Manuscript Releases, vol. 14 [Nos. 1081-1135]


MR No. 1117—Gospel Workers Need Total Commitment to God and His Word

(Written April 6, 1897, from Sunnyside, Cooranbong, N.S.W., to Edson and Emma White.)

I was conversing with you in the night season. We were having some serious conversation together. You opened before me freely that which you intended to do. We conversed very pleasantly and you proposed many things. But after we had canvassed these things thoroughly, you said, “Mother, the only safe path for me is to follow out implicitly the light the Lord has given me in the testimonies you have sent me.” You looked up with light and hope expressed in your countenance, and continued, “I see my way clearly after this conversation. I have not that freedom, that spiritual uplifting, that I had directly after I gave myself to the Lord, to do His will and His way, irrespective of consequences. I am disposed to take myself into my own hands, and work myself, in the place of giving myself unreservedly to God to be worked by His holy mind and will. 14MR 273.1

“I did then pray in humility, Mother. I had nothing to plead but the precious virtue of the blood of Christ. I fell all broken at the feet of Jesus, saying, ‘In my hand no price I bring. Simply to Thy cross I cling.’ 14MR 273.2

“I cannot serve God with a divided heart. I can see that I must not take financial matters upon me, if I would have my mind fruitful in the Scriptures. By thus allowing my mind to go into temporal arrangements, temporal things soon become an absorbing passion with me, and I have lost much of my burden for souls. I was successful in taking individual cases and conversing with them, in praying with them, and helping them step by step to the light. In searching the Scriptures with them, I found the most precious gems of truth, and could see the scriptures that I had often read, in a light that I had never before discerned. By thus making the scriptures simple and plain to others, the same were applied to my own mind with great force, and the peace and joy of Christ was in my heart. 14MR 273.3

“I have received much encouragement from scriptures of this character: ‘For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’ 14MR 274.1

“I am most blessed, and realize most the special help of God, when I follow closely every word the Lord has given me in warnings and encouragement. ‘This is the way, walk ye in it.’ I mean to do this. When once I allow my mind to be engrossed with financial matters and temporal projects, whatever their character, my mind loses its peace and joyousness. Self-conceit comes in. I think what great things I can do, when I am all the time growing dry and sapless. 14MR 274.2

“When humiliation is united with filial obedience and perfect trust, I feel that heaven is very near. I have a precious assurance and holy boldness, and I march forward with a firm and certain tread, knowing that I have the presence of Jesus with me. But when I become careless and self-sufficient, I have that poverty of soul that unfits me for evangelical work.” 14MR 274.3

I said many things to you of what the Lord had revealed to me of your probabilities and possibilities. Your strength is not in making it a business to subdue the sail, not in teaching others how to do physical work, but in holding forth the word of life. One warning from God in this direction should be enough. But you have been repeatedly instructed in regard to your line of duty. I do not say that you should remain in the South. It may be that the atmosphere is too trying for your strength. I do not say [that you should] come to me. I say, Seek the Lord; ask of Him, and do His bidding. 14MR 274.4

One thing I have light upon is that God has plainly told you your duty. When your strong inclination has carried you contrary to the Lord's expressed will, you have lost confidence in yourself. There is a hard and bitter fight with temptation for you, but it is no use to let go your hold of faith, and let the spirit go out of you. How could I stand up under it if I should do anything that would bring shame to my soul? I have to hold constantly by faith, and pray, and believe, that I may receive. 14MR 275.1

The Master has called you to a work, and this work is to seek and to save that which is lost. Overwhelmed with a sense of your possibilities and probabilities, I awoke at a very early hour, and commenced my writing. You need to hold communion with God. Unless your soul is uplifted to Him, and you lay all your wants before Him, you will not feel that courage, that strength, and that sustaining hold upon His precious comfort and power that will bring His peace into your soul. Say to yourself, if I have not a broken and contrite heart, I shall not experience the promise: “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit; to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” 14MR 275.2

Faith is yours to exercise as the gift of God. You need not fluctuate between hope and fear and despondency. Be assured that as you approach God, you will as surely know that He is drawing nigh unto you, to nourish, and encourage, and enrich your soul. Trust the Lord as if the blessing were already in your possession. “If any of you lack wisdom,” He says, “let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord” [James 1:5-7]. 14MR 276.1

If the Spirit beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, what is the result? The believing soul comes into perfect submission to the will of God. The Majesty of heaven condescends to a holy, familiar intercourse with him who seeks God with the whole heart, and the child of God, through the abundant manifestation of His grace, is softened into a childlike dependence. You must commit your soul and body unto God with perfect trust in His power and willingness to bless you, helpless and unworthy as you are. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” 14MR 276.2

Do not become restlessly active, but zealous in faith, with one object, namely, to attract souls to Jesus Christ, the crucified Redeemer. It is not the logical sermon, the sermon to convince the intellect, that will do this work. The heart must be persuaded, and melted into tenderness. The will must be submitted to God's will, and the whole aspirations directed heavenward. You must feed upon the word of the living God. It must be brought into the practical life. It must take hold of and command the whole man. 14MR 276.3

Those who possess that faith that works by love and purifies the soul, will be sanctified body, soul, spirit, and intellect. There will be an effectual ministry when the servant of God makes it the business of his life to grasp the word of God with a determination that nothing can release, to hold fast to that word, to eat it, and impart it to others as the word of life. 14MR 277.1

When Jesus is our abiding trust, our offering to God will be ourselves. Our dependence will be on the righteousness and intercession of Christ Jesus as our only hope. There is no confusion, no distrust, because by faith we see Jesus ordained of God for this very purpose, to make reconciliation for the sins of the world. He stands engaged by solemn covenant to mediate in behalf of all who come to God by Him, and to accomplish their salvation if they will only believe. The privilege is granted us to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in every time of need.—Letter 153, 1897. 14MR 277.2

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C..

April 11, 1985.

Entire Ms.