In this post, I’ll be wrapping up the summary of Steps to Christ by Ellen G. White.
You’ll be reading:
- Chapter 11 – The Privilege of Prayer
- Chapter 12 – What to Do with Doubt
- Chapter 13 – Rejoicing in the Lord
With three previous posts, I have discussed the first ten chapters of this small but powerful book.
So, if you’re thinking, “what is Steps to Christ about,” read those posts. You’ll love them.
Now, when I ended my summary of Steps to Christ chapter 10, I realized the beauty of the Christian journey.
As a growing Christian, I look at my life daily. And say, “Adenike, are you sure you’re on track?”
Chapter of this book by EGW made it clear that you may never feel like you’re doing a lot. But keep going.
Just keep sharing your faith in those little ways. And you’ll receive the highest honor in due season.
As you read this final summary of Steps to Christ, remember that you aren’t alone. Just as you have steps to score an A in a course, these are the steps to Christianity.
Prayer, trust in God, and praises on your lips will keep you on course. Even when the doubts come.
Summary of Steps to Christ Chapter 11 – The Privilege of Prayer
· What is Prayer?
If you’ve been praying all your life, the answer to this question may come easily to you.
“Prayer is talking to God.”
But on Steps to Christ page 96, Ellen G. White defines prayer as, “the opening of the heart to God as to a friend.”
So think about how you talk to your friend. Maybe your best friend. There’s no formality or pretension.
You bare your heart without holding back. That’s what it means to pray to God.
But more than this, you don’t pray because you need God to come down and get involved in your situation. Rather, prayer lifts us to God as E. G. White says.
When we pray, we go beyond hearing from God through nature, His Spirit, or His Word.
We allow ourselves to pattern our lives after Christ. Still on Steps to Christ page 96, Ellen White talks about the prayer life of Christ.
“Jesus taught his disciples how to pray”, showing them how to “present their daily needs before God and to cast all their care upon Him.”
Even Christ himself prayed a lot when he was on earth. Ellen G. White says, “His humanity made prayer a necessity and a privilege.”
Which makes it important that we also pray. If Christ could pray to overcome temptations, why aren’t you praying?
As an individual, I’ve always copied David’s prayer style. “And David inquired of the Lord…”
Are you familiar with that line in the Bible?
I make it my routine to always ask God before I do anything. Many times, He responds.
And getting his thoughts on my actions give me a lot of peace. Although sometimes, I have questions. Yet, I trust Him still.
· How do you Pray?
Now that you know how important it is to pray, how do you pray?
For a little more assurance, Ellen G. White says on Steps to Christ page 97, “our heavenly Father waits to bestow upon us the fullness of His blessing. It is our privilege to drink largely at the fountain of boundless love. What a wonder it is that we pray so little!”
She adds that angels love “communion with God.” But how come those of us who have the privilege of prayer pray so little?
Another thing is that those who don’t pray are open to temptations and falling. Ellen G. White clarifies this by saying, “the darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray.”
When you don’t pray, you expose yourself to more trials that could bring you down. In fact, you could get off the path God designed for you.
This is why you should take note of the conditions in the following subheading. Find out the conditions you need to meet before God can answer your prayers.
Meeting these terms will give you more confidence when you pray.
· On What Conditions will God Hear Your Prayers?
In Steps to Christ The Privilege of Prayer, Ellen G. White highlights and discusses some prayer conditions. They include:
· Feel Your Need for God’s Help
Recently, my 6-month old has just begun to raise his arms to be carried.
As a Yoruba woman, we have a common adage: omo to ba sipa ni iya ren gbe. It means: it’s the child who raises his arm to be carried that his mother will carry.
Let’s look at prayer from this angle. If you don’t feel a need for God’s help, why would you even pray to Him? You only have to feel like you need God to come to your rescue.
And everything else is history.
Ellen White says, “The heart must be open to the Spirit’s influence, or God’s blessings cannot be received.” Remember ASK – ASK – SEEK – KNOCK.
In essence, feel your need for God. And He’ll come through for you.
· Confess Your Sins
Think about this scenario.
Your closest friend lied to you about something you both were working on. And then, they ignore their error and ask you to loan them $1,000.
How eager would you be to help them?
You’d want them to tell the truth. And apologize for deceiving you. Before you can give them the loan.
The same applies to God.
Ellen G. White captures this succinctly.
“If we regard iniquity in our hearts, if we cling to any known sin, the Lord will not hear us; but the prayer of the penitent, contrite soul is always accepted.”
When you’ve sincerely asked God to pardon all your errors, you’ll have the confidence to ask Him for anything.
The third condition you need to meet before your prayers can be answered is faith.
Without mincing words, Ellen White quotes Mark 11:24.
“What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that you receive them, and ye shall have them.”
When you pray, simply trust that the Lord has heard.
It takes a lot of faith to await the answers to your prayers. But it’s what we must do.
And this doesn’t mean that you’ll get everything at the exact time you want it.
For example, I had planned and prayed to get married in December 2017.
Well, it took exactly another year for that prayer to get answered. I got married in December 2018. And we have our charming son.
What’s my point?
- Trust God still, even when your answers don’t come immediately. Nonetheless, there are times when we seek things that God doesn’t want for us. Ellen G. White on Steps to Christ page 99 describes us as “shortsighted.” Especially when we ask for things that will ruin us. Since God knows better, He won’t give you things that’ll hurt you.
- Trust God’s judgment. Keep your heart pure. Forgive others. And persevere in prayer. Ellen White calls this, “a condition of receiving.”
- Finally, remember to trust God’s Word. Don’t go about presuming that your prayer will always be answered in the same form you want it.
- Pray with family. Friends. Other believers. And more importantly, pray alone. In your closet. God doesn’t need a special space to grant your requests.
Summary of Steps to Christ Chapter 12 – What to Do with Doubt
· What does Doubt Look Like?
As far as I know, doubt is “maybe” and “maybe not.”
It’s that thing that makes your feet go from standing firmly to wobbling and staggering.
Every Christian experiences them at some point.
Especially when you’re new to the faith. Little wonder Ellen G. White begins Steps to Christ chapter 12 with, “Many, especially those who are young in the Christian life, are at times troubled with the suggestions of skepticisms.”
What do you do when those thoughts come into your head?
- Did Christ really come?
- Is He truly going to return the second time?
- What if this whole Christianity thing is just a book of fiction?
Here’s the deal:
God doesn’t expect you to swallow all of these without thinking. To help you believe, God gives “sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith.”
Again, EG White adds, “our faith must rest upon evidence, not demonstration.”
Why then do we doubt if we have almost all the answers?
· Why do We Doubt?
Some of the main reasons Ellen G. White gives for our doubts include:
- Wanting to know everything
- Not being able to comprehend the mystery of His providence
- The limitation of the human reasoning
- The love of sin
Well, these reasons may seem straight and concise.
But the reality remains that our finite minds cannot “fully comprehend the character or the works of the Infinite One.”
That’s the way it’s meant to be. There are just some things we may never understand. Like how the baby grows in the mother’s womb.
Science has tried to explain this and many other mysteries. But they still haven’t given all the answers.
From Bible history, we know the world is still younger than 7,000 years old. Yet, there seems to be so much beauty. And so much ruin.
Which makes me wonder sometimes:
How will everything become beautiful again?
Or do you ever wonder about how Mary got pregnant with baby Jesus? If Joseph hadn’t ‘known her,’ how did conception occur?
But of course, the answers aren’t up to us.
Don’t bother your mind with those things that seem difficult to understand.
Ellen G. White encourages us thus, “But we have no reason to doubt God’s word because we cannot understand the mystery of His providence.”
Take what the Scripture has given you. And leave the rest.
· How Can You Deal with Doubt?
Sometimes, when you deal with doubt, you may need to find answers.
And some of the answers you need are available in the Bible.
Hence, the first most important step to dealing with doubt is to search the scriptures.
Ellen White says, “God desires man to exercise his reasoning powers; and the study of the Bible will strengthen and elevate the mind as no other study can.”
If you seek to understand, God will make things clearer for you. Daniel is an example of an eager human who got answers for wanting to know more.
But it’s vital that you also leave your ego behind when you study. Don’t let reason rule your understanding.
Seek to learn with a spirit of humility and obedience. And shirk the desire to argue your way around God’s word. Let the word speak clearly and correctly.
Finally, experience God for yourself. EG White makes this clear when she says, “Instead of depending on the word of another, we are to taste for ourselves.”
Furthermore, she says on Steps to Christ page 114, “We may have the witness in ourselves that the Bible is true, that Christ is the Son of God. We know that we are not following cunningly devised fables.”
Overall, the loudest message here is:
To deal with doubt, dig for yourself. Find out for yourself what the word really says.
Don’t take anybody’s word for it. And learn to come to God with an open, humble, and willing heart.
You’ll understand it all when the time is right.
Summary of Steps to Christ Chapter 13 – Rejoicing in the Lord
Let’s look briefly at the Steps to Christ chapter 13 summary.
· Is Your Christian Life a Love Letter Worth Reading?
In this concluding chapter of Steps to Christ, Ellen G. White talks about the Christian attitude.
What should your attitude be after confession, forgiveness, and consecration? How should you behave as you grow in Christ and enjoy the privilege of prayer? What aura should you carry as you learn how to deal with doubt and share your faith?
In simple words, Ellen White calls Christians “representatives of Christ.”
To further make this point, she adds, “In every one of His children, Jesus sends a letter to the world.”
In you, Christ sends a letter to your family, neighbor, and colleagues at work. More than that, he wants your community or country to read you and know Him.
The big question, however, is: are you a love letter worth reading?
Letters may not be so common these days. We’re in the world of email marketing. And communicating with posts and tweets.
So imagine your life was an email. What would the open rate be for people who come in contact with you?
Would they click you into the ‘trash can’? Or hit the ‘favorite icon’ to keep you as important?
What’s the message here?
- “Christians are set as light bearers on the way to heaven.”
- “If we do represent Christ, we shall make His service appear attractive, as it really is.”
But how many people think of Christianity as ‘attractive’?
With so many Christians looking sad and dull-faced, it’s almost impossible to claim that sharing our faith is naturally attractive.
Back in the university, I saw all kinds of Christians. From the rock-excited Christians to the ever-sorrowful looking ones.
And I never understood the sorrowful demeanor.
But Ellen G. White attributes “despondency” to Satan. Who loves to see us distrust God and take His word with a pinch of salt.
· Lessons from Ellen G. White’s Dream about the Garden
What are the lessons from this dream?
- Don’t focus on the bad things in your life.
- Thank God for your victories.
- Keep doubt far from you.
- Share your victories not your pains with others.
- Fill your lips with praise.
- Let your thoughts be filled with Christ’s love for you.
- “We should not allow the perplexities and worries of everyday life to fret the mind and cloud the brow.”
Concluding the Summary of Steps to Christ
We’ve finally come to the end of Ellen G. White’s Steps to Christ summary.
I’m super excited to have shared these lessons with you. No doubt, these steps to Christian growth are invaluable.
Not everything is as easy as it appears. But remember that you can do all things because Christ gives you strength.
I’ll leave you with these final words from Steps to Christ page 123.
Thanks for reviewing Steps to Christ by Ellen G. White with me. My next review is Child Guidance – an Ellen G. White book on parenting your kids with heaven in view.
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