathway of others.

Mrs. E. G. White

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