Soldiers For Christ

Ellen G. White


Soldiers for Christ

God’s word is full of rich promises to the youth who will fight the good fight of faith. But those who enlist in this service must remember that it is a daily warfare; for our great enemy will put forth every effort, he will build up every barrier possible, to prevent us from trusting the “Thus saith the Lord.” He would lead us to question God’s word; but it is our privilege to gain the victory over him. Our work is to “resist the devil,” not harbor his doubts; and if we do this, the promise is, “He shall flee from you.” {YI July 8, 1897, par. 1}

But the question is often asked, How can I resist Satan? There is only one way by which you can do this, and that is by faith, taking Christ as your helper, and pleading with him for strength. When Satan suggests doubt to your soul, when he tells you that you are too unworthy, too sinful, to realize the blessing of God, present Christ before him as your Advocate and Saviour. Tell him you know that you are a sinner, but that Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost. He came “not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Repeat his promises: “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” “Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive,” Be simple-hearted enough to believe these promises of God. When Satan comes to you, and tells you that because you are unhappy, perplexed, and troubled, you are not a child of God, do not become discouraged for one moment, but gird up the loins of your mind. Let your heart repose in God. He has promised that if you come to him, you shall find rest to your soul; and if you have done this, rest assured that he will fulfill his word in you. {YI July 8, 1897, par. 2}

It is said of Abraham that he believed God, and his faith was counted to him for righteousness. At the call of God, he left his country and people, and went out, “not knowing whither he went.” “He looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Moses, also, through faith, esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of reward. Job, in the midst of his great loss and bodily suffering, could say, “For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.... Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.” And the dying words of the apostle Paul were: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” {YI July 8, 1897, par. 3}

Many pass long years in darkness and doubt because they do not feel as they desire. But feeling has nothing to do with faith. That faith which works by love and purifies the soul is not a matter of impulse. It ventures out upon the promises of God, firmly believing that what he has said, he is able also to perform. Our souls may be trained to believe, taught to rely upon the word of God. That word declares that “the just shall live by faith,” not by feeling. The word of God nowhere gives the least encouragement to the ease-loving, indolent, unbelieving soul. In the Scriptures the necessity of earnest effort is constantly kept before us; the battle must be fought before the victory is won. We must strive to enter in at the strait gate; we must run with patience the race set before us. {YI July 8, 1897, par. 4}

The struggle against sin is to go on day by day and hour by hour. Our hearts must be educated to become steadfast in God. We are to form habits of thought that will enable us to resist temptation. We must learn to look upward. God has provided the means whereby we may come off more than conquerors through him who has loved us. He says: “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” {YI July 15, 1897, par. 1}

As you engage in this warfare, dear youth, every step you take heavenward, every effort you put forth to exalt the Saviour on the earth, and lift him up before men as the chiefest among ten thousand, will be opposed by evil men and angels. For no member of the human family can serve God, and seek to advance his work in the earth, without drawing upon him the hatred and opposition of the powers of darkness. Evil men are stirred with anger by the example of Christ’s followers, because it reproves their own course of wrong-doing; and they become Satan’s agents, to work in every way to turn the obedient from the path of righteousness. But while we trust in God, these powers cannot harm us. We have his promise: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” {YI July 15, 1897, par. 2}

Is it not enough that God has promised to give his people strength sufficient for the trials and difficulties which they may have to encounter? Under the influence of the grace of Christ, we may be witnesses for him, reflecting the light of heaven amid the surrounding darkness. Could the veil be lifted, we would see that angels of God are around us to preserve us from unseen dangers. Thousands of times has their care been especially manifested for us in our warfare with the agencies of Satan. Then let us not forget the mercies of God, but let us preserve them as precious jewels. When the powers of darkness surround us, and whisper doubts as to God’s love and care for us, let us take confidence from the light that has been permitted to shine upon us in our life experience. {YI July 15, 1897, par. 3}

It is Satan’s design that we shall lose sight of the great sacrifice that has been made in our behalf, of the love that has been bestowed upon us. The cross of Calvary alone can measure the love which God has for every member of the human family. He “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” {YI July 15, 1897, par. 4}

We must never allow ourselves to doubt the love of Jesus,—he who for our sake bore the contradiction of sinners against himself. He was buffeted with temptations, convulsed with agony, lacerated with stripes, pierced by nails, crowned with thorns; and he consented to all this humiliation and suffering that he might gain for us the victory over Satan. He exposed himself to abuse and insult for our sake. Every arrow with which Satan pierced him, every pang of anguish that he endured, was in our behalf. His life was one dark series of afflictions, which weakened at every step Satan’s hold upon humanity. Thus he paid the debt which man owed to God, and brought us out of the bondage of Satan into the marvelous light of the gospel. {YI July 15, 1897, par. 5}

Jesus died, dear youth, not to save you in your sins, but from your sins. He wants you to follow the example which he has set before you,—to deny self, take up your cross daily, and follow him. He claims your service, your heart’s best and holiest affections. If you will walk in obedience to his will, learning cheerfully and diligently the lessons of his providence, by and by he will say, “Child, come up higher to the heavenly mansions which I have prepared for you.” {YI July 15, 1897, par. 6}