By Mrs. E. G. White
Christ saw that it was not possible for man to overcome in his own strength; therefore He came in person from the throne of glory, and bore the test that Adam failed to bear. In man’s behalf He resisted the temptations of the enemy, and made it possible for man, by faith in Him, to overcome in his own behalf. Satan knew that everything depended on the result of his effort to overcome Christ. He knew that if Christ bore the test that Adam failed of bearing, the plan of salvation would be carried out to its fulfilment, and his destruction would be certain. He saw that he must either conquer or be conquered. All the powers of the apostate were rallied against the Son of God. Christ was made the mark of every weapon of hell. Satan bent all his energies to the effort to cause Christ to swerve from his allegiance. From the desert to Calvary, the storm of the enemy’s wrath beat upon the Saviour; but the more mercilessly it fell, the more firmly did the Son of God cling to the hand of His Father, and press on in the blood-stained path. All the efforts of Satan to overcome Him only brought out in a purer light His spotless character.
In our own strength it is impossible for us to conquer in the conflict with sin. But Christ is acquainted with our necessities and our weakness. He came to this world as a man, and as a man lived a life of obedience. We shall never be called upon to suffer as He suffered; for upon Him were laid the sins of the whole world. That we might have eternal life, He endured reproach, mockery, insult, and a death of shame.
We need not expect to gain the victory over sin without enduring suffering, or to win the overcomer’s reward by feeble efforts. Think of how much it cost the Saviour, as in the wilderness He battled with temptation. For forty days He fasted and prayed. Weak and emaciated from hunger, worn and haggard with mental agony, “His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.”
The Christian life is a life of constant conflict. It is a battle and a march. Every act of obedience, every deed of self-denial, every trial bravely endured, every temptation resisted, every victory gained, is a step forward in the march to eternal triumph.
There is hope for man. Christ says, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” But let us never forget that the efforts we make in our own strength are utterly worthless. Our strength is weakness; our judgment foolishness. Only in the name and strength of the Conqueror can we conquer. When we are pressed with temptation, when unchristlike desires clamor for the mastery, let us offer fervent, importunate prayer to the heavenly Father, in the name of Christ. This will bring divine aid. In the Redeemer’s name we may gain the victory.
As, seeing the sinfulness of sin, we fall helpless before the cross, asking forgiveness and strength, our prayer is heard and answered. Those who present their petitions to God in Christ’s name will never be turned away. The Lord says, “Him that cometh to Me I will in nowise cast out.” “He will regard the prayer of the destitute.” Our help comes from Him who holds all things in His hands. The peace that He sends is the assurance of His love to us.
Nothing can be more helpless and yet more invincible than the soul that feels its nothingness, and relies wholly upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. God would send every angel in heaven to the aid of the one who places his whole dependence on Christ, rather than allow him to be overcome.
If we accept Christ as our Guide, He will lead us safely along the narrow way. The road may be rough and thorny, and the ascent steep and dangerous; there may be pitfalls on the right hand and on the left. When weary and longing for rest, we may have to toil on; when faint, we may have to fight; but with Christ as our Guide, we shall not fail of reaching heaven. Christ Himself has trodden the rough path before us, smoothing it for our feet. The way is illuminated by Him who is the light of the world. As we follow in His footsteps, the path grows brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.