Manuscript Releases, vol. 6 [Nos. 347-418]


MR No. 408—How to Know the Will of God

The pure in heart shall see God. His presence can be revealed; comprehended it cannot be. This knowledge is too wonderful for us. There are feelings that cannot be communicated. Some things one cannot say. Words are tame, and our thoughts come far short of taking all in; for there is an infinity beyond our thoughts. 6MR 381.1

If we are to be co-laborers with God, we must hold direct communion with Him: we must ask His guidance in everything we undertake. We cannot commit to another the explanation, or ask them to direct us. But how few know what it is to hold intercourse with God. How readily some place the responsibility of their duty on others, and ask them to tell them what to do. We say to all such, You must know your duty from God. Many have depended on their fellow-men until they have no individual experience. They are towed along as a barge by a steamer. 6MR 381.2

All must see and understand their duty for themselves, after seeking wisdom from God. He is the only one to whom you may commit your soul for safe-keeping. If you come to Him in faith, he will speak His mysteries to you personally. You may sit together in heavenly places with Christ. We may individually understand God's will; we may know for ourselves what He would have us do; for He will direct us if we will consent to be consecrated and humble in heart before him. Our hearts will oft burn within us as One draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch. “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge.” We need Him who is the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 6MR 381.3

A work that has been strangely neglected must be done. We must bear witness of the light. Who can do this, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, in language pure, refined, simple, and clear as the running stream. Much cloud and darkness crowds upon us. Yield yourself, your individual self, to God, that you may be purified, cleansed, and sanctified, and you will be enabled to flash light amid the darkness of a sin-loving world. Study the word which is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. When you desire wisdom, go to the light of the world. Do not turn to any living soul; men are but erring mortals: in their human wisdom they may encourage where they should discourage, and discourage where they should encourage.—Letter 55, 1897, pp. 10-12. (“To My Brethren and Sisters Who Shall Assemble in General Conference,” January 10, 1897.) 6MR 382.1

If the Lord's will is to be our will, we need at the very first to understand our individual selves. We may mark out a course for ourselves which may be born of our own ambitions or of some selfish purposes. The Lord knows the end from the beginning. He understands the relation that each man should sustain to God and to his fellow man. The Lord may see that one man's connection with men of a certain disposition or character will affect those with whom he associates to their injury. He may not be one who can reason clearly from cause to effect. The men with whom he is brought in connection may be just the ones who will not help him where he needs help. 6MR 382.2

The linking together of certain elements may produce unfavorable results. Therefore man cannot trust to his own judgment. Experience will convince him of his mistake. The Lord purposes that which will be of the greatest spiritual benefit to the soul which is in the balances, ready to begin some new enterprise which means more than he himself anticipates. What should such an one do? His only safety lies in putting his preferences and his plans on one side, saying, Not my will, but thy will, O Lord, be done. 6MR 382.3

The lawyer came to Christ with the question, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Christ answered, “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” “He answering said, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy strength and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.’ And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.’” These are the two great principles of the law. Upon these two principles “hang all the law and the prophets.” 6MR 383.1

In the smallest as well as the largest matters the first great question is, What is God's will in the matter; for His will is my will. To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of lambs. Who is he that will harm you if ye be followers of that which is good? 6MR 383.2

One man may be required of God to do a work and stand in a position that is peculiarly trying and taxing. The Lord has a work for him to do and he risks his life, his future eternal life, refusing to stand in that place. 6MR 383.3

This was the position Christ occupied when he came to our world, entering into conflict with the rebel leader of the fallen angels. God devised a plan, and Christ accepted the position. He consented to meet the foe single-handed, as every human being must do. He was provided with all the heavenly powers to aid Him in this great conflict; and man, if he walks in the way and will of God, is provided with the same keeping power. The same heavenly intelligences minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation, that they may overcome every temptation, great or small, as Christ overcame. 6MR 383.4

But anyone who places himself in a position of peril from any motive but obedience to the will of God, will fall under the power of temptation. We are in constant peril if we expose ourselves in a way that our reason tells us is unnecessary. When any one places himself where he has no call from God to be, Satan is on the ground before him, to make the most of his opportunities. We are only safe in the place which serves every soul—in the cleft of the rock covered by God's hand.—Letter 22, 1899, pp. 1-3. (To J. J. Wessels, February 3, 1899.) 6MR 384.1

We are not all fitted to do the same kind of work, but each man's work is designed by God to help make up His plan. Look at the flowers in a carpet, and notice the different colored threads. All are not pink, all are not green, all are not blue. A variety of colors are woven together to perfect a design. So it is in the plan of God. He has a purpose in placing us where we must learn to live as individuals.... 6MR 384.2

Draw nigh to God and then you will draw nigh to one another. By desire, by silent prayer, by resistance of Satanic agencies, put your will on the side of God's will. While you have one desire to resist the devil, and sincerely pray, Deliver me from temptation, you will have strength for your day. It is the work of the heavenly angels to come close to the tried, the suffering, the tempted ones. They labor long and untiringly to save the souls for whom Christ has died, and when souls appreciate their advantages, appreciate the heavenly assistance sent them, the Holy Spirit is working in their behalf, when they put their will on the side of Christ's will, angels bear the tiding heavenward. Returning to the heavenly courts they report their success for the souls for whom they have ministered, and there is rejoicing among the heavenly host. “There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance.”—Manuscript 14, 1899. pp. 1, 5, 6. (“To Every Man His Work,” February 28, 1899.) 6MR 384.3

Released March 11, 1975.