Broken and Defeated

Posted Mar 30, 2023 by Allan Gathoni in Praise Fellowship Feedback and Sharing

2Cor 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

Many have a loving relationship with the Lord, but over time they lose their experience and struggle to regain it. The science of salvation involved here is not well understood, hence the struggle to get back the previous experience and one becomes a lost sheep. Once upon a time they knew the shepherd, but they got lost and forgot the sound of that voice.

It can be very frustrating that many are lost in the house (church), but do not know they are lost. Two opposites- those who know they have lost something and do not know how to get it back versus those who do not know that they have lost it.

Do we know the science of salvation? With study, we can find the true science of salvation. Inspiration says,

But while the knowledge of science is power, the knowledge that Jesus came in person to impart is still greater power. The science of salvation is the most important science to be learned in the preparatory school of earth. The wisdom of Solomon is desirable, but the wisdom of Christ is far more desirable and more essential. We cannot reach Christ through a mere intellectual training; but through Him we can reach the highest round of the ladder of intellectual greatness. While the pursuit of knowledge in art, in literature, and in trades should not be discouraged, the student should first secure an experimental knowledge of God and His will. {CT 19.2}

We are not safe if we neglect to search the Scriptures daily for light and knowledge. Earthly blessings cannot be obtained without toil, and can we expect that spiritual and heavenly blessings will come without earnest effort on our part? The mines of truth are to be worked. Says the psalmist, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” The word of God must not be kept apart from our life. It must be entertained in the mind, welcomed in the heart, and be cherished, loved, and obeyed. We need also much more knowledge; we need to be enlightened in regard to the plan of salvation. There is not one in one hundred who understands for himself the Bible truth on this subject that is so necessary to our present and eternal welfare. When light begins to shine forth to make clear the plan of redemption to the people, the enemy works with all diligence that the light may be shut away from the hearts of men. If we come to the word of God with a teachable, humble spirit, the rubbish of error will be swept away, and gems of truth, long hidden from our eyes, will be discovered. {RH September 3, 1889, par. 11}

Lack of understanding the science of salvation makes it hard to know how to maintain and sustain our experience. However, it is important to realize that:

The opportunity of learning the science of salvation is placed within the reach of all. By abiding in Christ, by doing His will, by exercising simple faith in His word, even those unlearned in the wisdom of the world may have this knowledge. To the humble, trusting soul the Lord reveals that all true knowledge leads heavenward. {CT 19.3}

The only way in which we can gain a more perfect apprehension of truth is by keeping the heart tender and subdued by the Spirit of Christ. Human science is too limited to comprehend the plan of redemption. Philosophy cannot explain it. But the science of salvation can be known by experience. Only he who sees his own sinfulness can discern the preciousness of the Saviour. {HLv 333.4}

She then makes this important statement:

‘’I wish you to distinctly understand this point, that souls are kept from obeying the truth by a confusion of ideas, and also because they do not know how to surrender their wills and their minds to Jesus. They want special instruction how to become Christians.’’ {Ev 152.1}

The gospel is to be presented, not as a lifeless theory, but as a living force to change the life. God desires that the receivers of His grace shall be witnesses to its power. Those whose course has been most offensive to Him He freely accepts; when they repent, He imparts to them His divine Spirit, places them in the highest positions of trust, and sends them forth into the camp of the disloyal to proclaim His boundless mercy. He would have His servants bear testimony to the fact that through His grace men may possess Christlikeness of character, and may rejoice in the assurance of His great love. He would have us bear testimony to the fact that He cannot be satisfied until the human race are reclaimed and reinstated in their holy privileges as His sons and daughters. {DA 826.2}

Apostle Paul said,

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 

The righteous will live by His faith. It’s not just to believe in a finished work up there, but also in a work here, in the heart - what God can do: He has the power to do through the Gospel.

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 

When we share this text with people and ask what is the next section after ‘’fear and trembling’’, then there is a dead silence.  When we omit the following verse and do not experience it wholeheartedly, we may miss what it is all about.

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 

‘’Working out our own salvation with fear and trembling’’ is what so many of us do instead of surrendering to God and allowing Him work in us. Trust in self, the glory of man is not laid to dust.

To make God’s grace our own, we must act our part. The Lord does not propose to perform for us either the willing or the doing. His grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort. Our souls are to be aroused to co-operate. The Holy Spirit works in us, that we may work out our own salvation. This is the practical lesson the Holy Spirit is striving to teach us. “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” {MYP 147.2}

God cannot work through us miraculously while we are unconverted. It would spoil us; for we would take it as an evidence that we were perfect before Him. Our fist work is to become perfect in His sight, by living faith claiming His promise of forgiveness. “Ask what ye will,” Christ declared to His disciples, “and it shall be done unto you” .... “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” Those who see Christ by living faith, those who abide in Him, will have power to work miracles for His glory. —Manuscript 169, 1902, 14. (“The Work of the St. Helena Sanitarium,” July 14, 1902.) {4MR 113.2}

Man can accomplish nothing without God, and God has arranged His plans so far as to accomplish nothing in the restoration of the human race without the cooperation of the human with the divine. The part man is required to sustain is immeasurably small, yet in the plan of God it is just that part that is needed to make the work a success. {4MR 113.3}

We may ask, what is our work and what is God’s work? God always begins the process. He does not leave you to seek it on your own. He starts working for you even before you were conceived. He works with your parents since He desires them to bring their children into the world as John the Baptist entered the world – filled with the Holy Spirit. Inspiration says that every mother can have the privilege that Elizabeth had:

Even the babe in its mother’s arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we will live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mold our little ones, even from their earliest moments. {DA 512.3}

As parents, we need to live in such a surrender to the Spirit of God so that Christ may have the right to ‘control’ of our children.

John 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 

No matter who the person is, he feels the ‘’pull’’ of God. What is your part when God draws you? DO NOT RESIST. When you’re convicted to study – just study. So many of us start by trying to gain victory over sin and end up failing miserably. Victory over sin comes after surrender. It comes after rebirth. Spend time with Jesus and get to know Him and see what He can do for you. When the heart and mind are drawn to Jesus by the time we spend with Him, sin will not have a place in us. Its only by love that love is awakened.

You will begin to realize that it is God’s part that happens in the heart and it is our part to act (live) what happens inside. When He makes us feel total guilty and totally lost of our condition, remember guilty is a good thing if you have a Savior. Be grateful to Him because then you can admit your guilt. Righteousness of Christ is a living principle. The Holy Spirit, the juice of the vine that flows into the branch and changes the heart and external control.

If you feel lost today, praise the Lord because today is still the day of salvation and its better to wake up today than when its too late. Think how it feels when the foolish virgins knock, when the lukewarm knocks, when the man comes without the wedding garment… We can still find Christ within us today and ask Him moment by moment to control our spirit. Amen