Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 8, 1886

Talk/Overcoming Self

Copenhagen, Denmark

July 19, 1886

Portions of this manuscript are published in TDG 209; CTr 126.

(Morning talk.)

Nahum 1:7. We have rich promises in the Word of God, if we only believe and trust in Him. We are in danger of trusting to our own poor human efforts, and not putting our trust in God. Every one who has any part to act in this great preparation of the work of God for these last days should come close to God. When God sends out His workers to do a special errand for Him, He has pledged Himself to be one with them, if they will be one with God. But if they draw apart from God, and try to do this work in their own strength, they will find difficulties and discouragements at every step. Here we have the promise that in working for the Lord He is by our right hand to help us and work with us. 4LtMs, Ms 8, 1886, par. 1

It would be the greatest folly in the world for any of us to take any of the credit to ourselves for any success we may have. The more humbly we walk with God, the more will He manifest Himself to us to help us. The Lord never designed to send out His servants to do a work for Him with all the opposition of Satan and evil angels against them unless He gives them divine help. The reason that we do not have greater success in the work is because we depend on our own efforts rather than upon the help God will give us. It is our privilege to feel our weakness, our unworthiness, and then claim the help that God has provided for us. We can take the Word in our distress, and while we feel the burden of souls upon us, and say, “Here, Lord, Thou hast promised, and I believe Thy Word.” 4LtMs, Ms 8, 1886, par. 2

We must learn to go to our heavenly Father just as a child goes to its earthly parents. He says, “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” Matthew 7:9, 10. 4LtMs, Ms 8, 1886, par. 3

We put the heavenly Father altogether too far away from us; we do not bring Him close into our lifework. If we will only have that faith that will rely upon the promises of God! Consider how Satan rules his agents and works through them to do his work of darkness and deception. It is your privilege to believe that Jesus will work more earnestly for you that you can do His work. 4LtMs, Ms 8, 1886, par. 4

While every one of God’s workmen should cultivate his powers to the best of his ability, yet he should not trust in these powers. Make of yourselves everything that it is possible for you to make, and then trust the rest to God. Do not feel that the Lord should be under obligations to you because you have consented to do errands for Him; but you may feel that you are highly honored to have anything to do for God. To be in co-partnership with the world’s Redeemer is a great thing. It is your privilege to say, “I cannot engage in this precious, solemn work unless Thou wilt go with me.” You need not make feeling a criterion in this matter. But show simplicity of faith and trust and confidence in God, and believe that He does hear you, because He has pledged His word. Go right along talking with the Lord in your souls, as you travel, and Christ will go with you. Have an earnestness, and press your prayers and petitions to the throne of God, believing that the Lord hears you. 4LtMs, Ms 8, 1886, par. 5

We are not half in earnest when we come to God in prayer. We have a form of petition, and many of us would be surprised should our prayers be answered. This unbelief does not please God. We want to come to Him, as a child to his earthly parent, and believe that the Lord hears us. The Lord cannot do any great thing for us because we come so self-sufficient, and we lift up ourselves as though we had done some great thing. 4LtMs, Ms 8, 1886, par. 6

We want to have higher and more exalted views of God. Our very life and character is to be hid with Christ in God, and our own peculiar tempers must be molded after the similitude of the character of Christ. If we abide in Christ, and Christ abides in us, the molding influence of the Spirit of God will be seen in our character, and then Satan cannot take advantage of these peculiar traits in our character to come in and lead us astray. 4LtMs, Ms 8, 1886, par. 7

I am so glad we have a Saviour. When I wake up in the night seasons, it comes into my mind to praise the Lord, for He has given us a Saviour. And we want to look to our Saviour with praise and gratitude for what He has done for us. The evidence that we have that Jesus is at our right hand to help us is the cross of Calvary. Jesus hung there upon the cross, a bleeding victim, that we might have that grace and power that He could bestow upon us. 4LtMs, Ms 8, 1886, par. 8

When you are opposed in your work, do not let self rise up as though you were grieved, but feel that you are grieved because Christ is wounded. Every day feel that your spirit is to assimilate to Christ’s Spirit. Let your heart go out wherever you are in earnest supplication for help from God; and when your heart is filled with these earnest longings for Christ, His help and His love, Satan cannot come in to take possession of it, but angels of God are attracted around you. When you throw yourself right into the arms of Jesus, you will receive help and suggestions just at the very time when you need them, and you can stand and resist all the arguments that are brought against the truth. 4LtMs, Ms 8, 1886, par. 9

But never take one jot of the glory to yourself on these occasions. It is God that has imbued your mind and helped you to withstand the power of opposition that has come against you, therefore, to God belongs the glory for every thought and effort that has helped to beat back the enemy. 4LtMs, Ms 8, 1886, par. 10

If we were only hid with Christ in God, He would glorify His name through us, but it is because we exalt ourselves that God cannot work through us. Now shall we not learn right here today to love God and give Him the glory? Shall we come right to the foot of the cross? The lower we lie at the feet of Jesus, the more will we have to say of Jesus, and the less of self. 4LtMs, Ms 8, 1886, par. 11

All heaven is interested in the work of those who are to be saved in the kingdom of God. “Without Me,” says Christ, “ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Therefore there is not one iota of glory that we can take to ourselves. Notwithstanding you may feel your weakness, yet you may link yourself to the mighty God. I know that I am nothing, but Jesus is mighty to save. I can do nothing, but Jesus can do great things. God wants me in the work, but my efforts will be useless without His help. Imagine just as strong as you please that you have linked your arm in with the mighty Leader and He will do great things for you. 4LtMs, Ms 8, 1886, par. 12

The constant cry of Israel was, “It is Moses that has done this,” and they did not keep God in view. [Numbers 20:2-5.] God had a lesson to teach His people, and when Moses ventured to take the glory to himself, God showed the people that it was not Moses, but God who had done the work. At last came the word to Moses, “Thou shalt not go into the holy land.” [Verse 12.] The Lord demonstrated to the Israelitish host whose hand it was that was leading them. 4LtMs, Ms 8, 1886, par. 13

When we feel our utter nothingness, it is then that Christ sees it is time for Him to give us His Spirit. He will clothe us with His salvation when we will give the whole credit and glory of the work to Him. The Lord help you, my dear brethren and sisters, to learn the precious lessons in the school of Christ. These lessons are meekness and lowliness of heart. Some never learn these lessons. They work and work in themselves, and they do not understand who is the source of their strength and power. 4LtMs, Ms 8, 1886, par. 14

I invite you to come into the school of Christ. Yoke up with the Master. He says, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] Then you will not feel that you are carrying a heavy load for the Master, for He will carry it for you. He says, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Verse 30.] Then bring Jesus into your life, and you will see that you have the help of the Lord just as surely as Jesus has promised it. 4LtMs, Ms 8, 1886, par. 15