HE LORD SEES NOT AS MAN SEES. . . . He desires us to learn the lesson that we shall not gain true success in His work by trying to meet the criterion of the world. Hypocrisy and pretense can find no favor in His sight. The victories gained by the soul are not measured by outside appearance or by the praise of men, but by the goodness which shines forth in the life, by the firm adherence to God’s holy law.
All the thoughts of the mind, all the aspirations of the soul, are read by Him with whom we have to do. In every line of His work let our principles, purposes, words, and deeds be pure and unselfish. Let us manifest truth and goodness to all men. Regard not pretense and show as a mark of greatness, but reveal the sanctified ambition which Christ revealed in His life, an ambition to make the world better by having lived in it.
What the World Needs, Now
In God’s great work there is need of conscientious, godly men—men who have been wrestlers in their lifework, who have maintained a good fight against evil, who have sought not for the applause of the people, but for the favor of God. Men are needed through whom God can work—men who will wrestle with the Lord in prayer, and then go forth into the work with the inspiration He alone can give. Workers are needed who will pray, and then act their prayers, remembering that they are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.
When we read the Word of God for the purpose of understanding it and responding to its claims, we shall not desire to be esteemed and honored by the world. We have no claim nor right to greatness only as Christ gives value to our influence. The estimate He places upon our work is alone of value. All true greatness comes through Him. . . . The wisdom of the world, with all its show and pretense, will come to nothingness; for in the sight of God it is foolishness. . . .
The Value of a Soul
The God of heaven gave His Son up to a life of shame, humiliation, and reproach, in order that man might have a probation in which to mold his character after the divine model, that it might be said of him, “Ye are complete in Him.” “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
Old and young, rich and poor, have only one road to travel, one Savior to serve, honor, and obey. With Christ God has given us all privileges, all opportunities, and the very richest promises. This He has done that we may serve Him with the undivided affections. . . . Those who choose to be Christians after a worldly style, in a way that suits themselves, may be satisfied with this kind of service; but in God’s eyes it is of no value. Solid worth of character, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit—it is this that is in the sight of God of great price. . . .
The Divine Ideal for God’s Children
God requires from His blood-bought heritage the homage of the entire life. Every part of the being belongs to Him. . . . He calls upon us to serve Him, not to bow at the altars of the world. . . .When those who labor for Him are humble and sincere, He will send His angels to work with them. This will give character to their work. . . .
In comparison with the honor which comes with Christ, all earthly honor sinks into insignificance. If our names are even mentioned by the great men of this earth, we think it a matter of sufficient importance to cherish, and tell again and again, that others may see how we have been honored. But the lips that uttered our names are but mortal. Dust they are, and to dust they must return. Our names may be uttered with joy by the Son of God. Honor has been promised us by Him who is King of kings. If we are faithful, the eternal God will claim us as His sons and daughters. Neither cherub nor seraph will be slow to recognize and welcome God’s redeemed ones. Is not this honor worth striving for?
When we think righteously and sensibly, we shall be ashamed of our ideas as to what constitutes elevation of character. True elevation is ours only as we reveal the attributes of the Christ-life. Our will must be placed in harmony with the divine will. We must accept Christ as a personal Savior. Then the Sin-bearer takes away our sin and imputes to us His righteousness. We are cleansed in the blood of the Lamb.
This is the only true elevation. This is the highest standard to which we can reach. We are perfected by beholding Christ. Changed into the same likeness, from character to character, we are made complete in Him. His life is the standard of excellence. There is no exaltation for any of us only as it comes through Him. Our highest good is found in following Him. . . . If we lift the cross cheerfully, and press forward bravely in the path of self-sacrifice, God will guide us by His Spirit, and afterward receive us into glory.
Seventh-day Adventists believe Ellen G. White exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during her more than 70 years of public ministry. This article is excerpted from one that first appeared in
The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, now the
Adventist Review, July 23, 1901.