Further Study: Ellen G. White, Consecration, p. 43-48, in Steps to Christ; Nicodemus, p. 167-177, in The Desire of Ages. The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God, requires a struggle; but the soul must submit to God before it can be renewed in holiness. — Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 43. We cannot retain our own self and be filled with the fullness of God. We must be emptied of self. If heaven is gained by us at last, it will be only through the renunciation of self and in receiving the mind, the spirit, and the will of Christ Jesus. — Ellen G. White, In Heavenly Places, p. 155. When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven. . . . The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God. — Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p.173.
- What is your own experience in what it means to abide in Christ? What happens when you connect with Jesus? What happens when you don’?
- Who hasn’t struggled with the issue of prayers that are not answered, at least as we have prayed them? How do you maintain faith in God and in His promises in the face of requests that have not been answered as you wanted? What crucial things must we always keep in mind in such situations?
- What is it about self, about the very nature of self, that we are called to deny it daily? Look at it this way: if you didn’t deny self, if you allowed self to dominate all that you thought or did, what kind of life would you live? Would it, in any way, resemble that of our Master? What does your answer tell you about yourself apart from Christ?