Gospel Workers 1915

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Self-Sufficiency

Some who contemplate becoming missionary workers may think themselves so far advanced that they do not need all this particular drill; but those who feel thus are the very ones who stand in the greatest need of thorough training. When they know much more in regard to the truth and the importance of the work, they will realize their ignorance and inefficiency. When they closely examine their own hearts, they will see themselves in such contrast to the pure character of Christ that they will cry out, “Who is sufficient for these things?” Then they will in deep humility strive daily to place themselves in close connection with Christ. While overcoming the selfish inclinations of the natural heart, they are placing their feet in the path where Christ leads the way. “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” [Psalm 119:130]. But those who have a high estimate of their own ability and acquisitions, are so full of self-importance that there is no opportunity for the entrance of the word of God to instruct and enlighten them. GW 77.4

Many feel that they are fitted for a work that they know scarcely anything about; and if they start to labor in a self-important manner, they will fail to receive that knowledge which they must obtain in the school of Christ. These will be doomed to struggle with many difficulties, for which they are wholly unprepared. They will ever lack experience and wisdom until they learn their great inefficiency. GW 78.1

Very much has been lost to the cause by the defective labors of men who possess ability, but who have not had proper training. They have engaged in a work which they knew not how to manage, and as the result have accomplished but little. They have not done a tithe of what they could have done had they received the right discipline at the start. They seized upon a few ideas, managed to get a runway of a few discourses, and here their progress ended. They felt competent to be teachers, when they had scarcely mastered their a b c in the knowledge of the truth. They have been stumbling along ever since, not doing justice to themselves or to the work. They do not seem to have sufficient interest to arouse their dormant energies, or to tax their powers to become efficient workers. They have not taken pains to form thorough and well-devised plans, and their work shows deficiency in every part. GW 78.2

Some have given up in discouragement, and have engaged in other employment. Had these patiently and humbly placed their feet on the lowest round of the ladder, and then with persevering energy climbed step by step, diligently improving the privileges and opportunities within their reach, they might have become able, useful workmen, who could give full proof of their ministry, and of whom the Master would not be ashamed. GW 79.1

If those who propose to work for the salvation of souls depend on their own finite wisdom, they will certainly fail. If they entertain humble views of self, and rely fully upon the promises of God, He will never fail them. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” [Proverbs 3:5, 6] We have the privilege of being directed by a wise Counselor. GW 79.2

God can make humble men mighty in His service. Those who obediently respond to the call of duty, improving their abilities to the very utmost, may be sure of receiving divine assistance. Angels will come as messengers of light to the help of those who will do all that they can on their part, and then trust in God to co-operate with their efforts. GW 79.3

It should be impressed on all who have decided to become workers for God, that they must give evidence that they are converted men. A young man without a sound, virtuous character will be no honor to the truth. Every worker should be pure in heart; in his mouth should be found no guile. He should bear in mind that, to be successful, he must have Christ by his side, and that every sinful practice, however secret is open to the view of Him with whom we have to do. GW 79.4

Sin has marred the divine image in man. Through Christ this may be restored, but it is only through earnest prayer and the conquest of self that we can become partakers of the divine nature GW 80.1

The true toilers in the Lord's vineyard will be men of prayer, of faith, of self-denial.—men who hold in restraint the natural appetites and passions. These will in their own lives give evidence of the power of the truth which they present to others; and their labors will not be without effect. GW 80.2

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The worker for God should be prepared to put forth the highest mental and moral energies with which nature, cultivation, and the grace of God have endowed him; but his success will be proportionate to the degree of consecration and self-sacrifice in which the work is done, rather than to either natural or acquired endowments. The most earnest and continued efforts to acquire qualifications for usefulness are necessary; but unless God works with the human effort, nothing can be accomplished. Christ says, “Without Me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Divine grace is the great element of saving power; without it all human efforts are unavailing.—Testimonies for the Church 5:583. GW 80.3