Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 22

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Lt 340, 1907

Workers in Southern California

St. Helena, California

October, 3, 1907

This letter is published in entirety in 9T 277-280. +Note

To the workers in Southern California:

This morning I cannot rest. My mind is troubled over the situation in Southern California. God has given to every man his work; but there are some who are not prayerfully considering their individual responsibility. 22LtMs, Lt 340, 1907, par. 1

When a worker is selected for the presidency of a conference, that office of itself does not bring to him power of capability that he did not have before. A high position does not give to the character Christian virtues. The man who supposes that his individual mind is capable of planning and devising for all branches of the work reveals a great lack of wisdom. No one human mind is capable of carrying the many and varied responsibilities of a conference embracing thousands of people and many branches of work. But a greater danger than this has been revealed to me in the feeling that has been growing among our workers that ministers and other laborers in the cause should depend upon the mind of certain leading workers to define their duties. One man’s mind and judgment is not to be considered capable of controlling and molding a conference. The individual and the church have responsibilities of their own. God has given to every man some talent or talents to use and improve. In using these talents he increases his capability to serve. God has given to each individual judgment, and this gift He wants His workers to use and improve. The president of a conference must not consider that his individual judgment is to be the judgment of all. 22LtMs, Lt 340, 1907, par. 2

In no conference should propositions be rushed through without time being taken by the brethren to carefully weigh all sides of the question. Because the president of a conference suggested certain plans, it has sometimes been considered unnecessary to consult the Lord about them. Thus propositions have been accepted that were not for the spiritual benefit of believers, and which involved far more than was apparent at the first casual consideration. Such movements are not in the order of God. Many, very many matters have been taken up and carried by vote, that have involved far more than was anticipated, and far more than those who voted would have been willing to assent to, had they taken time to consider the question from all sides. 22LtMs, Lt 340, 1907, par. 3

We cannot at this time afford to be careless or negligent in the work of God. We must seek the Lord earnestly every day, if we would be prepared for the experiences that come to us. Our hearts are to be cleansed from every feeling of superiority, and the living principles of the truth are to be planted in the soul. Young and aged and middle aged should now be practicing the virtues of Christ’s character. They should daily be making spiritual development, that they may become vessels unto honor in the Master’s service. 22LtMs, Lt 340, 1907, par. 4

“And it came to pass as Christ was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” [Luke 11:1.] The prayer that Christ gave to His disciples in answer to this request is not made in high-flown language, but expresses in simple words the necessities of the soul. It is short and deals directly with the daily needs. Every soul has the privilege of stating to the Lord his own special necessities and to offer his individual thanksgiving for the blessings that he daily receives. But the many long and spiritless prayers that are offered to God, instead of being a joy to Him, are a burden. We need, O so much, clean, converted hearts. We need to have our faith strengthened. “Ask, and ye shall receive,” the Saviour promised; “seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” [Matthew 7:7.] We need to educate ourselves to trust in this Word and to bring the light and grace of Christ into all our works. We need to take hold of Christ and to retain our hold of Him until we know that the power of His transforming grace is manifested in us. We must have faith in Christ if we would reflect the divine character. 22LtMs, Lt 340, 1907, par. 5

Christ clothed His divinity with humanity and lived a life of prayer and self-denial and of daily battle with temptation, that He might help those who today are assailed by temptation. He is our efficiency and power. He desires that through the appropriation of His grace humanity shall become partaker of the divine nature and thus escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. The Word of God in the Old and New Testaments, if faithfully studied and received into the life, will give spiritual life. This Word is to be sacredly cherished. Faith in the Word of God and in the power of Christ to transform the life will enable the believer to work His works and to live a life of rejoicing in the Lord. 22LtMs, Lt 340, 1907, par. 6

Again and again I have been instructed to say to our people, Let your faith and trust be in God. Do not depend on any erring man to define to you your duty. It is your privilege to say, “I will declare Thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will sing praise unto Thee. Ye that fear the Lord praise Him. All ye seed of Jacob glorify Him, and fear Him all ye seed of Israel. For He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath He hid His face from him, but when he cried unto Him, He heard. My praise shall be of Thee. I will pay my vows before them that fear Him. The meek shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise the Lord that seek Him; your heart shall live forever.” [Psalm 22:22-26.] 22LtMs, Lt 340, 1907, par. 7

These Scriptures are right to the point. Every church member should understand that God is the One to whom to look for an understanding of individual duty. It is right that brethren counsel together; but when men arrange just what their brethren shall do, let them answer that they have chosen the Lord as their counsellor. Those who humbly seek Him will find His grace sufficient. But when man allows another to step in between him and the duty that God has pointed out to him, giving to man his confidence, and accepting him as guide, then he steps from the true platform to a false and dangerous one. Such a man instead of growing and developing will lose his spirituality. 22LtMs, Lt 340, 1907, par. 8

There is no power in any man to remedy the defective character. Our hope and trust must be in One who is more than human. We need ever to remember that help has been laid on One who is mighty. The Lord has provided the needed help for every soul who will accept. 22LtMs, Lt 340, 1907, par. 9