Get Out of the Me BOX

selfish

It is a well known fact, not only within the Scriptures but in human psychology, that we as humans have predominantly one person who usually is the center of our universe– ourselves. Many may scoff at this but it may not be consciously that we believe this, but certainly unconsciously.

With this human trait grounded deep within us, those of us who attempt to change our nature, our core, can only succeed by the transformation of the Holy Spirit, Christ within us.I came across a Spirit of Prophecy quote so deep and profound, it is the basis of this week’s post. Let us read.

 “Now sin has marred God’s perfect work, yet that handwriting remains. Even now all created things declare the glory of His excellence. There is nothing, save the selfish heart of man, that lives unto itself. No bird that cleaves the air, no animal that moves upon the ground, but ministers to some other life. There is no leaf of the forest, or lowly blade of grass, but has its ministry. Every tree and shrub and leaf pours forth that element of life without which neither man nor animal could live; and man and animal, in turn, minister to the life of tree and shrub and leaf.

The flowers breathe fragrance and unfold their beauty in blessing to the world. The sun sheds its light to gladden a thousand worlds. The ocean, itself the source of all our springs and fountains, receives the streams from every land, but takes to give. The mists ascending from its bosom fall in showers to water the earth, that it may bring forth and bud.

The angels of glory find their joy in giving,–giving love and tireless watchcare to souls that are fallen and unholy. Heavenly beings woo the hearts of men; they bring to this dark world light from the courts above; by gentle and patient ministry they move upon the human spirit, to bring the lost into a fellowship with Christ which is even closer than they themselves can know.”(Desire of Ages, p.20-21)

What we see is that all things were created for benefit of another. Only man “lives unto itself.” With this thought in mind let us look at how this selfish nature is at work among us and how we can get going and get out of the –me box.

One of the great and sorrowful lessons of our past history is the story of the blind man’s parents.

“The Jewish leaders still refused to believe the man had been blind and could now see, so they called in his parents. They asked them, “Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he now see?”His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. That’s why they said, “He is old enough. Ask him.” (John 9:18-23)

Truly a sad sad situation! Here were supposedly excited and grateful parents who witnessed their blinded by birth son’s eyesight return, yet they selfishly denied Christ! Their only concern was to not be expelled from their church even though a life changing miracle was given their son by a man called Jesus. In other words they refused to leave their me box and stand out alone what ever may fall- for the Truth.

And that is key to getting out of our boxes, to not be afraid of the circumstances that comes with standing up for Jesus and His word as delivered by His prophets. Have you ever asked yourself– Why is it that we as the “Israel of today” (Testimonies vol. 9, p.164) are prophesied to have “only” 144,000 sealed amongst us? Yes, it is because so many of us refuse to get out of the me box! The Lord’s last message of Elijah is derided, mocked, scorned and dismissed and who among us wants to be associated with that?  Only those willing to get outside of the safety of their box and face the consequences.

Let’s look at another example, that of our King.

“As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me...On hearing this, many of His disciples said, “This is a difficult teaching. Who can accept it?”..As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.”(John 6:59,61, 66)

The Lord had just given the people strong and deep meat (truth) and in doing this it struck the people as strange words. In order to do this Jesus, our example , stepped out of His comfort zone and gave them the words of life. In  other words all our Lord had on His mind was His people not Himself, however strange it might make Him appear.

Do we today have this same “I want to help my brothers and sisters no  matter if I must be put in uncomfortable situations” attitude? To proclaim the truth from the Lord, His final message of solemn warnings and instructions, we must be willing to “go it alone” if this is what it takes. Of course all those who side with the Lord, will never be alone despite what we see and feel from this world.

The Spirit of Prophecy shows us that those who step outside the box will be like Elijah, willing to speak the words of Truth come what may.

“The messages from heaven are of a character to arouse opposition. The faithful witnesses for Christ and the truth will reprove sin. Their words will be like a hammer to break the flinty heart, like a fire to consume the dross. There is constant need of earnest, decided messages of warning. God will have men who are true to duty. At the right time He sends His faithful messengers to do a work similar to that of Elijah.” (Testimonies, vol.5, p.254) 

Being in this message I am frequently hearing from brethren, especially from the poorer countries, who tell of their experience within their own church. Their willingness to stand for the Lord’s final message and it’s often solemn declarations, has cost them their membership or rank within the church. Despite the opposition they have learned that it is not self they are worried about rather it is their brothers and sisters!

In closing, let us read what the message tells of our responsibilities. We can only do these faithful instructions if we step outside our–me box. May God help us to do that.

 

   The Responsibility of Those Who Bear the Message.

Since Ezekiel represents those whose hearts the message has reached, then to them the Lord is speaking when He says: “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at My mouth, and give them warning from Me.  When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

   “Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because  thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezek. 3 :17-21.

   Because of the unfaithfulness of the former watchmen, the Lord makes the antitypical Ezekiel — he and she who “sigh and cry for the abominations  that be done in the midst thereof” (the church) — a “watchman” (Ezek. 3:17) in their stead.  Be careful, therefore, Brother, Sister, lest you also betray your trust and find yourself thrust out.  “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. 10:12.  Only those who thus humble themselves now, will the Lord exalt in due time to be

His Faithful Watchmen to Stand Before the Unfaithful (Tract 1, p.41-42)

Believe me brethren the above snare is much more common than we think. Far too many of us mount the judgment seat and declare this shortcoming and that shortcoming from the few large organizations that our doing their best to provide present Truth “meat” to all those hungry for it. But as we point out in this post we don’t have to solely relay on the formal organizations  to send out the Truth  today.

“No need to depend on the sanction of any minister or any people to do God’s work, God will vindicate you.”(1888 Materials , p.1746)

We’ve heard the famous quote, “He marches to his own beat.” Well, that’s another way of saying we don’t have to be told what to do, we pick up the shovel, hammer, wheelbarrow (figuratively speaking) and get to work! All that is required for us to be active in spreading the sealing message today is to be–self sacrificing.

 

 

 

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