There is a cause for the great weakness in our churches, and that cause is hard to remove; for it is self. Trouble does not arise because men have too much will, but because they have too much self-will. The will should be wholly sanctified to God. The professed followers of Christ need to fall on the Rock and be broken; for in every one who enters the gates of the city of God, self must be crucified. This fierce spirit which rises up in the hearts of some in the church when everything does not go to please them, must be subdued; for it is not the Spirit of Christ. It is fully time that we return to our first love, and be at peace among ourselves. We must make it manifest that we are not only Bible readers, but Bible believers. If we are united to Christ, we shall be united to one another. . . Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
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If we would see light in God’s light, we must abide in Christ. The soul must receive strength and nourishment from the living Vine. The apostle says, “Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” But stubbornness effectually bars the way to the entrance of the Spirit of God. Stubbornness does not profit; it is the fruit of selfishness, and the only cure for it is to cut it up from the heart by the roots. Often the outward manifestation of selfishness is done away for a time, but its hateful fruit will again appear as do the leaves of a tree that has been cut down, but whose root remains. If a fiber of selfishness is left, it will spring forth again, and bear a harvest after its kind.
The Spirit of God cannot work effectually in any heart where pride and self-esteem exist. But without the aid of the Spirit of God the soul cannot be renewed, a new heart cannot be created within. The Lord is at work seeking to purify his people, and this great work is retarded by unbelief and stubbornness. Many think that had they lived in Christ’s day, they would have been among his believing followers; but if all the miracles of Christ were presented before those whose hearts are not subdued by the Spirit of God, their convictions would not be followed, nor their faith increased. Light has been shining upon the church of God, but many have said by their indifferent attitude, “We want not thy way, O Lord, but our own way.” The kingdom of heaven has come very near, and they have caught glimpses of the Father and the Son, but they have barred the door of the heart, and have not received the heavenly guests; for as yet they know not the love of God.
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