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

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MR No. 1086—Christ Will Shape the Life and Work of Surrendered Christians as a Potter Molds the Clay: Harmonious Action Necessary

(Written to Dr. J. H. Kellogg, about December 14, 1899.)

The Lord is not partial. But He has been misrepresented. The work that should have been done in the different parts of His vineyard has been hindered because men have failed to see how the work could be advanced in these parts of the vineyard. In some parts the work has been overdone. In this way money has been absorbed that should have been used to enable workers in other parts of the vineyard to move forward without hindrance in the work of elevating the standard of truth. Some portions of the vineyard are not to be robbed in order that means may be absorbed in one location. 14MR 31.1

Man judges in accordance with his finite judgment. God looks at the character of the fruit borne, and then judges the tree. In the name of the Lord, I call upon all to think of the work we are required to do, and how this work is to be sustained. The world is the Lord's vineyard, and it is to be worked. Suppose in every place where there is a large center, the work which has been done in America should be made the pattern. Where would be our memorials of truth, which are to make a proper impression on the world? 14MR 31.2

There are those who are in danger of bringing into the work the objectionable sentiments received in former education. They need to practice the principles laid down in the Word, else the work will be marred and spoiled by their preconceived ideas. When we work with all the sanctified ability God has given us, when we put aside our will for the will of God, when self is crucified day by day, then actual results are seen. We move forward in faith, knowing that our Lord has promised to undertake the work entrusted to Him, and that He will accomplish it; for He never makes a failure. 14MR 32.1

The Lord's servants are merely stewards at work. The Lord's part of the work is to do that which is entrusted to Him when His followers surrender themselves to Him to be worked by the Holy Spirit. When by faith men place themselves in the Lord's hands, saying, “Here am I; send me,” He undertakes this work. He does that which is entrusted to Him. But men must get out of the Lord's way. They must not hinder His purposes by their devising. 14MR 32.2

For years the Lord has had a controversy with His people because they have followed their own judgment, and have not relied on divine wisdom. If the workers get in God's way, hindering the advancement of the work, thinking that their own brain power is sufficient for the planning and carrying forward of the great work, the Lord will correct their error. By His divine Spirit He disciplines and trains every worker. He shapes His own providences to carry forward His work according to His mind and judgment. 14MR 32.3

If men would only humble themselves before God, if they would not exalt their judgment as the all-controlling influence, if they would make room for the Lord to plan and work, the Lord would use the qualifications He has given them in a way which would glorify His name. He will purify His workers from all selfishness, trimming down their superfluous plans, cutting off the branches that would run and entwine around this and that undesirable object, pruning the vine so that it will produce fruit. 14MR 32.4

God is the great Husbandman. He will make everything in the lives of those who are laborers together with Jesus Christ, subservient to His great purpose of growth and fruitbearing. It is His plan, by conforming His servants day by day to the image of Christ, by making them partakers of the divine nature, to cause them to bear fruit abundantly. He desires His people, through actual experience in the truth of the gospel, to become true, solid, trustworthy, experimental missionaries. He would have them show results far higher, holier, and more definite than have been revealed in the last 15 years. 14MR 33.1

The potter takes the clay in his hands, and molds and fashions it according to his own will. He kneads it and works it. He tears it apart and then presses it together. He wets it and then dries it. He lets it lie for a while without touching it. When it is perfectly pliable, he continues the work of making from it a vessel. He forms it into shape, and on the wheel trims and polishes it. He dries it in the sun and bakes it in the oven. Thus it becomes a vessel unto honor, fit for his use. So the great Master desires to mold and fashion us. And as the clay is in the hands of the potter, so we are to be in His hands. We are not to try to do the work of the potter. Our part is to yield ourselves to the molding of the Masterworker. 14MR 33.2

It is not a great number of institutions, large buildings, and wonderful display that God requires, but the harmonious action of a peculiar people, a people chosen by God and precious, one in unity with each other, their life hid with Christ in God. The Lord will never place one man as a controlling power over another man. Every man is to stand in his lot and in his place, exerting a right influence in thought, word, and judgment. When all God's workers do this, and not till then, will the work be a complete, symmetrical whole. Individually we need a solid faith which is in perfect harmony with the first declaration of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. 14MR 34.1

The work that the gospel embraces as missionary work is a straightforward, substantial work, which will shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. God does not want the faith of His peculiar people to take on the features or appearance of the work now called medical missionary work. The means and talents of His people are not to be buried in the slums of New York or Chicago. God's work is to be carried on in right lines. Self-denial, self-sacrifice, and the true missionary spirit are to be shown. We are to work as Christ worked, in simplicity and meekness, in lowliness and sanctified moral elevation. Thus we can do a work distinct from all other missionary work in our world.—Letter 215b, 1899, pp. 4-8. 14MR 34.2

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

August 16, 1984.