We shall need an experience which we do not now possess

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It is very clear from the events that are happening in the world today, that we are very near to the end. When we look at the economy, escalating crime, corruption, natural disasters, wars and rumors of wars, distress of nations with perplexity, prevalent of strange diseases and the increase in others, we can see that we are in the midst of end time prophecy. It is all well and good to “know the time”, but it is also important to “know what Israel (Christians, God’s last day people) ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32). The Bible tells us that “…and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time…” (Daniel 12:1). And the book The Great Controversy tells us,

The “time of trouble, such as never was,” is soon to open upon us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess and which many are too indolent to obtain. It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal. In that time of trial, every soul must stand for himself before God. “Though Noah, Daniel, and Job” were in the land, “as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.” Ezekiel 14:20. – {GC 622.4}

Then we may ask the question, what is this experience that we need?

Jacob’s night of anguish, when he wrestled in prayer for deliverance from the hand of Esau (Genesis 32:24-30), represents the experience of God’s people in the time of trouble. … Jacob’s company, unarmed and defenseless, seemed about to fall helpless victims of violence and slaughter. And to the burden of anxiety and fear was added the crushing weight of self-reproach, for it was his own sin that had brought this danger. His only hope was in the mercy of God; his only defense must be prayer. Yet he leaves nothing undone on his own part to atone for the wrong to his brother and to avert the threatened danger. So should the followers of Christ, as they approach the time of trouble, make every exertion to place themselves in a proper light before the people, to disarm prejudice, and to avert the danger which threatens liberty of conscience. – {GC 616.2}

So like Jacob, we will need an experience, where we wrestle with God in prayer for deliverance. Trouble is coming upon the world and we need that experience where we have come to trust God and His promises, an experience where we have proved God at his words. It is important to note though Jacob agonized with God in prayer he also tried to avert the threatened danger. We are not just to wait in expectancy of the trouble that is coming.

Those who are laborers together with God will feel the need of wrestling in prayer for the endowment of the Holy Spirit. They will manifest the most tender solicitude for the erring, make most earnest appeals to those who are out of Christ, and will bear much fruit to the glory of God, and be known as the disciples of Christ. – {HM October 1, 1892 Par. 2}

Examples of those that had an experience with God – Moses and Enoch

With him (Moses) will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? Numbers 12:8

Through communion with God, Moses became so close to God, that his face would shine as he came from communing with the Lord. Likewise through our communion with God, earnest prayer and the studying of the word of God (Bible and SOP), we can reflect the image of God.

“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him”. Genesis 5:24

Through communion with God, the image of God was recreated in Enoch.

Communing thus with God, Enoch came more and more to reflect the divine image. His face was radiant with a holy light, even the light that shineth in the face of Jesus. As he came forth from these divine communings, even the ungodly beheld with awe the impress of heaven upon his countenance. – {GW 52.2} His faith waxed stronger, his love became more ardent, with the lapse of centuries. To him prayer was as the breath of the soul. He lived in the atmosphere of heaven. – {GW 52.3}

Jesus had special time and place to pray, He love to be in nature where he communed with God.

“And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.” -Matthew 14:23

Jesus gained spiritual strength to heal and do the work of His Father through communion with God.

But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed. And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

Luke 5:15-17

From the time when the parents of Jesus found Him in the temple, His course of action was a mystery to them. He would not enter into controversy, yet His example was a constant lesson. He seemed as one who was set apart. His hours of happiness were found when alone with nature and with God. Whenever it was His privilege, He turned aside from the scene of His labor, to go into the fields, to meditate in the green valleys, to hold communion with God on the mountainside or amid the trees of the forest. The early morning often found Him in some secluded place, meditating, searching the Scriptures, or in prayer. From these quiet hours He would return to His home to take up His duties again, and to give an example of patient toil…. – {CSA 9.5}

All sins are to be confessed and forsaken, before the time of trouble.

Had not Jacob previously repented of his sin in obtaining the birthright by fraud, God would not have heard his prayer and mercifully preserved his life. So, in the time of trouble, if the people of God had unconfessed sins to appear before them while tortured with fear and anguish, they would be overwhelmed; despair would cut off their faith, and they could not have confidence to plead with God for deliverance. But while they have a deep sense of their unworthiness, they have no concealed wrongs to reveal. Their sins have gone beforehand to judgment and have been blotted out, and they cannot bring them to remembrance. – {GC 620.1}

Satan leads many to believe that God will overlook their unfaithfulness in the minor affairs of life; but the Lord shows in His dealings with Jacob that He will in no wise sanction or tolerate evil. All who endeavor to excuse or conceal their sins, and permit them to remain upon the books of heaven, unconfessed and unforgiven, will be overcome by Satan. The more exalted their profession and the more honorable the position which they hold, the more grievous is their course in the sight of God and the more sure the triumph of their great adversary. Those who delay a preparation for the day of God cannot obtain it in the time of trouble or at any subsequent time. The case of all such is hopeless. – {GC 620.2}

The experience that we need includes faith that endures.

The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger—a faith that will not faint though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time. Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God’s promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded. Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for His blessing, will not obtain it. {GC 621.2}

Those who exercise but little faith now, are in the greatest danger of falling under the power of satanic delusions and the decree to compel the conscience. And even if they endure the test they will be plunged into deeper distress and anguish in the time of trouble, because they have never made it a habit to trust in God. The lessons of faith which they have neglected they will be forced to learn under a terrible pressure of discouragement. – {GC 622.1}

Do we know, at this time in our Christian experience, what it is to “wrestle with God”?

Wrestling with God—how few know what it is! How few have ever had their souls drawn out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the stretch. When waves of despair which no language can express sweep over the suppliant, how few cling with unyielding faith to the promises of God. – {GC 621.2}

Now more than ever we are to acquaint ourselves with God. Know His promises, because God is not a man that He should lie (see Numbers 23:19), His word will not return unto Him void (see Isaiah 55:11), prove Him.

We should now acquaint ourselves with God by proving His promises. Angels record every prayer that is earnest and sincere. We should rather dispense with selfish gratifications than neglect communion with God. The deepest poverty, the greatest self-denial, with His approval, is better than riches, honors, ease, and friendship without it. We must take time to pray. If we allow our minds to be absorbed by worldly interests, the Lord may give us time by removing from us our idols of gold, of houses, or of fertile lands. – {GC 622.2}

Through the atoning Blood of Jesus Christ, before probation closes, we are to separate sin from us.

It is in this life that we are to separate sin from us, through faith in the atoning blood of Christ. Our precious Saviour invites us to join ourselves to Him, to unite our weakness to His strength, our ignorance to His wisdom, our unworthiness to His merits. God’s providence is the school in which we are to learn the meekness and lowliness of Jesus. The Lord is ever setting before us, not the way we would choose, which seems easier and pleasanter to us, but the true aims of life. It rests with us to co-operate with the agencies which Heaven employs in the work of conforming our characters to the divine model. None can neglect or defer this work but at the most fearful peril to their souls. – {GC 623.2}

Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation. Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But Christ declared of Himself: “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.” John 14:30. Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father’s commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble. – {GC 623.1}

Jesus is coming soon brothers and sisters, and we will need an experience, which we do not no possess. He has made all the provisions for us to gain this experience so that we can be saved, redeemed, and to give us an expected end (see Jeremiah 29:11). The great object of life, to recreate His image in us and bring us back into the presence of our heavenly Father.

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