Understanding God’s Will of Love


By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

Scripture Reading:

1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Legalistic Austerity

How real is the hymn – One Thing I of the Lord Desire. Do you? Such desire, such yearning to be pure to be clean. As we go on week by week and year by year under this message, we still find something that falls short and we need cleaning and washing. We don’t know what it is any more to come into a complete and fulfilling victory that we would stop sinning. We appreciated last week that God has illuminated us with an understanding that it is the will that needs to be placed upon God’s will. Today I want to go further in understanding God’s will of love. A heart that has fallen in love with God, it yearns to do God’s will; is that not right? I love God so much I want to… that is my desire. That is what this hymn was describing; I want to be in perfect harmony with God’s will yet because sin is there, it is a condition in us.

Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

I find a law. There is delight in the law of God. How does this happen in a human heart that he delights in the law of God? A sinner delighting in God’s law can only happen when the love of God has touched the heart and there is a new discovery, and new birth that the law has written in the heart. I delight in it, I meditate in it day and night. As I do so and I want to reach that perfect law, it says:

Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

It is this reality that Apostle Paul discovered in his own life when he had met Jesus on the road to Damascus and when he had been filled with the light of heaven. He discovered this element in his experience and he found an answer. This is the answer we need to find because with this great desire that is in our hearts because of the love of God, we inadvertently engage in a rigid self-discipline because I want to be right. I make this huge effort in self-discipline and an effort to keep the high standards of reformation that are laid out before us in God’s will.

As we put this intense effort into this, there is an atmosphere that develops among us; it’s an atmosphere of legalistic austerity. Are you sick of it? Many people walk away from this message and from this church, from the reformation, people slip away from the reformation experience that raised a reform movement in the First World War. This austerity of legalism creates an atmosphere of rigidity, austerity and there is no joy. People can hardly smile because of the agony of soul of trying to reach that high standard as read in Acts of the Apostles. This is what affected the early church. There is no new thing under the sun, this happened in the early Christian church. It talks about the beautiful love amongst the believers:

They were to go forward in willing obedience to the new commandment. So closely were they to be united with Christ that they would be enabled to fulfill all His requirements. Their lives were to magnify the power of a Saviour who could justify them by His righteousness. {AA 547.4}

But gradually a change came. The believers began to look for defects in others. Dwelling upon mistakes, giving place to unkind criticism, they lost sight of the Saviour and His love. They became more strict in regard to outward ceremonies, more particular about the theory than the practice of the faith. In their zeal to condemn others, they overlooked their own errors. They lost the brotherly love that Christ had enjoined, and, saddest of all, they were unconscious of their loss. They did not realize that happiness and joy were going out of their lives and that, having shut the love of God out of their hearts, they would soon walk in darkness. {AA 548.1}

This is what happened in the early Christian church in their desire to be obedient to all of God’s commandments they were to go forward enabled to fulfill all His requirements. But, as they moved forward, the believers were made conscious of the failures and defects. Isn’t that what happens as you know Jesus clearly and you know what His high standards are? You become conscious of defects, and what was the problem? They were looking at the defects, they were dwelling upon the mistakes and this gave place to criticism; and so they lost sight of the Saviour. They were strict in regard to outward ceremonies, strict and more particular about the theory of the truth which is of course important, but the practice of the faith was losing out. This is the big concern that we need to meet – the practice of what we should be doing is lost sight of and we need to find that connecting link again.

In their zeal to condemn others, they overlooked their own errors. The characteristic of the human nature is this, that in the natural nature of man, he will look at the failings of others to make himself feel better, that he is not as bad as that. That’s the flesh; that’s the human nature.

…seeing that they fail to keep the law, they will devise rules and regulations of their own to force themselves to obey…
All this turns the mind away from God to self. His love dies out of the heart, and with it perishes love for his fellow men…
{MB 123.2}

They criticize and condemn. Is this not the characteristic? I want to keep His law; I want to be sinless and I want to be perfect. As a consequence because the battles I am having in which I keep on failing, I do something to force myself to obey. As we read, ceremonies and activities to make it happen and it fails. It creates this lack of love; it creates this austerity which is characteristic in the ranks of believers who believe we must be righteous before Jesus comes. Believers who believe that we can be perfect, without sin. It is because this happens among them, the onlookers who just want to believe in the love of Jesus in justification say, you see, it’s wrong, we are never going to be perfect. We may as well relax and enjoy life, so they withdraw from those kind of people who believe that we must be perfect before Jesus comes.

Is it true that we must be perfect? We are taught that and we have seen that in Scripture. But, there is this bugbear of an experience in my life that is described where there is an effort to try to be sinless. Pure I am not. Lord, what is going to happen here? When is there going to be a change in my life, that I can gain the perfect victory every step of the way? Well, the condition that is described in Romans 7 is beautifully enlarged in the book Education:

Christ is the “Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” John 1:9. As through Christ every human being has life, so also through Him every soul receives some ray of divine light. Not only intellectual but spiritual power, a perception of right, a desire for goodness, exists in every heart. But against these principles there is struggling an antagonistic power. The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man’s experience. There is in his nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist. {Ed 29.1}

It’s like this storm that Jesus had to meet on the Sea of Galilee. It was impossible for them to stop that storm. It is a force inside which apostle Paul addresses that said I am so wretched, so miserable.

To withstand this force, to attain that ideal which in his inmost soul accepts as alone worthy, he can find help in but one power. That power is Christ. Co-operation with that power is man’s greatest need. In all educational effort should not this co-operation be the highest aim? Ibid

This is what we need; we need to understand the power that is in Christ, by which this force which keeps on plunging me into despair can be broken. I want to be clean, wash me Thou. I try so hard; I watch to shun the miry way, and staunch the springs of guilty thought, but watch and struggle as I may, pure I am not, pure I am not. Are you sick of it? Are you sick of all the unpleasant circumstances that this kind of walk is creating in our church, in our life? The kind of religion that is trying to force me to obey by legalistic expectations is not going to succeed.

A legal religion has been thought quite the correct religion for this time. {1SM 388.1}

We have to keep the Ten Commandments legally.

But it is a mistake. The rebuke of Christ to the Pharisees is applicable to those who have lost from the heart their first love. Ibid

We remember how that came in? They wanted to keep the law and then they began to lose sight of the love because they used their efforts of reaching out to those legal expectations that were lying out in front of them.

A cold, legal religion can never lead souls to Christ; for it is a loveless, Christless religion. When fastings and prayers are practiced in a self-justifying spirit, they are abominable to God. The solemn assembly for worship, the round of religious ceremonies, the external humiliation, the imposed sacrifice– all proclaim to the world the testimony that the doer of these things considers himself righteous. These things call attention to the observer of rigorous duties, saying, This man is entitled to heaven. But it is all a deception. Works will not buy for us an entrance into heaven. Ibid

Rigorous duties – are we not to fulfil the requirements of God? Indeed. This is often the question in the mind that rises up. I have to reach those expectations and those duties and I pursue them with earnestness. These things call attention to the observer of rigorous duties saying this man is entitled to heaven.
But it is all a deception. Works will not buy for us an entrance into heaven.

The Right Spirit and Motive

The one great Offering that has been made is ample for all who will believe. The love of Christ will animate the believer with new life. Ibid

Falling in love with Christ, the love of Christ will animate the believer.

He who drinks from the water of the fountain of life, will be filled with the new wine of the kingdom. Faith in Christ will be the means whereby the right spirit and motive will actuate the believer, and all goodness and heavenly-mindedness will proceed from him who looks unto Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith. Ibid

Did you pick up that those high rich principles, standards and requirements of God can be reached? It is how we try to reach them that we need to get clear because it says;
Faith in Christ will be the means whereby the right spirit and motive will actuate the believer. It is the right spirit, the right motive. I want you to ask yourself the question, examine very closely, what are your motives? I need to be righteous; I need to reach the high standard of what is portrayed to me. I need to, I need to, I must make an effort and if I don’t succeed I will make more and more effort. I am concentrating on reaching the high standard. What is motivating me when I think like that? I will fail miserably by that kind of motivation.

The description that we have been reading is characteristic of modern day reformers. It is no different to the reformers of the past, rigidity, an austerity, a lack of lustre and lack of joy because the motive isn’t right. When the motive is right, it is a totally different experience.

Look up to God, look not to men. God is your heavenly Father who is willing patiently to bear with your infirmities, and to forgive and heal them. Ibid

What is suggested here? I have my infirmities. I am praying to God, Lord, I am still finding trouble here, what is the answer? I am to look to my heavenly Father, who is willing patiently to bear with my infirmities and to forgive and heal them. Can you see an important discovery here?

If I look to myself and to man, I will not see the merciful Father who is patiently waiting for me. I will be occupied in my own mind with the expectations and I do not see God. I will not be motivated by the right spirit.

“This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Ibid

This is life eternal; I am to look and see the amazing character of God and Jesus Christ.

By beholding Christ, you will become changed, until you will hate your former pride, your former vanity and self-esteem, your self-righteousness and unbelief. Ibid

Did you notice that it takes time until you hate your former pride? It is by beholding Christ that the changes will take place and God is patient with that, until you will hate your former pride, your former vanity and self-esteem, your self-righteousness and unbelief. Why unbelief? I believe that the Ten Commandments are right. I believe that Jesus has loved me so much and I believe all that, but what have I done? I have turned my attention away from Him back to myself.

You will cast these sins aside as a worthless burden, and walk humbly, meekly, trustfully, before God. You will practice love, patience, gentleness, goodness, mercy, and every grace that dwells in the child of God, and will at last find a place among the sanctified and holy. Ibid

That will be when I look away from trying to reach the standards which lie in front of me and I look at them and study them. This is all fine, but what is to motivate me? I am to look to Christ. What is the problem? Why are we hearing these lovely messages and I am still having this struggle? Why am I still falling into this spirit of austerity and negativities?

When our will and affections and mind is purchased by the amazing love of God in the pouring out of His treasure, what is the operative power that now proposes to propel our action? If I am really touched by this love, I fall in love with God. He has purchased my will, affections and my mind. When that has taken place, I desire to do God’s will now. What is the operative power that now propels my actions, motivates and acts? We know these Scriptures well but they need to be latched onto in living reality, because here the love that has bought my affections and will to do whatever God says will manifest according to Philippians:

Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

What is to function? Who is to function? It is God who is to function. My efforts to overcome and to change my life, functioning under my own self-motivation are not going to succeed; it will create what we have described. When I fall in love with God, what is to operate? I have fallen in love with Him and now I am to let God work in me. This is an interesting exercise to embrace.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Can you see here? These are very important crucial expressions that we need to wrap our mind around. The works must come from where? His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.

What happened in Christ Jesus that He lived such a perfect life and do such great things and still the raging ocean? It was not the exercise of His own power which He had; He had the divine power in Him, but did He exercise it? What did He rely on? He relied upon the Father and the holy angels to still the ocean, to heal and restore the people that needed the restoration. Here lays the answer. To let God do the work and what must I do? I love Him and I want to reach for those high standards. I want to be able to do the works of Christ, but what did Jesus show us as an example?

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21     Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Who is to work? To reach God’s will, to do His will in every respect, to make you perfect, who is to work? God is to work, working in us that which is wellpleasing in His sight. The moment I look at what I have to do and I concentrate on the job without His working in me, I will exercise inadvertently my own self. Because I exercise my own self and I have certain powers and certain strengths and it is easy for some people to follow the dress reform. It is easy to follow the health reform because they are rigid disciplinarians and they can do it. They look at others who can’t do it and say, come on, they have heard this long enough and we begin to criticise and judge whether it be dress reform, health reform or anything else. This is the disease in God’s commandment keeping professed people. Am I right? Is this happening amongst us? It is a dearth, dry experience; there is no joy in it.

It is what is in Jesus Christ which we need to engage and discover and exercise to do His will. The Ten Commandments are His will, the dress reform is His will, the health reform is His will, the coming out of the world and touch not the unclean thing is His will; so many things are His will. What is it that is going to achieve this in application?

The Father sets His love upon His elect people who live in the midst of men. {AG 142.4}

Are we His elect people? We have fallen in love with Him, indeed we are.

My Part in Responding to the Drawing Power of Christ

These are the people whom Christ has redeemed by the price of His own blood; and because they respond to the drawing of Christ, through the sovereign mercy of God, they are elected to be saved as His obedient children. Upon them is manifested the free grace of God, the love wherewith He hath loved them. Everyone who will humble himself as a little child, who will receive and obey the Word of God with a child’s simplicity will be among the elect of God Ibid

What have I just read? What is meant here? What does my mind draw into focus here? The Father sets His love upon His people who live in the midst of men. These are the people Christ has redeemed by the price of His own blood. Has He done that? Have you appreciated this? That is why we are here is it not? What is my part?

Because they respond to the drawing of Christ, that is the key word. They respond to the power of the drawing of Christ and through the sovereign mercy of God they are elected to be saved as His obedient children. What is the operative word here? To respond to the drawing power of Christ, not to my application of the law but to the drawing power of Christ. Upon them is manifested the free grace of God, here is God at work because they are responding to the drawing power of Christ; the love wherewith He hath loved them. Here comes the other important detail. Everyone who will humble himself as a little child, who will receive and obey the Word of God with a child’s simplicity will be among the elect of God.

Tell me, when I look at the word of God with my human intelligence and I see this must be done, what is the characteristic of self functioning? Is it simple? Is it a child’s simplicity? I begin to scrutinise and I begin to work carefully through all the different things that are written and I begin to exercise my intelligent, complicated mind affected by my own background in sinfulness. I begin to scrutinise, I have to do this, and I have to do that, well this one here and we begin to go through all the ins and outs of what is written instead of doing what a little child does when its daddy says, I want you to do that. It goes and does it. Or daddy says something and the child says, daddy said. That is all, just simply because God said it; childlike simplicity. He said if you will do His will, then you will know; not as you study carefully to learn how to do these things by looking at the word in terms of my human motivation, my human intelligence. If I look at it from that perspective, what will happen to me? I will lose sight of God and I begin to judge and condemn others. Jesus said, of mine own self I can do nothing. Of my own self I cannot judge correctly. He is trying to describe to us our human dilemma that humanity looks and scrutinises and functions by its own self-motivation and ego-centrism. Jesus said, I have chosen to follow the ingredient, not of my flesh, but of my divine character which is of the Father, which is the divine nature. I am going to rely totally on what my daddy said. That is all; the simplicity of a child. Isn’t that what Jesus said?

Mark 10:15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

That says it pretty straight. We want to enter the kingdom of heaven. We must be perfect to enter there. We must keep all of God’s commandments and follow all of His requirements. How successful are you? How much longer are we going to struggle around in the misery of this failure of repenting and sinning and repenting and sinning and this grotty experience of sinful nature? Why not become as a little child and forget all about that? We are intelligent people and we use our scrutinising capabilities in a way that God has not asked us to. I love talking to intelligent people, they can reason very capably. As they reason through all the different circumstances of life with me, I can’t even argue with them but they are falling flat on their face in regards to doing God’s will all the time. They carefully work things out to try to make themselves look better. This goes on in my experience with souls time and time again. This is all outside of God’s wonderful plan of redemption.

Respond to the drawing of Christ. If you have a drawing inside of yourself that simply says, my son I love you, this is what I wish for you; come. Yes Lord, I love you, and I am focusing on you my Lord. I am humbling myself before you letting go as Jesus did. Because my heart has fallen in love with Him, that particular element is the creation of God inside of my heart; that element of my love for Him is the divine nature, it is the love of God. As I respond to that, and ignore the human smartness, that is what is going to give the victory.

We must have less trust in what we ourselves can do, and more trust in what the Lord can do for and through us. {MH 513.4}

For and through us; it is the work of God. Trust it.

You are not engaged in your own work; you are doing the work of God. Surrender your will and way to Him. Make not a single reserve, not a single compromise with self. Know what it is to be free in Christ Ibid

Oh, what a peace when you make not a single reserve. What is that with our human nature? Make not a single reserve, not a single compromise with self. This is the intelligent part of me that says, well, that little bit, I can’t quite let that go. This is compromise so I make a little alteration. This is what causes the problems in the churches. Don’t hold a slightest little inkling of resistance on some point in which God is trying to draw you to His way. He is working in me both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Let us ponder this total, unreserved submission and trust like a little child.
Surrender your will and way to Him. Make not a single reserve, not a single compromise with self. Know what it is to be free in Christ.

Let us ponder this in the light of our Scripture reading. What is the will of God in the light of what we have just been pursuing?

1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Are you picking something up here? Rejoice evermore. This is the will of God concerning you. Pray without ceasing. This is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. In everything give thanks. This is the will of God concerning you. We see God’s will in respect to His commandments, His requirements, the detail of everything He instructs us in, we see this as His will, and it is correct, this is His will. But, in the light of what we have been studying, how can you come to embrace His will? The first thing is to embrace His will in the wonderful freedom He gives you. That is His will.

Many people concentrate on the expectations of requirements that I must do, rather than God’s will in applying His wonderful sacrifice of love for me, it is this that I should keep my mind focused on. It says, rejoice evermore. This is God’s will for me. Rejoice in what? That you are free in Christ; rejoice in it. If you know you are free in Christ, by that childlike simplicity, you will be smiling, you won’t be down under the weather of your circumstances, you will rejoice. Rejoice evermore; why is this God’s will? In joy, in gratitude there is power. Where is the gratitude coming from?

…Your sins may be as mountains before you; {AA 566.2}

That’s the very mountain I addressed in the beginning; I just can’t stop.

but if you humble your heart and confess your sins, trusting in the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour, He will forgive and will cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Ibid

Do you believe that? One of the things that I have experienced in the ministry is that when I touch on sins that have already been confessed, people go back over the ground of feeling condemned. If you really believe like a little child that when you have confessed your sins, those mountains in front of you are actually forgiven, what will you do? You will rejoice. When those sins are brought back to your attention, you will rejoice because you have been forgiven. You will rejoice and learn from your experiences in those sins; you will rejoice because you fell into those sins in that you were not responding to Christ and now you are. You are going to trust Him to continue to fill you with joy and understanding from experiences that you have made that you won’t do those things again. That is the key of true education.

If you are a person like me, I was like this in school. I wasn’t able to learn very well because I was under anxiety and stress. The anxiety and stress prevented me from being able to learn effectively. I wasn’t a total hopeless case. If I had a good relaxed mind, I could remember lots of things; I have a photographic memory, but that memory was put into chaos because of stress, therefore I couldn’t remember.

When you are relieved from stress, guilt and awful thoughts by perfect trust that God has forgiven you, and you have perfect peace within your heart, then you rejoice and you are free in Christ. You can look at those past sins with perfect freedom to learn from them, rather than feel guilty because I have done them; they have already been forgiven.

While my sin is ever before me, I am no longer stressed; it is ever before me as a wonderful learning curve. I am free in Christ. Can you pick it up? Rejoice, this is the will of God for you. He has given His love for you to be free of all sins that have been confessed, and as you discover more, you simply confess them with the knowledge that I have broken the law of God and He is happy to forgive. I walk in freedom in Christ; I rejoice. That is His will. If I don’t practice that will, I will never practice the other will. I will not, I will be in constant stress. It is the lack of trust and obedience to that wonderful will of God that creates the grindstone experience of legalism.

Pray without ceasing. That is His will together with giving thanks. Does that remind you of a Scripture?

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.

We have dealt with that. Why? Because, as I repent for my sins, they are no longer against me.

Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand.

That’s my daddy; I do whatever He says because I love Him.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing;

It says, don’t worry about what? Anything. But I have this fault because this has happened to me, I… and so on and so on. No. When the beautiful love of God comes in and wants to save me, stop arguing with God. That is what we are doing. We have a very intelligent mind that can remember all sorts of things and we keep throwing it up before the Lord, the one who wants to help us in the ministry. That is what people do to me.

You are there shrivelling, how can you stop this? Be careful for nothing; that means nothing, whatever it is; don’t worry about it. If you have been redeemed, you have fallen in love with God.

Philippians 4:6 …but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

What does God say to you? I want to help you. Make your requests and don’t put a block in the way. Trust me like a little child and I will bring this to pass, especially if you want to be made perfect and especially if you need to forgive your brother and sister which is hard to do. I will make it happen in your life. Just give over and be a little child in my care. It is so beautiful and so simple. That is what Jesus gave us the example of. Jesus said, of my own self I can do nothing. My flesh, my sinful flesh I will subject to the wonderful trust I have in God. He’s my dad. I am suffering in the flesh but I’m not succumbing to it. I will make it suffer all the more because I am enjoying my freedom in the Father. These are the practical realities.

We observe the expectations in the Spirit of Prophecy regarding them legalistically and we ignore these beautiful words, therefore EG White’s writings become a pain to many people because they are only looking at that instead of the joy. It has to go together.

Even the thoughts must be brought into subjection to the will of God, and the feelings under the control of reason and religion. Our imagination was not given us to be allowed to run riot and have its own way, without any effort at restraint and discipline. If the thoughts are wrong, the feelings will be wrong; and the thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character. {HP 164.2}

The power of right thought is more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir. . . . We need to place a high value upon the right control of our thoughts, for such control prepares the mind and soul to labor harmoniously for the Master. It is necessary for our peace and happiness in this life that our thoughts center in Christ. {HP 164.3}

What are we to do with our thoughts? You can think about all those terrible things that you have done; you can think about all those terrible things that others are doing; you can think about what the other person is doing against you, it eats up your whole spiritual fabric. It eats you and eats you and eats you. That is not where your thoughts are to be. Our thoughts are to be centred in Christ; that is where my thoughts are to be centred. I need to harness my thoughts away from any negativity; don’t worry about anything. The peace of God in the mind is going to create it; this is God’s will for me; to keep my thoughts centred in Christ.

As a man thinketh, so is he. Our improvement in moral purity depends on right thinking and right acting. . . . Evil thoughts destroy the soul. The converting power of God changes the heart, refining and purifying the thoughts. Unless a determined effort is made to keep the thoughts centered on Christ, grace cannot reveal itself in the life. Ibid

That is what we have been struggling with and what causes our displeasure in the home and the church while the love of Jesus is all around us. We are to make a determined effort to keep (my) thoughts centered on Christ.

The mind must engage in the spiritual warfare. Every thought must be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. All the habits must be brought under God’s control. Ibid

This is childlike simplicity; just to do it. We now that this is the will of God, even our sanctification.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification…

If it is His will, won’t He do it? All we have to do is surrender.

“This is the will of God” concerning you, “even your sanctification.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3. Is it your will also? {AA 566.2}

Not only will He forgive, but will change and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

…God demands of you entire conformity to His law. This law is the echo of His voice saying to you, Holier, yes, holier still. Desire the fullness of the grace of Christ. Let your heart be filled with an intense longing for His righteousness, the work of which God’s word declares is peace, and its effect quietness and assurance forever. Ibid

God demands your entire conformity to His law, but did you see the back to front way that we try to look at it? He demands perfection, exactly right; but in all our efforts we can’t achieve it. We have the precious answer here. It is God’s will that I will rejoice evermore, pray with thanksgiving and make my supplications known to God. As we look at that law which is the echo of His voice, doesn’t it thrill your soul? This is my Lord speaking to me. Again, it is a relationship factor.

What is His law? If you were to look at all of the details of all God’s requirements, it will drive you insane.

Psalm 119:96 I have seen an end of all perfection: [but] thy commandment [is] exceeding broad.

How big is it? Have you ever tried to read all of Sr White’s writings? It overwhelms you because in all of Sr White’s writings the exceeding broadness of His law is all delineated. That is a reality. I have seen it; every little minutia of God’s broad law is brought into focus. If it is read and looked at from the perspective of self, it becomes overwhelming and it becomes a dictatorial, legalistic austerity. That is what people do with EG White’s writings. God’s law is exceeding broad, He has magnified His law and made it honourable. He has magnified it into details.

The commandments of the Lord are exceeding broad; their principles extends to our words, our actions, and our most secret thoughts, and we should examine our lives in the light of the divine law. {BEcho, June 1, 1887 par. 3}

That is all too much. If you are looking at it from the perspective of your human outlook, it will crush you and it will make you a Pharisee. But, if you will look at it through the work of God in my life as a little child, you just say, so it is Lord. I don’t know how I’m going to get this right, but I am going to trust you; I am going to let you influence my mind and concentrate on you and believe that you cover the things that even I would have done if I had opportunity. I am going to trust you entirely; I will be like that little child in my mind, utter surrender to you. Here is the secret; this is the secret of Jesus Christ the righteous. I can of my own self do nothing.

When your mind is clouded because of physical weakness, do not try to think. {5MR 170.3}

Isn’t that what we try to do? We see something that is complicated or difficult or I am really weary and I try to think, my mind is clouded and I can’t think.

You know that Jesus loves you. He understands your weakness. You may do His will by simply resting in His arms Ibid

Do you want to do God’s will? Stop feverishly thinking. How weak are you and I today? How our body is affected by the world and its corruptions with all this mind activity of conspiracy theories that there are poisons coming down upon us? We are partaking of all these pollutions and so on. We try to make sure we do this right and maybe I can cleanse myself through this and that and cleanse and cleanse and cleanse. You will kill yourself. You will kill yourself because you are not resting in the beautiful healing grace of God. You are not to try to think, you will do God’s will by simply resting in His arms.

Oh, to do it. Oh, that we will follow Jesus’ wonderful example, that He casts Himself into the arms of His heavenly Father. To do God’s will is impossible in our human skill and strength. Haven’t we experience it? What misery we have created, right in the midst of joy and gladness that may be ours. The barrier is to be broken when our heart is released from complicated thinking. May God help us to put it into action that we will look upon Jesus so much that we will just respond to His thoughts and will just let Him work within us. If it means our flesh doesn’t want it, that is too bad. He is our Father, we will do whatever He says because our mind is centred on Him not me. This is my prayer that we will put this into practice and we will be the elect of God.

Amen.

Posted on May 11, 2013, in Divine Service Sermons and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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