Testimony Treasures, vol. 1


A Time of Peril

Your faith and simple trust in God began to wane as soon as means flowed in upon you. You did not depart from God all at once. Your backsliding was gradual. You ceased the morning and evening devotions because it was not always convenient. Your son's wife caused you trials of a peculiar, aggravating character, which had considerable to do in discouraging you from continuing family devotions. Your house became a prayerless house. Your business was made primary, and the Lord and His truth were made secondary. Look back to the days of your earlier experience; would these trials then have driven you from family prayer? 1TT 249.1

Here, in the neglect of vocal prayer, you lost an influence in your house which you could have retained. It was your duty to acknowledge God in your family, irrespective of consequences. Your petitions should have been offered to God morning and evening. You should have been as priest of the household, confessing your sins and the sins of your children. Had you been faithful, God, who had been your guide, would not have left you to your own wisdom. 1TT 249.2

Means were expended needlessly for show. Over this sin in others you had felt deeply grieved. And while thus using means, you were robbing God. Then the Lord said: “I will scatter. I will permit her for a time to walk in the way of her own choosing. I will blind judgment, and remove wisdom. I will show her that her strength is weakness, and her wisdom foolishness. I will humble her, and open her eyes to see how far she has departed from Me. If she will not then turn unto Me with her whole heart, and in all her ways acknowledge Me, My hand shall scatter, and the pride of the mother and of the children shall be brought down, and poverty shall again be their lot. My name shall be exalted. The loftiness of man shall be brought down, and the pride of man shall be laid low.” ... 1TT 249.3

In your earlier experience the Lord imparted to you talents of influence, but did not give you talents of means, and therefore did not expect you in your poverty to bestow that which you had not to give. Like the widow, you did give what you could, although, had you considered your own circumstances, you would have felt excused from doing even as much as you did. In your sickness, God did not require from you that active energy of which disease had deprived you. Though you were restricted in your influence and in your means, yet God accepted your efforts to do good and to advance His cause according to what you had, not according to what you had not. The Lord does not despise the humblest offering bestowed with readiness and sincerity. 1TT 250.1

You possess an ardent temperament. Earnestness in a good cause is praiseworthy. In your former trials and perplexity, you were obtaining an experience which was to be of advantage to others. You were zealous in the service of God. You loved to present the evidences of our position to those who did not believe present truth. You could speak with assurance, for these things were a reality to you. The truth was a part of your being; and those who listened to your earnest appeals had not a doubt of your honesty, but were convinced that these things were so. 1TT 250.2

In the providence of God your influence has been extended; in addition to this, God has seen fit to prove you by giving you talents of means. You are thereby laid under double responsibility. When your condition in life began to improve, you said: “As soon as I can get me a home, I will then donate to the cause of God.” But when you had a home you saw so many improvements to make to have everything about you convenient and pleasant that you forgot the Lord and His claims upon you, and were less inclined to help the cause of God than in the days of your poverty and affliction. 1TT 251.1

You were seeking friendship with the world, and separating further and further from God. You forgot the exhortation of Christ: “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” Luke 21:34. “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12. 1TT 251.2

There are three watchwords in the Christian life, which must be heeded if we would not have Satan steal a march upon us; namely, Watch, pray, work. Prayer and watching thereunto are necessary for advancement in the divine life. Never was there a time in your history more important than the present. Your only safety is to live like a watchman. Watch and pray always. Oh, what a preventive against yielding to temptation and falling into the snares of the world! How earnestly should you have been at work the past few years, when your influence was extensive. 1TT 251.3

Dear sister, the praise of men and the flattery current in the world have had greater influence upon you than you have been aware of. You have not been improving your talents—putting them out to the exchangers. You are naturally affectionate and generous. These traits of character have been exercised to a degree, but not as much as God requires. Merely possessing these excellent gifts is not enough; God requires them to be kept in constant exercise; for through them He blesses those who need to be helped, and carries forward His work for the salvation of man. ... 1TT 251.4