LandMarks Magazine  
   

February 2008 Table of Contents

 
 

The Pen of Inspiration - Prayer and Faith
By Ellen G. White

I

I have frequently seen that the children of the Lord neglect prayer, especially secret prayer, altogether too much; that many do not exercise that faith which it is their privilege and duty to exercise, often waiting for that feeling which faith alone can bring.  Feeling is not faith; the two are distinct.  Faith is ours to exercise, but joyful feeling and the blessing are God’s to give.  The grace of God comes to the soul through the channel of living faith, and that faith it is in our power to exercise.

 

True faith lays hold of and claims the promised blessing before it is realized and felt.  We must send up our petitions in faith within the second veil, and let our faith take hold of the promised blessing, and claim it as ours.  We are then to believe that we receive the blessing, because our faith has hold of it, and according to the word it is ours.  “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”  Mark 11:24.  Here is faith, naked faith, to believe that we receive the blessing, even before we realize it.  When the promised blessing is realized and enjoyed, faith is swallowed up.  But many suppose they have much faith when sharing largely of the Holy Spirit, and that they cannot have faith unless they feel the power of the Spirit.  Such confound faith with the blessing that comes through faith. 

 

The very time to exercise faith is when we feel destitute of the Spirit.  When thick clouds of darkness seem to hover over the mind, then is the time to let living faith pierce the darkness and scatter the clouds.

 

True faith rests on the promises contained in the word of God, and those only who obey that word can claim its glorious promises.  “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”  John 15:7.  “Whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”  1 John 3:22. 

 

We should be much in secret prayer.  Christ is the vine, we are the branches.  And if we would grow and flourish, we must continually draw sap and nourishment from the Living Vine; for separated from the Vine, we have no strength.

 

I asked the angel why there was no more faith and power in Israel.  He said:  “Ye let go of the arm of the Lord too soon.  Press your petitions to the throne, and hold on by strong faith.  The promises are sure.  Believe ye receive the things ye ask for, and ye shall have them.” …

 

I saw that we had doubted the sure promises, and wounded the Saviour by our lack of faith.  Said the angel, “Gird the armor about thee, and above all take the shield of faith; for that will guard the heart, the very life, from the fiery darts of the wicked.”  If the enemy can lead the desponding to take their eyes off from Jesus, and look to themselves, and dwell upon their own unworthiness, instead of dwelling upon the worthiness of Jesus, His love, His merits, and His great mercy, he will get away their shield of faith, and gain his object; they will be exposed to his fiery temptations.  The weak should therefore look to Jesus, and believe in Him; they then exercise faith.  Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 126, 127.

 

Christ Honors Faith

 

Come where Christ is, and you will have light.  Talk unbelief, and you will have unbelief; but talk faith, and you will have faith.  According to the seed sown will be the harvest.  If you talk of heaven and the eternal reward, you will become lighter and lighter in the Lord, and your faith will grow, because it is exercised.  Fasten your eyes upon Jesus, dear friends, and by beholding you will become assimilated to his image.  Do not allow your thoughts to dwell continually upon things of the earth, but place them upon things that are heavenly, and then, wherever you are, you will be a light to the world. 

 

Live the life of faith day by day.  Do not become anxious and distressed about the time of trouble, and thus have a time of trouble beforehand.  Do not keep thinking, “I am afraid I shall not stand in the great testing day.”  You are to live for the present, for this day only.  Tomorrow is not yours.  Today you are to maintain the victory over self.  Today you are to live a life of prayer.  Today you are to fight the good fight of faith.  Today you are to believe that God blesses you.  And as you gain the victory over darkness and unbelief, you will meet the requirements of the Master, and will become a blessing to those around you.  Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists (1886), 142, 143.

 

The Christian’s Privilege

 

Many who are sincerely seeking for holiness of heart and purity of life seem perplexed and discouraged.  They are constantly looking to themselves, and lamenting their lack of faith; and because they have no faith, they feel that they cannot claim the blessing of God.  These persons mistake feeling for faith.  They look above the simplicity of true faith, and thus bring great darkness upon their souls.  They should turn the mind from self, to dwell upon the mercy and goodness of God and to recount His promises, and then simply believe that He will fulfill His word.  We are not to trust in our faith, but in the promises of God.  When we repent of our past transgressions of His law, and resolve to render obedience in the future, we should believe that God for Christ’s sake accepts us, and forgives our sins. 

 

Darkness and discouragement will sometimes come upon the soul and threaten to overwhelm us, but we should not cast away our confidence.  We must keep the eye fixed on Jesus, feeling or no feeling.  We should seek to faithfully perform every known duty, and then calmly rest in the promises of God.

At times a deep sense of our unworthiness will send a thrill of terror through the soul, but this is no evidence that God has changed toward us, or we toward God.  No effort should be made to rein the mind up to a certain intensity of emotion.  We may not feel today the peace and joy which we felt yesterday; but we should by faith grasp the hand of Christ, and trust Him as fully in the darkness as in the light.  The Sanctified Life, 89, 90.

 

Faint Not

 

When the servants of God have prayed for his Spirit and blessing, it sometimes comes immediately, but it is not always then bestowed.  At such times faint not.  Let thy faith hold fast the promise, that it will come.  Let thy trust be fully in God, and often that blessing will come when you need it the most, and unexpectedly you will receive help from God   Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4b, 8.

February 2008 Table of Contents

 

       
 

Newsletter | Missionary Tabloids | Information Request

Home Church Resources | We Believe

   
       
Copyright © 1997-2008 Steps to Life | P.O. Box 782828, Wichita, KS 67278
Phone: (316) 788-5559 Fax: (316) 788-6900 | E-mail address: historic@stepstolife.org.
Designed by s-design.com.ar