Fear and Trembling

Troubled times have come upon the Earth.

Far more than we do, we need to understand the issues at stake in the conflict in which we are engaged. We need to understand more fully the value of the truths that God has given for this time and the danger of allowing our minds to be diverted from them by the great deceiver.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 312.

During the COVID 19 pandemic of the past few months, different voices from even the most unlikely individuals have been heard predicting that a spiritual awakening would come out of this experience. It is quite common for humanity to cry out to God in times of trial. However, too often when the trial is over, those who cried to God in their despair easily forget the experience and soon return to life as usual.

As believers and students of the word of God, we know that prophecy is fulfilling. We believe and proclaim the messages of the three angels of Revelation 14 and that we need to prepare ourselves for that blessed hope of the glorious appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ. We must not forget what Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23 “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day [the day of His return] many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ did we not prophecy in your name, cast out demons in your name, and do mighty works in your name? And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me… .”

Do you not agree that those would be the most startling and tragic words spoken to anyone thinking that they were going to be taken to heaven with Jesus? The apostle Paul admonished in his epistles that we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, that we must continue to cultivate and press to complete the goal, not trusting to self or shrinking back from whatever might discredit our profession of faith. “

You have to talk faith, you have to live faith, you have to act faith, that you may have an increase of faith; and thus exercising that living faith you will grow to strong men and women in Christ Jesus. SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1121 Jesus said “Abide in Me.” We must strive to keep our lamps filled with the oil of the Spirit. Are we indeed acting like the wise virgins that have awakened at the message (sounds) that the Bridegroom is coming? How well are you “working out” your salvation, friend? The Lord expects every believer to exercise the gift of faith.

The worldwide scale of this pandemic most certainly captured the attention of many with thoughts of whether some prophetic occurrence was taking place and asking questions like “Are we on the verge of more troubled times?” Others are just happy thinking it will soon be a thing of the past.

“You have to talk faith, you have to live faith, you have to act faith, that you may have an increase of faith; and thus exercising that living faith you will grow to strong men and women in Christ Jesus (MS 1, 1889).” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1121.

There are too many who are striving to obey all of God’s commandments who have little peace and joy. Why should this lack even exist in the Christian’s experience? This lack is the result of a failure to exercise true faith, to maintain regular communion with the Father, and of not fortifying the mind with God’s word and not meditating on the words of life. Although the enemy works tirelessly to discourage us, we must keep our eyes on Him who is true and faithful, remembering that grace and peace are multiplied through knowing the lovely Jesus, as it is our privilege to know Him. Too many habitually dial their earthly acquaintances or a “prayer partner” and pour into human ears their woes. Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

“It is the real, vital essence of Christianity to grasp the unseen by faith, reaching out constantly to lay hold of the spiritual efficiency found in Christ.” Christ Triumphant, 53.

“When in trouble, when assailed by fierce temptations, [Christians] have the privilege of prayer. What an exalted privilege! Finite beings, of dust and ashes, admitted through the mediation of Christ, into the audience-chamber of the Most High. In such exercises the soul is brought into a sacred nearness with God, and is renewed in knowledge, and true holiness, and fortified against the assaults of the enemy.” An Appeal to Mothers, 24.

The Lord is coming. Through the agitations in the physical world, in the strivings of men and nations, we hear the footsteps of an approaching God. He comes to punish the world for its iniquity. That is why the Lord said “Watch and pray.” We are to prepare the way for Him by acting our part in preparing a people for that great day.

“A storm is coming, relentless in its fury. Are we prepared to meet it?” Testimonies, vol. 8, 315.

As the apostle Paul exhorted Timothy “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:12).

The choices we make today in this life to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, to live righteously in this present world, are what will determine if we receive either eternal life or eternal death. How many who know the truth for this time are working in harmony with the principles of the gospel?

“If today we would take time to go to Jesus and tell Him our needs, we should not be disappointed.” The Desire of Ages, 363.

“Day by day, God instructs His children. … It is the issue of the daily test that determines their victory or defeat in life’s great crisis.

“Those who fail to realize their constant dependence upon God will be overcome by temptation.” Ibid., 382.

In His Steps In His Steps July – August 2020 Article

by John Grosboll Director of Steps to Life

Co-authored by Hilde Nunez Contributing Editor