“The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Now you may cling to your righteousness, and you may think that you have tried to do about right, and that, after all, you will be saved in doing this. You cannot see that Christ does it all. “I must repent first,” some say. “I must go so far on my own without Christ, and then Christ meets me and accepts me.”
You cannot have a thought without Christ. You cannot have an inclination to come to Him unless He sets in motion influences and impresses His Spirit upon the human mind. And if there is a person on the face of the earth who has any inclination toward God, it is because of the many influences that are set to work to bear upon his mind and heart. Those influences call for the allegiance to God and an appreciation of the great work that God has done for him.
Then don’t let us ever say that we can repent of ourselves, and then Christ will pardon. No, indeed. It is the favor of God that pardons. It is the favor of God that leads us by His power to repentance. Therefore, it is all of Jesus Christ, everything of Him, and you want to just give back glory to God. Why don’t you respond more when you meet together in your meetings? Why don’t you have the quickening influence of the Spirit of God when the love of Jesus and His salvation are presented to you? It is because you do not see that Christ is first and last and best, and the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the very Author and Finisher of our faith. You don’t realize this, and therefore you remain in your sins. Why is this? It is because Satan is here wrestling and battling for the souls of human beings. He casts his hellish shadow right athwart our pathway, and all that you can see is the enemy and his power.
Look away from his power to the One that is mighty to save to the utmost. Why doesn’t your faith plow through the shadow to where Christ is? He has led captivity captive and given gifts unto men and women. He will teach you that Satan claims every soul that does not join with Him as His property.—Faith and Works, 72, 73.
Further Reflection: What in my life is preventing me from taking a sustained, consistent look at Jesus? What is the Devil using to distract me from God?