Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

October 2, 1902

“It Is My Way”

Sometimes one who professes to be a follower of Christ is heard saying, “You must not be surprised if I am rough, if I speak bluntly, if I manifest temper: it is my way.”

You ask us not to be surprised! Is not Heaven surprised at such manifestations, since the plan of salvation has been devised, since an infinite sacrifice has been made on Calvary's cross, that you might reflect the image of Jesus? Will “your way” enter heaven? Suppose some one comes up to the pearly gates, and says, “I know that I have been rude and unkind, and that it is my disposition to lie and steal; but I want an entrance to the heavenly mansions.” Will such a disposition find entrance through the portals of the heavenly city?—No, no! only those who keep God's way will enter there.

The manifestation of natural and cultivated tendencies to wrong-doing can not be excused by the plea, “It is my way.” Christians realize that in order to bring the principles of Christianity into the daily life, they need much of the grace of Christ.

The youth who co-operate with Christ will find that their way is full of errors needing to be corrected. Brought into the character-building, these errors are as rotten timbers. Let no one allow them to remain. Let no one plead for the privilege of clinging to his imperfections, excusing himself by saying, “It is my way.” Those who please self, refusing to give up their way for Christ's way, will suffer the sure result. They will find themselves strengthless, Christless.

Are you striving to walk in the way of truth and righteousness? Then be not discouraged by temptation. True, you will be tempted; but remember that temptation is not sin; it is no indication of the Lord's displeasure. He suffers you to be tempted, but he measures the temptation by the power which he imparts to enable you to resist and overcome. It is in the time of temptation and trial that you are to measure the degree of your faith in God, and to estimate the stability of your Christian character.

Do not say, “It is impossible for me to overcome.” Do not say, “It is my nature to do thus and so, and I can not do otherwise. I have inherited weaknesses that make me powerless before temptation.” In your own strength you can not overcome, but help has been laid upon One that is mighty. Breathe the prayer, “Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.” Then believe the promise, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.” Yes, the Lord says, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”

In order to receive the virtue of the blood of Christ, even the forgiveness of your sins, you must consent to the conditions he imposes. “If any man will come after me,” he says, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Seeking pardon of sin from his cross, you will seek direction from his throne. Looking to and believing in Christ as your personal Saviour, is your only hope of salvation. Receiving Christ in all his completeness, you are in truth able to sing:

“I will follow thee, my Saviour,
Wheresoe'er my lot may be.
Where thou goest, I will follow;
Yes, my Lord, I'll follow thee.”

God has given his Holy Spirit as a power sufficient to subdue all your hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong-doing. By yielding the mind to the control of the Spirit, you will grow into the likeness of God's perfect character, and will become an instrumentality through which he can reveal his mercy, his goodness and his love.

Whatever may be your defects, the Holy Spirit will reveal them, and grace will be given you to overcome. Through the merits of the blood of Christ you may be a conqueror, yes, more than a conqueror. Will you who read these words resolve never again to excuse your defects of character by saying, “It is my way”? Let no one again declare, “I can not change my natural habits and tendencies.” Let the truth be admitted into the soul, and it will work to sanctify the character.

Beholding Christ, we are changed through the power of the Holy Spirit. When this change takes place, the hands, the tongue, the feet, act in accord with the heart's spiritual advancement. Faith is a shining light, shining more and more unto the perfect day. We no longer plead for our will to be done, or for our old ways and habits to be left undisturbed. The converting power of God molds us after the divine similitude,—after the likeness of the One who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

Mrs. E. G. White

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