Self Versus God’s Love Part 2

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

What is Our Incentive for Righteousness?

It is by the humbling of one’s self; the expression of a heart that realises that it cannot achieve it but it relies upon the merits and help of the Saviour.

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

Make not a single reserve, not a single compromise with self. Last week we concluded with Colossians 2:18-23. There we identified an element of self in the very practices of reformation. The apostle refers to a self-motivated reformation.

Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility…

In other words, I want to be rewarded like Jesus was the King of glory because He was a servant. He humbled Himself to the very point of obedience to the cross. There are people who pick this up and we are in danger of this because self is so rampant where we say, I have to get there so I am going to voluntarily humiliate myself. I will humble myself. We can say that with our lips and our mind intentions and yet our heart can be swelling with the pride of its own superior humility. This is called voluntary humility and it picks up the instructions of God’s word and it then applies them from one’s own self. It doesn’t hold onto the head.

Colossians 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

Then it talks about what we as reformers believe in.

Colossians 2:21 Touch not; taste not; handle not;

We don’t touch anything that the world imposes upon our path, we taste not the corrupt diet and alcohol and things of that nature; we handle not.

Colossians 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a show of wisdom

Yes indeed it is wise to be a strict rigid health reformer. Why? It is because it is will worship, humility and neglecting of the body demands; the taste buds, the appetite. We neglect that to not satisfy the flesh. This is all very much along the vein of reformers is it not? We are doing these things because we need to deny ourselves as Jesus says, deny yourself. The point is that it is not wrong, it is not faulty in being particular in regards to touch not, taste not and handle not because that is brought out in other quotes in the Bible, but here he is talking about a voluntary personal self-motivated focus on that.

I observe another predisposition of self in our profession of faith; our distinctive profession of faith. What is our distinctive profession of faith where self can click in?

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

This is soon coming. We can see it all shaping up can’t we? The day is coming.

2 Peter 3:11 [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

This is what Adventism has picked up and reformers who are getting ready for Jesus to come are picking it up. It’s very close; it is soon to be destroyed. Jesus will come as a thief in the night. We have to be very watchful here now. Jesus said watch and pray.

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace.

How? What is our belief? We are to be without spot, and blameless. We are to be among the 144,000; free of sin and perfect. Coupled with this biblical teaching, an ultimate condition of sinlessness and holiness that will be necessary if we want to see God in peace.

Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: If God would come, if Jesus would come in His brightness, what would happen to those who still have sin? They will be destroyed as it is written, by the brightness of His coming. Sinners cannot live in the brightness of God so we must be sinless to meet Him and not be destroyed.

As we believe this which we do, we fall into a trap of self. We become anxious and motivated in a false way. This is our danger. I must make sure and I become voluntarily humble.

The shortness of time is frequently urged as an incentive for seeking righteousness and making Christ our friend. . {BEcho, June 25, 1894 par. 7}

You want to meet Him as your Friend and it’s very imminent now. We must hurry up; this is my incentive because the shortness of time is here. This is used with a self-motivated religion.

This should not be the great motive with us; for it savours of selfishness. Ibid

Think about it. Self wants to be saved and so we look at this topic of the imminent coming of Jesus and we look at it from the perspective of me that I want to be righteous so that I might have a reward and that I might be a friend of Jesus. We remember the Scriptures that Jesus sighted where He said that there are the sheep and there are the goats. The goats say have we not done all this; we have prophesied, we have done all these good things and He says, depart from me I know you not. This is exactly the point where you have preached in our streets, we have listened to you, you were our friend, weren’t you? But He says I don’t know you.

All these kind of things send a thrill of fear through our system. Lord, what is it now? It says in 2 Peter that we are to hasten the coming of Jesus so believing this we become anxious. We want to hasten His coming by diligently applying ourselves to practice holiness without which no man shall see God.

As we engage in that kind of sense of urgency, self clicks in. That becomes my motive – selfishness. It savours of selfishness as I read. The word savour is being used which means it smells of it. The savour comes up as a smell and so selfishness comes into activity as an influence that smells in this kind of approach. That kind of selfishness that wants to be right when God come savours of selfishness. It’s the motive that I want to be a friend of Christ. I want to be, I want, I want. Can you see this kind of mentality which comes here?

What is our Standard?

The effort to earn salvation by one’s own works inevitably leads men to pile up human exactions as a barrier against sin. . {MB 123.1}

I have to make sure I can help myself not to sin and we put up all kinds of barriers to make sure that I can actually stop sinning.

For, seeing that they fail to keep the law, they will devise rules and regulations of their own to force themselves to obey. Ibid

I want to get there; I want to make sure I am sinless.

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. Ibid

What inevitably happens? This is a self-centred kind of religion by which the love of God dies out of the heart and as it dies out of the heart, love for my fellow man dies out as well. In all our study of God’s love that I have shared, there is generated a love to my fellow man.

A system of human invention, with its multitudinous exactions, will lead its advocates to judge all who come short of the prescribed human standard. Ibid

Let the Holy Spirit help us to identify our motive forces; to feel the pulse of our motives.

The atmosphere of selfish and narrow criticism stifles the noble and generous emotions, and causes men to become self-centered judges and petty spies Ibid

The Pharisees were of this class. They came forth from their religious services, not humbled with a sense of their own weakness, {MB 123.2}

Here you can see voluntary humility. The sense of my weakness is not what I’m going to humble myself with, it’s because self is going to humble myself. These Pharisees came from their religious services, not humbled with a sense of their own weakness.

…not grateful for the great privileges that God had given them. They came forth filled with spiritual pride, Ibid

Remember, my superior humility.

…and their theme was, “Myself, my feelings, my knowledge, my ways.” Ibid

Where did I get all those feelings and ways from? I read the Bible, I read what is expected of me and therefore I gained a knowledge and it is now my knowledge, my feelings, my self, my ways.

Their own attainments became the standard by which they judged others. Putting on the robes of self-dignity, they mounted the judgment seat to criticize and condemn. Ibid

The people partook largely of the same spirit, intruding upon the province of conscience and judging one another in matters that lay between the soul and God. It was in reference to this spirit and practice that Jesus said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” That is, do not set yourself up as a standard. Do not make your opinions, your views of duty, your interpretations of Scripture, a criterion for others and in your heart condemn them if they do not come up to your ideal. Do not criticize others, conjecturing as to their motives and passing judgment upon them {MB 123.3}

What does Jesus say?

“Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.” 1 Corinthians 4:5. . {MB 124.1}

What goes on in the heart is what God judges and we can’t do that. When we know there are certain rules and regulations that we have made, we read Sr White’s writings and we see there certain dietary expectations or principles and we ignore her statement that says do not make my principles that I lay down as regulations because we see that is what I must do to develop a healthy body and spiritual mind. Therefore I then go a step further and say, this is now what we must regulate the lives of other people with. The Spirit of Prophecy statements become legal exercises. This is what the spirit of self does.

We cannot read the heart. Ourselves faulty, we are not qualified to sit in judgment upon others. Finite men can judge only from outward appearance. To Him alone who knows the secret springs of action, and who deals tenderly and compassionately, is it given to decide the case of every soul. Ibid

The True Motive Force

Here is where self clicks in; in the very subject of our profession of faith. We believe what the Spirit Of Prophecy is. It is the testimony of Jesus. That is interesting. Shall I make the testimony of Jesus a legalistic exercise? Or shall my connection with Him be for Him and me, that I may rejoice in His beautiful counsel in my life? I am just happy to listen to what He says and gives me wisdom and understanding, not legalistic expectations. Can you see the difference?

This is being diligent because His coming is extremely soon and I am not ready yet. I am not perfect and therefore I must hasten, motivated by this selfishness is the source of motivation. This characteristic, is it true that this is a rampant characteristic among reformers? This is unfortunately the reality. This characteristic is rampant among reformers because they are building up on this doctrine of the coming of Jesus very soon. Self comes in.

I hear someone say, you are very confusing here. We’re called to be diligent so I set my heart to observe diligently the minutia of the instructions that are given, and I am still wrong? Is there something wrong here? I can’t get my head around this. I set my heart to observe diligently the minutia, because didn’t we read that God has given us the minutia in the Spirit Of Prophecy? Now you are telling me I am wrong in doing that.

Follow carefully the development of self. I care about others to make sure they understand the duties and I press them to follow the same diligence that I am exercising. I become troubled when I am showing them what they should be doing and they are not as diligent as I am. In my anxiety I talk about them to others who are of the same mind as me. Maybe they can talk to this person and bring them back around. So we get different classes of minds, those of kindred minds on expectation of self upon others under this mentality that comes from self; that savours of self. This is the place where self comes in as we identified. This is motivated by everything else but the head Christ Jesus.

I don’t want to just unveil self in its manifestations; I want to unveil Jesus because He is to be the true motive force.

Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.

Love and not legalism. How do we lose the love? When we put up barriers to stop us from sinning; we exercise legalistic barriers to stop us from sinning. What is it that will keep God’s law? What is it that will do those things of touch not, taste not, handle not, in the right motive? Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.

Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

How do you do that? Do you do it by those barriers that you put up; by those self-motivated examinations of do’s and dont’s?

Romans 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].

Did you notice that to deny the flesh is still part of the exercise? The voluntary humility denies the flesh but here it says, put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof]. Here is a very, very important proviso or prerequisite to dealing with the flesh. It is not a rigidity that is going to deal with the flesh; it is the love of Jesus that is compassionate and has a far-sighted understanding of health principles, dress principles and separating from the world and all those kind of things. Everything is based on a different motive; it is the motive of putting on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s differentiate between the selfisms versus the love of God that we will also be motivated as we look at Jesus. To reach the perfection that renders us acceptable at Christ’s coming is beautifully expressed by the Apostle John. Remember, he was the beloved disciple.

1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

Because we must be perfect before He comes, if we are not, we are going to be ashamed. The apostle says here, if you don’t want to be ashamed at His coming; if you want to be perfect without sin, then abide in Him. Here is the focus; not rigid, self-motivated, reading of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Sr White writes that there is much reading of the Bible that is very, very dangerous. You can read about that in Selected Messages because they are not coming to the Bible with the right motive.

The stamps of minds are different. All do not understand expressions and statements alike. Some understand the statements of the Scriptures to suit their own particular minds and cases. Prepossessions, prejudices, and passions have a strong influence to darken the understanding and confuse the mind even in reading the words of Holy Writ. {1SM 20.3}

There are many things apparently difficult or obscure, which God will make plain and simple to those who thus seek an understanding of them. But without the guidance of the Holy Spirit we shall be continually liable to wrest the Scriptures or to misinterpret them. There is much reading of the Bible that is without profit and in many cases a positive injury. When the word of God is opened without reverence and without prayer; when the thoughts and affections are not fixed upon God, or in harmony with His will, the mind is clouded with doubts; and in the very study of the Bible, skepticism strengthens. The enemy takes control of the thoughts, and he suggests interpretations that are not correct. Whenever men are not in word and deed seeking to be in harmony with God, then, however learned they may be, they are liable to err in their understanding of Scripture, and it is not safe to trust to their explanations. {SC 110.1}

We are to focus upon the man Christ Jesus in the Bible and put Him on and abide in Him.

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

This is something upon which we need to get our ego-centric mindedness into focus because my ego-centricism and self-motivation is not going to understand what he is saying here. When I recognise that self is my worst enemy which we are gradually coming to see the dangers of, I will be under the anointing and revelation of the power of the Holy Spirit upon my mind and heart letting Him anoint me.

The anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. Here is the focus of our need to be in an intimate, love relationship with Jesus and with our heavenly Father through Him. That is what Sr White was talking about when she said that the urgency of the time must not be made the central motive.

The shortness of time is frequently urged as an incentive for seeking righteousness and making Christ our friend. This should not be the great motive with us; for it savours of selfishness. Is it necessary that the terrors of the day of God should be held before us, that we may be compelled to right action through fear? {BEcho, June 25, 1894 par. 7}

Can you see how that connects with the danger of putting up barriers to force us to obey? Here is such a barrier. What is it? …that the terrors of the day of God should be held before us as a barrier to not become worldly. To go and make sure I do everything right, that is the point; that we might be compelled to right action by that motivation.

The Way by Which We Will be Ready for Jesus to Come.

It ought not to be so. Jesus is attractive. He is full of love, mercy, and compassion. He proposes to be our friend, to walk with us through all the rough pathways of life. Ibid

He would not exercise any attractions of kingly glory so that the only thing that would attract us to Him is truth. But not only truth, but the truth as it is in Jesus because He was the King of truth. The truth separated from the King of truth is not going to get me there, I must put on Christ. He proposes to be our friend; this is the attraction. This is what I must abide in to reach a point where I am not going to be ashamed at His coming.

It is our privilege to have daily a calm, close, happy walk with Jesus. {BEcho, June 25, 1894 par. 5}

If I will abide in Him, what will I do? I will have a daily a calm, close, happy walk with Jesus.

We need not be alarmed if the path lies through conflict and suffering. There will be battles with the powers of darkness, severe struggles against selfishness and inbred sin. Wickedness prevails at the present time. The perils of the last days thicken around us; Ibid

How true that is.

…and because wickedness abounds, the love of many waxes cold. This need not be. The meekness and lowliness of Christ, cherished in the heart, will give moral power to every soul; Ibid

I need power to get myself ready for Jesus to come. What is it that is going to give me the power? Not my fear that I am not going to make it, no, the meekness and lowliness of Christ, (which I can) cherish in the heart. Are you doing this ? Are you cherishing in your heart the descriptions and the display of the character of Jesus? This will give moral power to every soul.

…and the victories gained daily through trust in Christ, and persevering, untiring effort in well-doing, will give us the peace which passeth understanding. Ibid

Did you notice the motive for well-doing? The trust in Christ, and persevering, untiring effort in well-doing will give us the peace which passeth understanding. It is trust in Christ and then the persevering untiring effort in well-doing will give us the peace that passeth understanding. This will not cause us to lose our love. It is interesting that while iniquity abounds the love of many grows cold and the love of many grows cold because of their self-motivated rigidities.

The Spirit of Prophecy here tries to turn our attention to the attractions of the abiding presence of Jesus Christ, His wonderful love and character.

There is a work before us to subdue the pride and vanity that seek a place in our hearts, and through penitence and faith to bring ourselves into familiar and holy converse with Christ. {BEcho, June 25, 1894 par. 9}

Here lies the work, not the work of concentrating on my diet and on focusing doing things right, none of that. Our work is to subdue the pride and vanity that seek a place in our hearts and through penitence and faith to bring ourselves into familiar and holy converse with Christ. That is our work.

We must not shrink from the depths of humiliation to which the Son of God submitted in order to raise us from the degradation and bondage of sin to a seat at His right hand. Ibid

Did you pick that up? We must not shrink from the depths of humiliation to which the Son of God submitted in order to raise us from the degradation and bondage of sin. If you want to follow Jesus, it will be a different kind of humility. If Jesus comes into your presence with that kind of self-motivated humility, you will shrink from the humility of Christ. It doesn’t gel together with self.

We must deny self, and fight continually against pride. Ibid

How much? Fight continually; abide in Christ.

We must hide self in Jesus, and let Him appear in our character and conversation. While we look constantly to Him whom our sins have pierced and our sorrows have burdened, we shall acquire strength to be like Him. Ibid

Here is the operative activity that is going to get us ready.

Our lives, our deportment, will testify how highly we prize our Redeemer, and the salvation He has wrought out for us at such a cost to Himself. Ibid

Our lives, our deportment, will testify. What will they testify to? That we have studied all these things and we know them all and we have to do them right? No. It will testify how highly we prize our Redeemer, and the salvation He has wrought out for us at such a cost to Himself.

And our peace will be as a river while we bind ourselves in willing, happy captivity to Jesus. Ibid

I have just given you through these words, the way by which we will be ready for Jesus to come. It is a contradiction of human expectation, but isn’t that what we expect? Everything that God says is back to front to what we think. How shall I put Christ on and abide there? How shall I do it? How shall I do it?

We can never have a clear appreciation of the value of our Redeemer until, by an eye of faith, we see Him taking upon Himself our nature. {BEcho, June 25, 1894 par. 8}

How can a person who is totally sinful realise how to connect with the Saviour? Here is the answer; we can never have a clear appreciation of the value of our Redeemer until, by an eye of faith, we see Him taking upon Himself our nature.

…the capacity to suffer as we do, and then reaching to the very depths of human wretchedness, that by His divine power He might save even the vilest sinner. Ibid

Here is the precious answer. Savour it, hold onto it. This is what I must occupy my mind with; this is how it must happen; I must see the value of my Redeemer, by seeing Him taking our nature, my deplorable sinful nature, pondering it, appreciating it, letting it percolate the senses and the emotions of our life: that by His divine power He might save even the vilest sinner. That is how He does it.

Jesus died that the sinner might live,–that God’s justice might be preserved, and guilty man pardoned. Ibid

Here is the motive force, this meditation. How little it is engaged in. What we occupy ourselves with is what we have learned; the doctrines, the teachings, which is important, but we do it as the truth outside of our meditations in Jesus? It is our primary focus of abiding in Jesus and from that focus and motivation, become effective in submitting to all He communicates without legalistic expectations. It is simply the beautiful principle of love which I see in everything that happens.

The Son of the Highest suffered shame on the cross, that sinners might not suffer everlasting shame and contempt, but be ransomed, and crowned with eternal glory. Why is it that we have so little sense of sin, so little penitence? It is because we do not come nearer to the cross of Christ, and our conscience becomes hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Ibid

What becomes hardened? It is our conscience because sin is all around us and we do exactly what the Pharisees do. Love goes out of the door and judgmentalism and expectations of what we have learned that other people must do, or else they can’t be ready for Jesus to come. What must we do to abide in Christ? We must contemplate the nature of Christ being our nature that He took upon Himself.

Christ alone can help us and give us the victory. Christ must be all in all to us, He must dwell in the heart, His life must circulate through us as the blood circulates through the veins. His spirit must be a vitalizing power that will cause us to influence others to become Christlike and holy (Letter 43, 1895). {5BC 1144.4}

Do you want to influence others to make sure they are going to be ready? Not by saying, come on, you should be a better health reformer, or you should be better dressed, or you should this or you should that. No. What is it? He must dwell in the heart, His life must circulate through us as the blood circulates through the veins. His spirit must be a vitalizing power that will cause us to influence others to become Christlike and holy. Not to Bible bash them, not to Spirit of Prophecy bash them, but by a life that emanates Christ and His loveliness we are to influence others to cause them to say, this is lovely, this is what I want.

What do we see in Jesus that segregates self? The self that we have so clearly shown in the beginning; what is there in Jesus that will actually achieve within me a segregation of that self as I focus upon what He is doing and upon every step of His experience in His meekness and His dependence upon God?

John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

Why did He say that? Why did He address that point?

John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

The human interpretation of Jesus was that He was making Himself equal with God; He was proud. But what was Jesus saying? You are saying this but look at my position; I don’t exercise myself at all. This is Jesus; He does not exercise Himself at all. He says, I can do nothing of myself. Everything I do is only simply what the Father has shown me.

John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Here is something for us to ponder about. What was Jesus doing? He had a mind of His own, He had a self too. Did He? Self is in everyone. The very nature of God is to deny self. If there wouldn’t be self there, there wouldn’t be anything to deny. Self is demonstrated as a denying item in Jesus Christ. He could well have said… I think this would have been His words while here on earth in Psalm 25. He said, I will not do my own thing, I am listening to what God says:

Psalm 25:4 Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. 5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou [art] the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Isn’t that beautiful? Doesn’t that bring a beautiful note of selflessness? Lord, I don’t know anything, you show me; not only show me the ten commandments, but show me Thy ways. O LORD; teach me thy paths, and Lead me in thy truth. In whose truth? In Thy truth, and teach me; I am waiting on you all day long. Abide in Him, remember. This is what we see in Jesus; He was totally dependent. He could do nothing of Himself; He cried to the Father show me and just get me to obey you.

Where many have erred, was in not being careful in following God’s ideas, but their own. {HP 147.3}

Many have erred where? It is in following their own ideas instead of God’s ideas.

Christ Himself declared, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do” (John 5:19). So utterly was He emptied of Himself that He made no schemes and plans. He lived accepting God’s plans for Him, and the Father day by day unfolded His plans. If Jesus was so wholly dependent, and declared, “Whatsoever I see the Father do, that I do,” how much more should human agents depend upon God for constant instruction, so that their lives might be the simple working out of God’s plans! Ibid

As we behold Jesus, we get a glimpse of a self-denial that if you would put into practice, you would get scared. Wait a minute, this isn’t comfortable. Isn’t that what Jesus said?

Our own way must be overcome. Pride, self-sufficiency, must be crucified and the vacuum supplied with the Spirit and power of God. {HP 147.4}

The anointing remember?

Did Jesus Christ, the Majesty of heaven, have His way? Behold Him in travail of soul in Gethsemane, praying to His Father. What forces these blood drops of agony from His holy brow? Oh, the sins of the whole world are upon Him! It was separation from the Father’s love that forced from His pale and quivering lips the cry, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39). Ibid

As you and I experience excruciating expectations that loom up before us when God says, this is my will for you and you say, oh, is it possible that I can go another way? What about Balaam; is it possible that I could still go? Jesus had the right to say, do I really have to take all these sinful thoughts and feelings upon myself?

Three times was the prayer offered, but followed by “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). This must be our attitude–Not my will, but Thine, O God, be done. This is true conversion. Ibid

As we behold Jesus, it will dawn upon us what it means to follow all of God’s will.

In these times of iniquity abounding when my rationale and my planning of what I have read in the Scriptures and what I think I should do to put my mind into harmony with that while at the same time bereft of an intimate relationship with Jesus, the following are very fitting words to the dilemma in which we will find and we have found ourselves many times. I know this statement as my personal experience very clearly.

You are often discouraged at finding yourself weak in moral power, in slavery to doubt, and controlled by the habits and customs of your old life in sin. You find your emotional nature untrue to yourself, to your best resolutions, and to your most solemn pledges. Nothing seems real. Your own instability leads you to doubt the sincerity of those who would do you good. The more you struggle in doubt, the more unreal everything looks to you, until it seems that there is no solid ground for you anywhere. Your promises are like ropes of sand, and you regard in the same unreal light the words and works of those in whom you should trust. {5T 513.2}

Everything looks so absolutely ridiculous when you follow the real thing or you try to, as Sr White describes it. You want to see whether you cannot identify with it where you really discover that God’s ways seem to be so totally contradictory to what you think you should do.

Because I’m so entrenched in this self-centred way of thinking and feeling, God says there are people you should trust, and you say how can I trust this man, he has just put me through an emotional turmoil. No, I can’t do that; because of our own perverted ideas and the knowledge of our broken promises and forfeited pledges weaken our confidence in our self and in the faith of others in us. Your promises are like ropes of sand, and you regard in the same unreal light the words and works of those in whom you should trust.

Have you experienced this? In this dreadful time, in these horrifying circumstance, Sr White says:

Your feelings, your impressions, your emotions, are not to be trusted, for they are not reliable, {5T 513.3}

But you need not despair. You must be determined to believe, although nothing seems true and real to you. I need not tell you it is you yourself that has brought you into this unenviable position. You must win back your confidence in God and in your brethren. It is for you to yield up your will to the will of Jesus Christ; and as you do this, God will immediately take possession and work in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. {5T 513.4}

He will work in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. Why don’t we find it? You must win back your confidence in God and in your brethren. It is for you to yield up your will to the will of Jesus Christ; and as you do this, God will immediately take possession and work in you to will and to do of His good pleasure.

To will and to do of His good pleasure that is contrary to my natural nature, that is the minutia of God’s wonderful law. When I see it all in the perspective of my relationship with Jesus and the inflowing of God in my life when I am willing to do what Jesus did; “Father, Thy will be done”, when that mentality is generated by beholding Jesus, the Lord will come in and He will work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.

May the Lord give us strength to go forward under this clear revelation of God’s word, to embrace our lovely Jesus and to abide deep inside of Him. This is my prayer, as we continue to seek the differentiation between the love of God and self.

Amen.

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Posted on October 6, 2013, in Divine Service Sermons, Self Versus Gods Love, Sermons by John Thiel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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