Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Lt 40, 1900

Steed, D.

NP

March 24, 1900 [typed]

Previously unpublished. +Note

My Brother:

I must speak to you in the name of the Lord. Things have been presented to me in regard to you which I must now open before you in warning. You think that you are being led by the Lord, and you are determined to carry things in your own way. Unless you overcome the spirit of seeking to be first, you will be found wanting. Your desire to make yourself supreme among your brethren is not only displeasing to God, but is dangerous in its influence upon you and upon others who should have a better example set before them. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 1

Without the Spirit of God, which always leads to humility, you will arrogate to yourself power and authority which will make trouble for you and for the cause of God. Until you humble yourself, until you change your attitude and learn to follow the cautions and warnings of God’s Word, you will mar the work of God by your self-sufficiency. Your overbearing spirit is a most positive evidence that God is not controlling you. If you allow the enemy to work through your disposition and your cultivated traits of character, you will so offend Jesus Christ that you will be left to follow your own way. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 2

You think that you know how to manage matters, and that if you had the ordering of things, you would do better and show more wisdom than your brethren. This spirit, if not seen and overcome, will place you where you will lose the confidence of your brethren. You need to stop just where you are and remember that to place such an estimate on yourself as you do is a species of insanity. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 3

God never works with a man who cherishes the spirit you are cherishing. The Lord calls upon you to change your heart by humbling yourself before Him. Unless you do this, you will be so ruled and controlled by your hereditary and cultivated tendencies that the work will be warped by your devising, not molded in accordance with the fashioning of the Holy Spirit. You can stir up strife and cherish in your heart a bitterness that will communicate itself to other minds much easier than you can efface the impressions made. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 4

To know self truly is a knowledge which comes only from God. It is Satan’s desire to so use men in shaping the work in this country that it will take the consecrated laborers all their time to correct wrongs and put in order what men have put out of order by following their unsanctified judgment. There are those who have a perverted zeal, which is not the working of the Holy Spirit. God designs that through human beings His glory, not the glory of men, shall be manifested. It is His light that shines through His agencies. Providence and revelation work in divine harmony, revealing God and Jesus Christ as first, and last, and best in everything. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 5

The world in its human wisdom knows not God. To know God in Jesus Christ is to know Him aright. Those who feel that their completeness needs no addition, need to learn of God before they undertake the work or continue in the work of the ministry. They need to realize that of themselves they can do nothing. The character of their work is shown by the results, but often these results cost too much. God’s work and cause must not be left to experiment. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 6

Remember, my brother, that the God of providence still walks among us, although His footsteps are not seen, although His positive and direct workings are not recognized or understood. For the good of the cause of God, call a halt. Wear the yoke of Christ. “Take my yoke upon you,” He says, “and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] At present your imagination is diseased. You do not know your bearings. Study your Bible calmly and prayerfully. Measure yourself by the measurement of other men rather than by your own measurement. From the light given me by God, you have brought into your past work human feelings and human wisdom, and this has produced results which it will require all wisdom of God’s delegated servants to counteract. At present you are not acting as a sane man, and your brethren will have to know this, else some of them will think that you are really inspired by God. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 7

I give you the warning. This development in you alarms me. I am afraid for your reason. Your inspiration will produce results which the cause of God cannot afford to have worked out. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 8

The time has come when there must be a change of spirit among the workers in New Zealand, both in their home life and in their work in the field. These workers may become lights shining in darkness if they will first receive light from above. “Ye are my witnesses,” God declares. [Isaiah 43:10.] It is through professing Christians that God is represented to the world. All God’s workers are to be controlled by the same Spirit. They may have varied gifts and capabilities, but in mind and spirit they are to be a unit. Each is more or less dependent on the others. They are all to realize that they are indebted to one another for their standing and influence. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 9

Should those who have received light through a faithful exposition of the Word of God use their knowledge and influence to create dissension and stir up strife? Should they seek to destroy the unity of the church because the church cannot see the wisdom and purity of their zeal? It is the work of the church to preserve peace and unity and order among the individual members. The influence exerted by the members is to be a restoring, healing power in the diseased parts of the earth. God’s servants are first to accept Christ as a sin-pardoning Saviour, and then go forth to point others to Him. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 10

Christ is drawing sinners by the cords of love, seeking to unite them to Himself, that they may be laborers together with God, not in pride and self-sufficiency, but in meekness and humility. When sinners are converted, God is glorified before the principalities and powers of heaven and earth. We are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. “Ye are my witnesses,” God says. [Verse 10.] “By looking to Me you are to become transformed in character. By the manifestation of Christlike forbearance and love you are to reveal this transformation.” 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 11

Christ pointed out the position His people should occupy when He said, “Ye are the light of the world.” [Matthew 5:14.] From the members of the church is to go forth an influence which shall enlighten others. The Lightgiver arranges the lamps so that His house (the world) may be illuminated. He desires light to be given to all that are in the house. He has an inexhaustible supply of light, and He places those who truly believe in Him where they will shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. Constantly our lights are to shine more and more brightly, because we receive increased light from the Source of all light. Beholding Christ, we are to become changed into His image and reflect His light to the world. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 12

Each soul united to Christ becomes a light in God’s house. Each is to receive and impart, letting His light shine forth in clear, bright rays. We are held responsible by God if we do not let our light shine to those who are in darkness. God has given to each member of His church the work of giving light to the world, and those who faithfully act their part in this work will receive an increasing supply of light to impart. By His Spirit the Lord can mold and fashion the human agent, quickening his energies and giving him light wherewith to enlighten others. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 13

There is no limit to the Lord’s efficiency. He is prepared to advance and to add new territory to His kingdom. But His people must do their part in carrying forward the work. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 14

My brother, my spirit has been stirred within me during the past night. I could not sleep. I felt such a burden for the workers that I arose at twelve o’clock and began to write. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 15

Brother Steed, I feel the deepest anxiety that you shall be converted—soul, body, and spirit. Do not seek to convert others to yourself, but stand aside. Do not try to appear in such large proportions. You must be changed in heart and character. You see the truth and you love the truth, but you fail to practice the truth that would perfect your character. By seeking to make yourself of so much importance, you terribly misrepresent Christ. When you open your heart to Jesus, when He takes up His abode there, your spirit and motives will be changed. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 16

But unless you seek the Lord with all your heart, you will fail to see that for your own eternal good you must be converted. Do not seek your own interest. Do not feel that you are superior to your brethren, for I tell you in the name of Jesus of Nazareth that you are deceived in regard to your capabilities. Put self in the background. Hide yourself in Jesus. Let Christ appear. Study what will be for the glory of God. You may become a child of God in every sense of the word, if you will to, but if you continue to reveal the same spirit that you have been revealing, your influence will not be savor of life unto life. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 17

Leave your brethren with God. Remember that they are not under your management. God has used them to His name’s glory and He will do so still. Turn your eyes from yourself to Christ. Close the windows of the soul earthward and open them heavenward. 15LtMs, Lt 40, 1900, par. 18