THOSE WHO RETURN TO THE OLD PATHS
“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isaiah 35:10.
The world is full of men and women who manifest no sense of obligation to God for their entrusted gifts. They do not realize that God has entrusted them with talents, not for self-glorification, but for His own name’s glory. They are eager for distinction. . . .
There are men whom God has qualified with more than ordinary ability. They are deep thinkers, energetic, and thorough. But many of them are bent upon the attainment of their own selfish ends, without regard to the honor and glory of God. Some of these have seen the light of truth, but because they honored themselves, and did not make God first and last and best in everything, they have wandered away from Bible truth into skepticism and infidelity. When these are arrested by the chastisements of God, and through affliction are led to inquire for the old paths, the mist of skepticism is swept from their minds. Some of them repent, return to the old love, and set their feet in the way cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. No longer are they actuated by the love of money or by selfish ambition. The Spirit of God working upon the heart is valued by them more highly than gold or the praise of men. When this amazing change is wrought, the thoughts are directed by the Spirit of God into new channels, the character is transformed, and the aspirations of the soul reach out toward heavenly things.
True religion has power today. It enables men to overcome the stubborn influence of pride, selfishness, and unbelief, and in the simplicity of true godliness to reveal a living connection with heaven. The grace which Christ imparts makes it possible for men to rise superior to all the infatuating temptations of Satan. It will lead them to the cross of Jesus as active, devoted, loyal workers for the advancement of the truth of heaven.
Fidelity to God has marked the heroes of faith from age to age. As they have been brought conspicuously before the world their light has shone forth. Their obedience to the command of Christ, “Go forward,” has led others to glorify God.
There are today moral heroes, men and women who are living noble lives of self-denial. They have no ambition for worldly fame. Their will is subordinate to the will of God. The love of God inspires their ministry. To do good and to save souls is their highest aim.
These have gained genuine knowledge, even the knowledge set forth by Christ in the words, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
From Devotional: Our Father Cares, pp. 311, 312.