Greetings MOL Family!
Welcome back, as we continue along the path to understanding God’s beautiful way. Through this journey, God is seeking to elevate and ennoble every individual’s Christian experience…
God’s Great Freeway
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. – Isaiah 40:4-5
Have you ever watched the building of a highway? The bulldozers and the other equipment make you think of this text, because they do literally what this text says. They fill up the valleys. And with the mountains and hills, they make them low. Thus, a highway is prepared. And, if the beautiful way is to be prepared in our experience, every valley must be exalted, every weak place must be built up, and every hill must be made low. Are you willing to be changed?
Ah, but somebody says, “What about my individuality?” Indeed friends, what about it? As we have already studied, the individuality of the individual is so precious to God that He will, in Christ, give Himself to die rather than see it lost. So, if you are working with God and walking with God, you need not fear that anything that is valuable in your personality will be sacrificed. But, there may be some idiosyncrasies, there may be some peculiarities, that have come to be very precious to you and me that need to be taken out entirely. Weaknesses built up; strong things leveled out – that is the program for the beautiful way. And notice, friends, when the highway is done, oh, what a highway it will be:
“The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” – Isaiah 40:5
Wouldn’t it be worth having the bulldozers work over us to level the hills and build up the valleys if over such a highway the glory of God could be revealed? The Lord grant it, friends. This is the beautiful way. This is the way of peace. This is God’s great freeway in which He wants us to walk with Him. And a freeway it is, for I read:
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. – 2 Cor. 3:17
Notice the program for having a part in this path of freedom, this way of liberty. Jesus gives the recipe here to everyone who is listening to what He says:
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. – John 8:31-32
Are you in bondage? Then you are not in the way. You might want to be. You might be groping toward it. But, oh, if you were in the way, it’s a freeway. The devil doesn’t like this subject we are studying. He tries to make every Christian believe that he is in bondage; that it is a hard way, a doleful experience, difficult. He tries to make people believe that the way to be happy is like a colt out in the pasture, just running around, kicking up its heels and doing nothing, except having its own sweet way. That is not the beautiful way, friends. No, the beautiful way – the happy way, the way of peace – is the way of God’s law. So it is written:
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. – Psalm 119:1
The way to be happy is to walk in the way of God’s commandments. The purpose of the gospel is to deliver us from sin, which is bondage, and put our feet in the path of law-keeping, which is liberty. Now notice Paul’s exhortation in Galatians chapter 5.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. – Galatians 5:1
Oh, there it is! It is a program of peace, a path of liberty. It is a freeway. That is what God invites you and me to enter into, and stay on, and not be diverted either to the right hand or to the left. I want you to see the key to this freedom. Turn to Isaiah the 45th chapter and the 22nd verse. This is the key, and there is no other. There is no other path to peace; there is no other way that’s a freeway. This is our dear Lord talking:
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. – Isaiah 45:22
In other words, don’t look anywhere else. Look to Jesus. Do you remember that first vision that the Lord gave the messenger to the remnant back in December of 1844? What was it she saw stretching from earth to heaven? A path, a way, cast up high above the earth. It was a highway, God’s freeway. Who was leading on that path? Jesus! Oh, today those words came back thrilling my soul:
If they kept their eyes on Jesus, they were perfectly safe. – Early Writings, pg. 14
That is it. How to be safe? Keep the eyes on Jesus. If you were the devil, what would you do about it? Try to get people to look anywhere and everywhere, except to Jesus. If satan can’t get us to look to bad men, he will lead us to look to good men. If satan can’t lead us to listen to wicked men, he will lead us to listen to saints. Well, you say, “Shouldn’t we listen to the saints?” Well, yes. But don’t forget that reference we had in a recent lesson:
Man’s words, if of any value, echo the words of God. – Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, pg. 423
Salvation is found only in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12). So, if we are going to walk this beautiful way, we must, in a special sense, look to Jesus. And everybody that is worth listening to is trying to get us to do exactly that, my friends.
Steps to Christ, page 100. That ought to be an easy reference to remember. Let’s read this sentence, and think of its meaning:
The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul upon the earth to share His watchcare, not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son. – Steps to Christ, pg. 100
Is that really true? That is one of those tremendous statements, like the boundless ocean, isn’t it friends? You can meditate on that for an hour, and it’s bigger yet than that. You can think on it for a day, and on and on and on and beyond are its implications.
Take it to your soul! Oh, say, “Thank God, He is mine as though there were not another soul in this world, and I am His as though there were not another soul in this world. I am going to look to Him and be guided by Him and get my directions from Him as though I were the only child He had.”
We need this experience, friends. And don’t worry, if we get it right it isn’t going to make us hard to live with. It isn’t going to make us people that won’t listen to counsel. No, no. If we really get in touch with Jesus and in tune with Jesus, if we look to Him and follow His guidance in the individual life, my dear friends, we will be the easiest people to get along with anywhere in this world. It is the absence of personal communion with Jesus that makes the person like a chestnut burr, or a field of cockleburs.
Jesus is wonderful. Jesus is sweet. And, oh, friends, I want to have that experience of sweetness in my life. Don’t you? But any sweetness any of us have, we get from Him. So, we better keep close to Him.
In Desire of Ages, occurs this significant statement:
… Everyone needs to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. – The Desire of Ages, pg. 363
Everybody? Yes, everybody. You see, this is fundamentally different from the Roman Catholic idea in which the people look to the priest, the priest to the bishop, the bishop to the archbishop and so on up to the Pope. Don’t misunderstand me. God has an ordained ministry to whom He has given authority. But the great business of every minister of Christ is to point people to Christ:
There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. – 1 Timothy 2:5
So, the beautiful way means that we are looking to Jesus for guidance, getting our orders from Him, and rejoicing in the liberty that He gives us as we enter into that experience.
Notice in Desire of Ages, how fully this will satisfy the heart:
“If we consent, Christ will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims … that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses.” – The Desire of Ages, pg. 668
Is that so? Do you mean I can enter into an experience where everything I do will be what I want to do? That’s right. But nobody but Jesus knows how to lead you into that. Don’t think anybody else can, friends.
“Sound it in the hedge and highway,
Earth’s dark spots where exiles roam;
Let it tell all things are ready,
Father waits to welcome home.”
Every captive may be free! Next week, we’ll learn more about this heavenly freeway – God’s beautiful Way! Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
-Continue on to the next study-
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.