Greetings MOL Family!
Let’s continue in our study, learning about the King’s heavenly, beautiful, high-way…
Did you ever have the experience of going to somebody’s house for dinner, and they fixed up something they thought was wonderful for you to eat, and they thought it was just the greatest thing. And you looked at it and you wondered what to do? It wasn’t for you, was it? But they thought that was just the thing….
Jesus will never do that, friends. He knows every one of your ten billion brain cells, for He made them. And if you and I will consent, He will so straighten what is crooked in our thinking and bring back to normal what is abnormal and subnormal:
The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. – The Desire of Ages, pg. 668
Can you think of anything happier than that? Isn’t that freedom? David says:
I will walk at liberty, for I seek thy precepts. – Psalm 119:45
Let’s enter into that experience of freedom and liberty. I wonder when we can. Well, I wonder if there is anyone here who has ever had any of that experience. I am sure there are. Would you like some more? Yes. You will find it farther up the road, not back. And if there is anybody that has not entered this way, I assure you, it is sweeter every mile of the road – fellowship with Jesus.
This is all very practical. It means going to God in the little details of daily life and asking Him what He wants you to do, studying His Word, seeking Him in prayer, arriving at conclusions of what He wants you to do, and then doing them – doing exactly what you believe He wants you to do.
“Oh, but,” somebody says, “That’s the trouble. I don’t know.” Well, I wonder, do you suppose that Jesus would go to all the trouble and all the expense of providing the plan of salvation, and then fail to make it possible for you and me to know how to work with Him and walk with Him? I don’t believe a word of it, friends.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally. – James 1:5
Not a tiny bit, once in a while. Liberally. What does that mean? Plenty, like the strawberries in May here. He giveth to all men liberally. Thank God. Will He do it? If He keeps His word, we will be all right, won’t we? He will keep His word if we meet the conditions:
Ask in faith, nothing wavering. – James 1:6
Let us come to God, day by day, as little children, ask Him for help, and believe that He gives us wisdom to do what He wants us to do. And now, my dear friends, I want to suggest to you three things that we will need to be careful about, need to put aside, if we are really going to have that experience of joy and happiness in personal fellowship with Jesus, getting convictions from Him of what to do and doing them. The first is, don’t depend on others for your own conscientious convictions. The second one is, don’t try to press onto others your conscientious convictions. And the third is, be sure to follow yourself the individual conscientious convictions that Jesus gives you.
You remember in the last chapter of John that Peter was walking with Jesus. Jesus had asked him three times, what question? Do you love me? And each time Peter said he did, and Jesus gave him a job – feed His lambs and sheep. And so, Jesus was walking with him there along the shore and telling him some things about his duties and his future, and in the 21st verse, Peter turns to Jesus, as he sees John walking along behind, and he says, “Lord and what shall this man do?”
Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. – John 21:22
My dear friends, we will never have peace and joy in the beautiful way if we try to decide for others all about what they are to do, whether it is in diet, or dress, or music, or reading, or recreation, or education, or just how to keep the Sabbath, or just exactly how to pay the tithe. No. We will not find peace ourselves, and we will not add to the peace of others.
I have an interesting statement here:
Many come to us with the inquiry: Shall I do this? Shall I engage in that enterprise? Or, in regard to dress, Shall I wear this or that article? – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 2, pg. 119
Did you wish the prophet was alive so you could run and ask a question like this? My dear friends, the telephone would really be busy wouldn’t it? Well, now watch. She, being dead, yet speaketh. Here is her answer:
I answer them: You profess to be disciples of Christ. Study your Bibles. Read carefully and prayerfully the life of our dear Saviour when He dwelt among men upon the earth. Imitate His life, and you will not be found straying from the narrow path. We utterly refuse to be conscience for you. – Ibid
Well, if the prophet would not be conscience for other people, I wonder if I ought to try to be. Of course, we have more light now than she had, don’t we? So, we can be conscience for other people and tell them just what to do. No.
If we tell you just what to do, you will look to us to guide you, instead of going directly to Jesus for yourselves. – Ibid
And I am sorry to say men and women that don’t know one tenth what Sister White knew are perfectly willing to decide questions of conscience for other people – tell them what to do and what not to do, how to dress, how to eat, how to do all manner of things. But God’s messenger was very careful to teach people to look where? To Jesus.
Oh, but might there not be a lot of different ideas if people do that? Well, there are, anyway, aren’t there friends? Did you ever stop to think that, wherever you are, there is somebody to the right of you and somebody to the left of you? Wherever you are in your thinking on any subject – diet, dress, education, recreation, every subject – there is somebody that is righter than you are, stricter. Can’t you think of somebody that is more strict than you are? Well, if you can’t, come up afterward and let me talk with you, because I am sure I can find somebody that is more strict than you are. And my dear friends, by the same token there is somebody that is not as strict. There is somebody that is willing to do things on those subjects that you would not do.
Shall we stop in walking and traveling the beautiful way, shall we stop in traveling God’s beautiful freeway until we can get everybody else in our lane? No. Jesus is leading people individually, and freedom will be found in following the narrow path that Christ leads me in personally, and letting every other child of God do the same. That’s right.
And now, wait a minute. Somebody that feels very happy over what I have just said, be sure to listen to the next. And remember I smile when I say it. Someone is thinking, “Well, I hope everybody will listen to that, because if people would just let me alone, I can be happy.”
That is only half of it and the smaller half. If everybody would let you alone, that would not make you happy. Oh, no. That is not the source of your problem, therefore, that is not the cure. The answer is found in Romans. Oh, this is it, my dear friends, this is it! And what a beautiful description of the beautiful way – God’s recipe for perfect peace, perfect happiness:
Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. – Romans 14:22
Ah, yes. Do you see how to be happy? Live up to your own conscientious convictions, regardless of the smiles or frowns of others, regardless of the doubts of others. You can be kind about it. You can be courteous about it. But you must follow Jesus. That’s your business. But, by the same token, you must let others do this.
Ah, but somebody says, “Does that mean we are never to say anything to anybody about the Sabbath?” Oh, yes, friends. It is our privilege to bear witness to the joy and the blessing of doing what Jesus has told us to do. Is that right? But we are not to condemn the person who hears us who thinks differently. God may be leading him step by step in a path where he has not yet come to this wonderful light on the Sabbath question. Is that correct? Should I be careful not to class him as a child of the devil merely because he has not seen the light on the Sabbath? Ah, friends, how important.
But watch this point! Does that mean then, that I say, “Oh well, I guess it doesn’t make any difference whether I keep the Sabbath or not, I will just do what most people do?” Oh, no. I must have clear convictions of my own, based on the Word of God, and follow them without being bigoted, without being narrow in the wrong sense.
I must have a broad tolerance for others, a winning way, a winsome way that will attract others to the loveliness of Christ. But, my dear friends, if that is so about the Sabbath, oh, how much more it is so about some of these details of diet and dress. I was thinking about this question. Would it be possible for a husband and wife to live together in peace if one of them ate milk and eggs and the other didn’t eat milk and eggs? Or would the only way they could keep from getting ulcers be to have a separation? What do you think about that? As I thought about it, I thought, yes, they could get along all right, provided that both understood it was merely a matter that one of them had an allergy.
Then they could have perfect peace on this planet. But what if it were a matter of conscientious convictions that one of them thought he ought not to use them and the other one thought he ought to, they never could have peace this side of Heaven, could they? What do you think? Well, my friends, I am sure they can.
All it takes is some love, and an understanding of God’s plan of unity. That’s all. And listen, if even a husband and wife that are together every day can have peace and happiness when one of them eats milk and eggs because he thinks he ought to and the other does not use milk and eggs because she thinks she shouldn’t, if that is possible with a husband and wife that close, don’t you think that everyone in the church could have a similar experience of peace?
Peace, peace, wonderful peace. True, heavenly peace can only come from God. See that we enter into this experience, without delay.
Invite a friend, as we continue to understand more about God’s beautiful way… Until next week –
-Continue on to the next study-
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.