The relationship between the will, the truth, and the soul
By Ellen G. White
In the teachings of Christ, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is made prominent. What a vast theme is this for contemplation and encouragement! What treasures of truth did He add to the knowledge of His disciples in His instruction concerning the Holy Spirit, the Comforter! He dwelt upon this theme in order to console His disciples in the great trial they were soon to experience, that they might be cheered in their great disappointment. He said: “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Divine Influence is Essential
The world’s Redeemer sought to bring to the hearts of the sorrowing disciples the strongest solace. But from a large field of subjects, He chose the theme of the Holy Spirit, which was to inspire and comfort their hearts. And yet, though Christ made much of this theme concerning the Holy Spirit, how little is it dwelt upon in the churches! The name and presence of the Holy Spirit are almost ignored, yet the divine influence is essential in the work of perfecting the Christian character. Some are not at peace, not at rest; they are in a state of constant fretfulness, and permit impulse and passion to rule their hearts. They know not what it means to experience peace and rest in Christ. They are as a ship without anchor, driven with the wind and tossed. But those whose minds are controlled by the Holy Spirit walk in humility and meekness; for they work in Christ’s lines, and will be kept in perfect peace, while those who are not controlled by the Holy Spirit are like the restless sea.
Thought Questions 1. What can we do in order to know God’s will? 2. What makes the difference between the person who has peace and the person who is full of anxiety?
3. How are a person’s will and peace related? 4. What will sanctify the soul and transform the character?Knowing God’s Will
The Lord has given us a divine directory by which we may know His will. Those who are self centered, self-sufficient, do not feel their need of searching the Bible, and they are greatly disturbed if others do not have the same defective ideas, and see with the same distorted vision that they do. But he who is guided by the Holy Spirit has cast his anchor within the veil wherein Jesus has entered for us. He searches the Scriptures with eager earnestness, and seeks for light and knowledge to guide him amid the perplexities and perils which at every step compass his path. Those who are restless, complaining, murmuring, read the Bible for the purpose of vindicating their own course of action, and they ignore or pervert the counsels of God.
He who has peace has placed his will on the side of God’s will, and longs to follow the divine guidance, while he who is full of unrest is constantly struggling to sustain himself, and make it appear that he is right, and is sustained by what he estimates as wisdom.
To the sincere, contrite heart, truth is truth; and if it is allowed, it will sanctify the soul and transform the character into the divine image. To the other, truth is a theory, and is not brought into the practical life. Those who realize what is the character of the work that they must do in order to represent Christ will walk softly and tremblingly before God, looking unto Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of their faith. They dare not trust themselves, they dare not kindle a fire of their own, and walk in sparks of their own kindling, for the Lord has said that all such shall lie down in sorrow. The Lord has entrusted to His people the treasures of sacred truth, and in no case will they be excusable if they present the truth in their own unsanctified spirit, or use the truth as a scourge by which to afflict others.
This article was first published in Signs of the Times, August 14, 1893, under the title “Sanctification Through the Truth.” Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.