Steps to Christ
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 5: Consecration
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The inquiry of many a proud heart is, "Why need
I go in penitence and humiliation before I can have
the assurance of my acceptance with God?" I point
you to Christ. He was sinless, and, more than
this, He was the Prince of heaven; but in man's [p. 46] behalf He became sin for the race. "He was
numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of
many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
But what do we give up, when we give all? A
sin-polluted heart, for Jesus to purify, to cleanse by
His own blood, and to save by His matchless love.
And yet men think it hard to give up all! I am
ashamed to hear it spoken of, ashamed to write it.
God does not require us to give up anything that
it is for our best interest to retain. In all that He
does, He has the well-being of His children in view.
Would that all who have not chosen Christ might
realize that He has something vastly better to offer
them than they are seeking for themselves. Man is
doing the greatest injury and injustice to his own
soul when he thinks and acts contrary to the will of
God. No real joy can be found in the path forbidden
by Him who knows what is best and who plans for
the good of His creatures. The path of transgression
is the path of misery and destruction.
It is a mistake to entertain the thought that God
is pleased to see His children suffer. All heaven is
interested in the happiness of man. Our heavenly
Father does not close the avenues of joy to any of
His creatures. The divine requirements call upon us
to shun those indulgences that would bring suffering
and disappointment, that would close to us the door
of happiness and heaven. The world's Redeemer
accepts men as they are, with all their wants,
imperfections, and weaknesses; and He will not only cleanse
from sin and grant redemption through His blood, but [p. 47] will satisfy the heart-longing of all who consent to
wear His yoke, to bear His burden. It is His purpose
to impart peace and rest to all who come to Him
for the bread of life. He requires us to perform only
those duties that will lead our steps to heights of bliss
to which the disobedient can never attain. The true,
joyous life of the soul is to have Christ formed within,
the hope of glory.
Many are inquiring, "How am I to make the
surrender of myself to God?" You desire to give
yourself to Him, but you are weak in moral power,
in slavery to doubt, and controlled by the habits of
your life of sin. Your promises and resolutions are
like ropes of sand. You cannot control your thoughts,
your impulses, your affections. The knowledge of
your broken promises and forfeited pledges weakens
your confidence in your own sincerity, and causes you
to feel that God cannot accept you; but you need not
despair. What you need to understand is the true
force of the will. This is the governing power in the
nature of man, the power of decision, or of choice.
Everything depends on the right action of the will.
The power of choice God has given to men; it is theirs
to exercise. You cannot change your heart, you cannot
of yourself give to God its affections; but you
can choose to serve Him. You can give Him your
will; He will then work in you to will and to do
according to His good pleasure. Thus your whole
nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit
of Christ; your affections will be centered upon Him,
your thoughts will be in harmony with Him.
Desires for goodness and holiness are right as [p. 48] far as they go; but if you stop here, they will avail
nothing. Many will be lost while hoping and desiring
to be Christians. They do not come to the point
of yielding the will to God. They do not now choose
to be Christians.
Through the right exercise of the will, an entire
change may be made in your life. By yielding up
your will to Christ, you ally yourself with the power
that is above all principalities and powers. You will
have strength from above to hold you steadfast, and
thus through constant surrender to God you will be
enabled to live the new life, even the life of faith.
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