Daughters of God


True Missionary Spirit Essential

The Steward family apparently left the church for a time, but were “reclaimed.” Mary steward became an efficient and valued proofreader and copy editor at the Review and Herald. After Ellen White returned from Australia, Mary was employed for several years as one of her helpers. She points out many character defects that kept Mary from becoming a missionary. Perhaps it was this letter, written in 1891, that helped Mary Steward to a closer walk with Jesus. DG 136.1

Dear Sister Mary Steward,

While I have been earnestly praying to the Lord to understand my duty in regard to going to Australia, and as to whom we shall take with us, the Lord has plainly made known to me that you are not the proper one to be that help to me that I need in the work He has given me to do. You cannot enter into the spirit of the work in a new and untried missionary field. These words were repeated, “Spiritual things are spiritually discerned.” The character of everyone brought in connection with the light that the Lord communicates to His people will be proved and tested. If there is not expansion and development, and an increase of faith and holiness consistent with the light shining upon their pathway ... there will be a blindness that will not see and discern the deep things of God. With those who appreciate the light God has given, there will be a freshness and power and growth in grace, and light will be diffused to others. DG 136.2

There is need of a missionary, self-sacrificing, self-denying spirit with all who connect with the work God has given me to do, else my influence will not be what God designs it shall be. And unless you are advancing in the knowledge and love of God, you cannot maintain even the light that you now have. If the light does not shine more and more, it will grow dim and flicker away in darkness. Every work will be mingled and tainted with self. God will not accept it. It is impossible for myself, or any connected with me, to be channels of light and bear the duties and responsibilities that this work involves unless they are growing in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. All connected with me and the solemn work God has given me to do must represent the character of that work. [They must] be an example to others in humility and Christlike character, in faithfulness, in cross-bearing, in prompt and vigorous action, in unswerving fidelity to the sanctifying influence of truth, and in sacrifices and labors to bless others. In order to do this there must be an ever-growing Christian experience. Faith must be strong, consecration complete; sympathy, tenderness, and love must pervade the soul. They must be patient in tribulation and Christlike in conversation, and even the thoughts [must be] brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. DG 136.3

You have an experience before you to gain. You cannot be self-centered and be prepared for whatever work or responsibility, however difficult or dangerous, which is in Christ's line. Your eye must be single to the glory of God, and then your profiting [growth] will appear unto all. You need to employ every means of grace [so] that your love to God, and to all with whom you associate, may be pure and Christlike. Then you will approve the things that are excellent and be filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God. Your Christian life must take on a different mold, else you will never see the kingdom of heaven. DG 137.1

There are many represented to me in the church who seem just like drowning men engaged in a desperate struggle to keep their heads above water. They have not in their religious life ever died to self. Self is their idol; they worship at its shrine. Weakness and a fluctuating experience open the way for Satan's temptations and they will be easily overcome. A faithful waiting upon the Lord will renew their strength. Trials of faith will come, but love, patience, and constancy will be weighed by the golden scales of the heavenly sanctuary. DG 137.2

You must learn in the school of Christ meekness and lowliness of heart, and be trained, disciplined, and educated for usefulness and for immortality. May these words have the right effect upon your mind. I have an interest in you. Let nothing attract or amuse or divert your mind from the earnest work before you. It is for your present and eternal interest to see that this state of things does not continue. Let it not be said of you in the future, as it was of the Hebrew Christians, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that we teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat” (Hebrews 5:12). You need good home religion. Bring all the pleasantness and sunlight into your home life, in every word, in every action. Use diligently all the gifts of heaven in precious light given of God, and put this light to a practical use. Then the Lord will make a larger display of His mercy and goodness. Achieve a destiny on earth worthy of heaven.—Letter 26a, 1891. DG 137.3