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The Cause of Perplexity



The reason why so many are in perplexity is because they take their cases into their own hands, and manufacture yokes that are not pleasant for them to wear. They worry and plan and devise, when Christ stands inviting, "Take my yoke." 

If you have not found the rest that Christ has offered to give you upon condition that you learn of him who is meek and lowly of heart, would you not better without delay yoke up with Christ, bear only his burdens, and not pile upon your shoulders burdens that weigh you down to the earth? All your trouble comes because you are so anxious to run things yourself that you do not wear the yoke of Christ, which he declares is easy. The yokes of your own manufacturing gall the neck that wears them. Christ says, Try my yoke, it is easy; lift my burdens, for they are light.

Christ gives rest to all who receive him by faith. You are not to conjure up a variety of things that you are to enter into in order to find rest, assurance, confidence. Just leave that work, which not even the wisest of the human family can do, and put your trust in One who has promised rest to your soul. Do just what he has told you to do, and be assured that God will do all that he has engaged to do. The invitation is, Come unto me, and I will give you rest. Have you come to him, renouncing all your makeshifts, all your unbelief, all your self-righteousness? Come just as you are, weak, helpless, ready to die. 

What is the "rest"? It is the consciousness that God is true, that he never disappoints a soul who comes to him. His pardon is full and free, and his acceptance of you means rest to your soul, rest in his love. 

But be sure that you act your part by cooperating with the One who has promised. By some the promise is grasped so eagerly that it becomes their own, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost is their experience. Others suppose that they must wait to become worthy. Never, never will you become worthy, for if this could have been, the Prince of heaven would never have come to our world. 

"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." How is this done? Fear lest you shall weave into the fabric threads of your own selfishness; fear lest you shall err in choosing the timber for your character-building. God alone can supply the solid timber. Well may mortal man be afraid of weaving into his character the miserable threads of his own inherited and cultivated tendencies; well may he tremble lest he shall not submit all things to Him who is working in his behalf, that God's will may be done in him. God welcomes those who come to him just as they are, not building themselves up in self-righteousness, not seeking to justify self, not claiming merit for that which they call a good action, not priding themselves on their knowledge of what constitutes righteousness. Put on the wedding garment which Christ has prepared, and drop the citizen's dress; then you can sit down in heavenly places with Christ. 

While you have been walking in meekness and lowliness, a work has been going on for you, a work which only God could do, for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. And that good pleasure is to have you abide in Christ; rest in his love. You must not let anything rob your soul of peace, of restfulness, of the assurance that you are accepted just now. Appropriate every promise; all are yours on condition of your complying with the Lord's terms. Entire surrender of your ways, which seem so very wise, and taking Christ's ways, is the secret of perfect rest in his love. Giving up the life to him means much more than we suppose. We must learn his meekness and lowliness before we can realize the fulfillment of the promise, "Ye shall find rest unto your souls." It is by learning the habits of Christ that self becomes transformed,--by taking Christ's yoke and then submitting to learn. There is no one who has not much to learn. All must come under the training of Jesus. When they fall upon Christ, their own hereditary and cultivated tendencies are taken away as hindrances to their being partakers of the divine nature. When self dies, Christ lives in the human agent; the man abides in Christ, and Christ lives in him. 

Christ desires all to become his students. He says, Yield yourself to my training; submit your soul to me. I will not extinguish you, but will work out for you such a character that you shall be transformed from the lower to the higher grade. Submit all things to me. Let my life, my patience, my longsuffering, my forbearance, my meekness, my lowliness, be worked out in your character, as one that abides in me and I in him. Then you have power. Christ says not only, "I will give," but, "You shall find rest to your souls." 

God calls for an entire surrender. You can not receive the Holy Spirit until you break every yoke of bondage, everything that binds you to your objectionable traits of character. These are the great hindrances to your wearing Christ's yoke and learning of him. The abiding rest--who has it? That rest is found when all self-justification, all reasoning from a selfish standpoint, is put away. Acquaintance with Christ makes you want to abide in him, and to have him abide in you. Entire self-surrender is required.  

In my dream last night a sentinel stood at the door of an important building, and said to every one who came for entrance, Have you received the Holy Ghost? A measuring line was in his hand, and only very, very few were admitted into the building. Your size as a human being is nothing; your size as the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus, according to the knowledge you have had, will give you an appointment to sit with Christ at the marriage supper of the Lamb, and you will never know the extent of the great advantages given you in the banquet prepared for you. 

You may be tall and well proportioned in self, but none such can enter here. None can be admitted who are grown-up children, with all the habits and customs, the disposition, the characteristics, which pertain to children. You have nurtured your suspicions, your criticisms, your bad temper, your dignity, and you can not be permitted to spoil the feast. All who enter through the door have on the wedding garment, woven in the loom of heaven. Your leaven of distrust, your want of confidence, your power of accusing, closes against you the door of admittance. Within this door, nothing can enter that can possibly mar the happiness of the dwellers here by marring their perfect trust in one another. Those who have educated themselves to pick flaws in the characters of others, have thus revealed a deformity of character which has made families unhappy, which has turned souls from the truth to choose fables. You can not join the happy family in the heavenly courts, for God has wiped all tears from their eyes. You can never see the King of beauty, if you are not yourself a representative of the loveliness of Christ's character. Abiding with Christ is choosing only the disposition of Christ, so that he identifies his interests with yours. When you give up your own will, your own wisdom, and learn of Christ as he has invited you to do, then you shall find entrance into the kingdom of God. Entire, unreserved surrender he requires. Give up your life for him to order, mould, and fashion. Take upon your neck his yoke, submit to be led and taught, as well as to lead and teach. Learn that unless you become as a little child, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Abide in him, to be and do only what he wills. These are the conditions of discipleship.

Unless these conditions are complied with, you can not have rest. Rest is in Christ; it can not be found as something he gives apart from himself. The moment the yoke is adjusted to your neck, that moment it is found easy; and the heaviest labor in spiritual lines can be performed, the heaviest burdens can be borne, because the Lord gives the strength and the power, and he gives gladness in doing the work. 

Mark the points: Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart. Who is it that speaks thus?--The Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. He desires that your conception of spiritual things shall be purified from the fog of selfishness, the defilement of a crooked, coarse, unsympathetic nature. You must have an inward, higher experience. You must obtain a growth in grace by abiding in Christ. And when you are converted, you will not be a hindrance, but will strengthen your brethren.

-The Gospel Herald, April 23, 1902