|The Need of Earnest Effort|
By Dan Vis
August 12, 2019
My wife runs a small newsletter called Looking to Jesus where she sends out devotional thoughts, healthy recipes, and other goodies. This last week, she posted the following article to her group. It was so powerful I had to repost it! Too many churches are dying. The time for revival is now!
PS. Want to get on the Looking to Jesus mail list? Give Vi your email here.
We are far behind in our missionary work, both at home and in foreign countries. We have in our keeping the most sacred truth ever committed to mortals, and our work should correspond to our profession of faith. The world is becoming more and more lawless. Soon great trouble will arise among the nations,—trouble that will not cease until Jesus comes.
What are we as a people doing at this important time? Are we purifying our souls by obedience to Christ’s words? Are we humbling our hearts before God, and confessing our sins? Are we seeking with earnestness and sincerity for help from him who is the source of strength? Are we claiming the promises, believing that Jesus pardons our transgressions? Are we educating ourselves to overcome all temptation to murmur and complain?
My brethren and sisters, as never before we need to press together, unitedly following him who has prepared his throne in the heavens, and whose kingdom ruleth over all. God has not forsaken his people, and our strength lies in not forsaking him.
Christ died to redeem us. By the infinite price with which he ransomed us he has shown his love for us. He is not willing that any should perish. He desires all to believe on him, that they may have eternal life.
With pity and compassion, with tender yearning, the Lord is looking upon his tried, tempted people. For a time the oppressors will be permitted to triumph over those who obey God’s commandments. All are given the same opportunity that was granted to the first great rebel, the opportunity to show what spirit is prompting them to action. It is God’s purpose that every one shall be tested, to see whether he will be loyal or disloyal to the laws that govern the kingdom of heaven. To the last God gives Satan opportunity to reveal his character. Thus the final triumph of his people will be made more marked, more glorious, more complete. The words of the prophet will be fulfilled: “The day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.” “The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble; he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved. The Lord is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people.”
Now and onward till the close of time the people of God should be more earnest, more wide-awake, not trusting in their own wisdom, but in the wisdom of their Leader. They should set aside days for fasting and prayer. Entire abstinence from food may not be required, but they should eat sparingly of the most simple food. No one should lift up his soul unto vanity, walking in pride and self-indulgence. We are living in a time that demands genuine humiliation and most earnest prayer. We are nearing the most important crisis that has ever come upon the world. If we are not wide-awake and watching, it will find us unprepared.
There is in our churches a decided lack of love for Christ and for one another. Christlike simplicity is looked upon as weakness. There is a lack of clear spiritual discernment. Wrongs remain unconfessed. The transgression condemned in the law of God is on the increase in our borders. Sin is cherished, and the result is hardness of heart. When those who are handling sacred things do not walk in the light, the light becomes darkness to them, and how great is that darkness! Men are making strange mistakes in reading character. Those who do not possess moral worth are exalted, while those who are endeavoring to seek the Lord and walk in his steps are not appreciated. This danger will become more and more apparent. We must awake to the perils that are thickening around us. All pharisaism, all self-righteousness, must be separated from the soul. Then we shall realize that we need Christ’s righteousness, and we shall accept it by faith.
There is among us a manifest lack of searching the Scriptures. We must know the reasons of our faith. The importance and solemnity of the scenes opening before us demand this. And on no account must the spirit of complaint be encouraged. Do you cherish malice, bitterness, and wrath if plans are introduced that do not harmonize with your ideas? Is not this indulging a spirit of war, rather than a spirit of meekness and humility? If ever we needed to manifest kindness and true courtesy, it is now. We may have to plead most earnestly before legislative councils for the right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience. Thus in his providence God has designed that the claims of his law shall be brought before men in positions of highest authority. But as we stand before these men, we are to show no bitterness of feeling.
Constantly we are to pray for divine aid. It is God alone who can hold the four winds until his servants shall be sealed in their foreheads.
The Lord will do a great work in the earth. Satan makes a determined effort to divide and scatter God’s people. He brings up side issues to divert minds from the important subjects that should engage our attention. Individually we are to feel the importance of uniting in the bonds of Christian fellowship. With one heart and one mind we are to prepare for the conflict, by faith laying our petitions before the mercy-seat. The throne of God is arched by the bow of promise, and the prayers offered in faith and simplicity are heard. It is God’s glory to answer the supplications of his people.
I have been especially instructed in regard to the danger of drawing apart. Let us leave to Satan the cruel work of accusing and faultfinding. Let us bow before God in repentance because of our want of love for one another and for him who died for us. The gold of love and faith is wanting in our ranks. Christ declares, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” Many are holding on to the truth with only the tips of their fingers. They have had great light and many privileges. Like Capernaum, they have in this respect been exalted to heaven. But unless they put away their pride and self-confidence, in the time of trial that is approaching they will become apostates. Unless they have an entire transformation of character, they will never enter heaven.
You strike too low, my brethren. Set your mark higher. Let your work be in harmony with the work of Christ. It is the privilege of all to grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ. “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.” Is it your will also? My brethren, with intensity of desire long after God; yea, pant after him, as the hart panteth after the water brooks. Press toward the mark of the prize of your high calling in Christ.
Why do not those who name the name of Christ reveal the earnestness and the self-denial that he revealed? Why do they not arouse from their indifferent, self-satisfied condition? God’s people must have a fixed purpose to honor him. They will never be holy until they put all their energies into his work.
Reprinted from Review & Herald, February 11, 1904
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When you read these words, what resonates most with you? Do you sense the increasing urgency of the hour? Of the need for deeper commitment? For repentance, revival, renewal, reformation? How important is it to make seeking God at this time our first priority?
|Posted by Dan Vis on 08/13/19|
|You are very welcome Carole! And I think you are right. Messages like this need to be read a couple times for what it is saying to really sink in. :)|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 08/12/19|
|That was my thought exactly. Now is the time for God's people to get serious about seeking Him! And those are definitely some big takeaways from the article Laurie. Thanks for highlighting them!|
|Posted by Laurie Wissink on 08/12/19|
|This is the perfect time in our worlds history to repost this article! I heard the call to put away my "murmuring and complaining" and to make the relationship with Christ and my fellow humans paramount!|
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