Chapter 4—Enduring Victory

Importance of Living Healthfully—Those who are struggling against the power of appetite should be instructed in the principles of healthful living. They should be shown that violation of the laws of health, by creating diseased conditions and unnatural cravings, lays the foundation of the liquor habit. Only by living in obedience to the principles of health can they hope to be freed from the craving for unnatural stimulants. While they depend upon divine strength to break the bonds of appetite, they are to co-operate with God by obedience to His laws, both moral and physical. Te 115.1

Employment; Self-Support—Those who are endeavoring to reform should be provided with employment. None who are able to labor should be taught to expect food and clothing and shelter free of cost. For their own sake, as well as for the sake of others, some way should be devised whereby they may return an equivalent for what they receive. Encourage every effort toward self-support. This will strengthen self-respect and a noble independence. And occupation of mind and body in useful work is essential as a safeguard against temptation. Te 115.2

Disappointments; Dangers—Those who work for the fallen will be disappointed in many who give promise of reform. Many will make but a superficial change in their habits and practices. They are moved by impulse, and for a time may seem to have reformed; but there is no real change of heart. They cherish the same self-love, have the same hungering for foolish pleasures, the same desire for self-indulgence. They have not a knowledge of the work of character building, and they cannot be relied upon as men of principle. They have debased their mental and spiritual powers by the gratification of appetite and passion, and this makes them weak. They are fickle and changeable. Their impulses tend toward sensuality. These persons are often a source of danger to others. Being looked upon as reformed men and women, they are trusted with responsibilities, and are placed where their influence corrupts the innocent. Te 115.3

Total Dependence on Christ the Only Solution—Even those who are sincerely seeking to reform are not beyond the danger of falling. They need to be treated with great wisdom as well as tenderness. The disposition to flatter and exalt those who have been rescued from the lowest depths, sometimes proves their ruin. The practice of inviting men and women to relate in public the experience of their life of sin, is full of danger to both speaker and hearers. To dwell upon scenes of evil is corrupting to mind and soul. And the prominence given to the rescued ones is harmful to them. Many are led to feel that their sinful life has given them a certain distinction. A love of notoriety and a spirit of self-trust are encouraged that prove fatal to the soul. Only in distrust of self and dependence on the mercy of Christ can they stand. Te 116.1

The Rescued to Help Others—All who give evidence of true conversion should be encouraged to work for others. Let none turn away a soul who leaves the service of Satan for the service of Christ. When one gives evidence that the Spirit of God is striving with him, present every encouragement for entering the Lord's service. “Of some have compassion, making a difference.” Jude 22. Those who are wise in the wisdom that comes from God will see souls in need of help, those who have sincerely repented, but who without encouragement would hardly dare to lay hold of hope. The Lord will put it into the hearts of His servants to welcome these trembling, repentant ones to their loving fellowship. Whatever may have been their besetting sins, however low they may have fallen, when in contrition they come to Christ, He receives them. Then give them something to do for Him. If they desire to labor in uplifting others from the pit of destruction from which they themselves were rescued, give them opportunity. Bring them into association with experienced Christians, that they may gain spiritual strength. Fill their hearts and hands with work for the Master. Te 116.2

When light flashes into the soul, some who appear to be most fully given to sin will become successful workers for just such sinners as they themselves once were. Through faith in Christ, some will rise to high places of service, and be entrusted with responsibilities in the work of saving souls. They see where their own weakness lies, they realize the depravity of their nature. They know the strength of sin, the power of evil habit. They realize their inability to overcome without the help of Christ, and their constant cry is, “I cast my helpless soul on Thee.” Te 117.1

These can help others. The one who has been tempted and tried, whose hope was well-nigh gone, but who was saved by hearing a message of love, can understand the science of soulsaving. He whose heart is filled with love for Christ because he himself has been sought for by the Saviour, and brought back to the fold, knows how to seek the lost. He can point sinners to the Lamb of God. He has given himself without reserve to God, and has been accepted in the Beloved. The hand that in weakness was held out for help has been grasped. By the ministry of such ones, many prodigals will be brought to the Father.—The Ministry of Healing, 176-179. Te 117.2

Helped by Helping Others—One who is weakened, and even degraded by sinful indulgence, may become a son of God. It is in his power to be constantly doing good to others, and helping them to overcome temptation; and in so doing he will reap benefit to himself. He may be a bright and shining light in the world, and at last hear the benediction, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” from the lips of the King of glory.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 149. Te 117.3

When Presented From the Standpoint of the Christian—In Australia I met a man considered free from everything like intemperance, except for one habit. He used tobacco. He came to hear us at the tent, and one night after he went home, as he afterward told us, he wrestled against the habit of tobacco using, and obtained the victory. Some of his relatives had told him that they would give him fifty pounds if he would throw away his tobacco. He would not do it. “But,” he said, “when you present the principles of temperance before us as you have done, I cannot resist them. You present before us the self-denial of One who gave His life for us. I do not know Him now, but I desire to know Him. I have never offered a prayer in my house. I have cast away my tobacco, but that is as far as I have gone.” Te 118.1

We prayed with him, and after we left him we wrote to him and later visited him again. He finally reached the point where he gave himself to God, and he is becoming the very pillar of the church in the place where he lives. He is working with all his soul to bring his relatives to a knowledge of the truth.—Evangelism, 531, 532. Te 118.2

A Fisherman Gains the Victory—In this place a fisherman has recently been converted to the truth. Although formerly a habitual user of the poisonous weed, he has, by the grace of God, determined to leave it alone for the future. The question was asked him, “Had you a hard struggle in giving it up.” “I should think I did,” he answered, “but I saw the truth as it was presented to me. I learned that tobacco was unhealthful. I prayed to the Lord to help me to give it up, and He has helped me in a most marked manner. But I have not yet decided that I can give up my cup of tea. It braces me, and I know that I should have a severe headache did I not take it.” Te 118.3

The evils of tea drinking were laid before him by Sister Sara McEnterfer. She encouraged him to have moral courage to try what giving up tea would do for him. He said, “I will.” In two weeks he bore his testimony in meeting. “When I said that I would give up tea,” he said, “I meant it. I did not drink it, and the result was a most severe headache. But I thought, Am I to keep using tea to ward off the headache? Must I be so dependent on it that when I let it alone I am in this condition? Now I know that its effects are bad. I will use it no more. I have not used it since, and I feel better every day. My headache no longer troubles me. My mind is clearer than it was. I can better understand the Scriptures as I read them.” Te 119.1

I thought of this man, poor as far as worldly possessions are concerned, but with moral courage to cut loose from smoking and tea drinking, the habits of his boyhood. He did not plead for a little indulgence in wrongdoing. No; he decided that tobacco and tea were injurious, and that his influence must be on the right side. He has given evidence that the Holy Spirit is working on his mind and character to make him a vessel unto honor.—Manuscript 86, 1897. Te 119.2

Stand in His Strength—The Lord has a remedy for every man who is beset by a strong appetite for strong drink or tobacco, or any other hurtful thing which destroys the brain power and defiles the body. He bids us come out from among them and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing. We are to set an example of Christian temperance. We are to do all in our power by self-denial and self-sacrifice, to control the appetite. And having done all, He bids us stand,—stand in His strength. He desires us to be victorious in every conflict with the enemy of our souls. He desires us to act understandingly, as wise generals in an army, as men who have perfect control over themselves.—Manuscript 38a, 1905. Te 119.3