What Atmosphere Surrounds the Soul?
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
It is of the greatest importance to us that we surround the soul with the atmosphere of faith. Every day we are deciding our own eternal destiny in harmony with the atmosphere that surrounds the soul. We are individually accountable for the influence that we exert, and consequences that we do not see will result from our words and actions. If God would have saved Sodom for the sake of ten righteous persons, what would be the influence for good that might go out as a result of the faithfulness of the people of God, if every one who professed the name of Christ were also clothed with his righteousness! If God could tell the abode, and designate the trade, of Simon the tanner, and definitely direct the centurion as to how he would find him living by the seaside, he also knows us by name, knows what is our trade or business, where we live, and what are our experiences. He knows whether we are clearing the King’s highway from all rubbish and hindrance, so that he can beckon our souls onward and upward, or whether we are filling the path with rubbish and blocking up our own way, and placing stumbling blocks in the way of sinners, to hinder the salvation of precious souls for whom Christ died.
We need a more heavenly atmosphere to surround our souls. We need to have our lips touched with a live coal from off the altar. We need to hear the word from Christ, “Be thou clean.” If we have scattered darkness, if we have accumulated rubbish, and hoarded doubts, if we have planted seeds of doubt and discouragement in the minds of others, may God help us to see our sin. We cannot afford to drop a single word of doubt; for it will germinate and grow, and bring forth a bitter harvest. We should take heed to the exhortation, “Be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” One seed of doubt sown, and it is beyond the power of men to kill it. God alone can pluck it from the soul. Our words are an indication of what is in the heart. Jesus says: “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
“God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It is our duty to encourage faith, to talk faith, that we may have faith. If we talk doubt, and encourage doubt, we shall have abundant doubt; for Satan will help us in this kind of work. We need sanctified hearts and sanctified lips; we need to breathe in the rich, bracing atmosphere that comes from the heavenly Canaan. We need to be filled with all the fullness of God. We shall then have life, power, grace, and salvation.
How shall we obtain these great blessings? Christ has died that we might receive them by faith in his name, for he has freely offered us life and light. Then why should we persist in driving pegs on which to hang gloomy scenes of doubt? Why should we fill the chambers of the mind with the shadows of unbelief? Why not let the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shine into the heart and mind, and dispel the gloom and the shadows that Satan would bring upon the soul? Turn to the light, to Jesus, the precious Saviour. Instead of beholding the flaws and defects of some human being, why not contemplate the matchless charms of Him who is the chiefest among ten thousand, and the one altogether lovely? We need not make any human being our pattern; for God has given us a perfect example in the life and character of his only-begotten Son, and by beholding him we shall become changed into his image. Look upon Him whose throne is high and lifted up, the train of whose glory fills the temple.
The garden of the promises of God has been presented before us, and by the precious promises of God we are to lay hold on faith, hope, and love. Through these graces the church may shine forth in the righteousness of Christ. Living faith grasps the hand of divine power, and faith is an anchor to the soul both sure and steadfast, entering into that which is within the veil. John says, “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” He describes the great multitude who shall stand before God as overcomers, and says, “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” The palms signify that they have gained the victory, and the white robes that they have been clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Thank God that a fountain has been opened to wash our robes of character, and make them as white as snow. And they “cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God, which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said unto me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
Are you filled with sorrow today? Fasten your eyes on the Sun of Righteousness. Do not try to adjust all the difficulties, but turn your face to the light, to the throne of God. What will you see there?–The rainbow of the covenant, the living promise of God. Beneath it is the mercy seat, and whosoever avails himself of the provisions of mercy that have been made, and appropriates the merits of the life and death of Christ, has in the rainbow of the covenant a blessed assurance of acceptance with the Father as long as the throne of God endures. Faith is what you need. Do not let faith waver. Fight the good fight of faith, and lay hold on eternal life. It will be a severe fight, but fight it at any cost; for the promises of God are yea and amen in Christ Jesus. Put your hand in the hand of Christ. There are difficulties to be overcome, but angels that excel in strength will cooperate with the people of God. Face Zion, press your way to the city of solemnities. A glorious crown, a robe woven in the loom of heaven, awaits the overcomer. Though Satan would cast his hellish shadow athwart your pathway, and seek to hide the mystic ladder from your view that stretches from earth to the throne of God, on which ascend and descend the angels who are ministering spirits to those who shall be heirs of salvation, yet press your way upward, plant your feet on one round after another, and advance to the throne of the Infinite.
— E.G. White, Signs of the Times, 5/2/1895