Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

December 15, 1890

Transformation Through Christ

By Mrs. E. G. White

(Concluded.)

There is a connection between earth and heaven through Christ, the mystic ladder that Jacob saw in his vision at Bethel. When we were separated from God, Christ came to reconcile us to the Father. In pitying love he placed his human arm about the fallen race, and with his divine arm he grasped the throne of the Infinite, thus connecting finite man with the infinite God; through the plan of salvation we are united with the agencies of heaven. Through the merits of a crucified and risen Redeemer, we may look up and see the glory of God shining from heaven to earth. We should be grateful to God for the plan of salvation. We have been blessed with many blessings, and in return we should give to God our undivided hearts. How sad it is that through our indifference to our eternal interests we are far from Christ, we do not keep our eyes directed above, to the eternal glory that awaits the overcomer. We do not see the glory of God shining upon every round of the ladder; we do not climb up by Christ, making advancement in the divine life. If we did this, we should reflect the image of Christ, have purity of character, and become like lights in the world. We should constantly behold him, until we should be charmed with the graces of his character; then we would not fail to talk of him and his love. We should then be in possession of rich blessings which the world cannot give or take away, and we should lose our relish for sin.

Darkness will sometimes gather about the Christian, but let the hand of faith reach up and lay hold of the arm of Jesus; for he has promised that if we follow him, we shall have the light of life. Christ is our leader; we cannot lead ourselves; but in order to obtain his help, we must believe. We should pray much; but we do not always have the spirit of prayer, and Satan takes advantage of our weakness on this point. We should never be discouraged, however, but in times of temptation and trial we should hang our helpless souls upon Jesus. We must learn to rest our case with our Redeemer; he has promised to be with us to the end of the world. We should learn to trust the word of God; for heaven and earth could easier pass away than that one of his promises could fail. When you do not feel the spirit of prayer, you should remember that feeling is not faith; you should seek to prove the pledged word of God. I have had to learn by experience that feeling is no criterion for us; we must take the word of God as the man of our counsel. If we had true faith, we could move the world; we could plead with God and with our friends, and many conversions would be the result.

If we want our faith to grow, we must bring it into exercise; and the nearer and clearer views we get of Jesus, the more we shall see our need of him. God is willing to reveal himself to us in a remarkable manner; the reason we do not see greater manifestations of his power is that we lack faith. If God should answer some of our faithless prayers, it would astonish us. We should go to God in earnest, and mix faith with our petitions; persevering faith will bring us answers of peace. Christ says, “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Our minds should be filled with the thought of our precious Redeemer, and we would become more and more like him, and thus reveal Christ to the world. We should so lift up the risen Saviour that the world may see that we are acquainted with him. Shall we not take such advance steps in the divine life that men may see that the grace of Christ has had a transforming effect upon us?

I see matchless charms in my Redeemer, I see unsurpassed loveliness in his character, and I want to be like him. But oh, how much pain Christ has to bear because of our crooked and perverse ways! Let us walk with God as did Enoch of old; then our Saviour will not be ashamed to call us brethren. But we cannot expect to receive this favor unless we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. God has given us precious advantages, that we might understand his will as revealed in his word; and in return shall we not yield our will to him, and with all the heart believe what he has said to us? If we will, our heavenly Father will bestow abundant blessings upon us, and he will say to us by and by, “My child, come up higher;” but if we neglect our duty, we have nothing but condemnation to look for. While probation lasts, we must make the most of our opportunities in seeking the Lord, and the promise is given, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”

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