Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1


Chapter 29—Dependence and Independence

(A) Dependence Upon God, Not Man

Dependence Upon God Is Absolute—God would have every soul for whom Christ has died become a part of the vine, connected with the parent stock, drawing nourishment from it. Our dependence on God is absolute and should keep us very humble; and because of our dependence on Him, our knowledge of Him should be greatly increased. God would have us put away every species of selfishness and come to Him, not as the owner of ourselves, but as the Lord's purchased possession.—Special Testimonies, Series A 8:8, 9, 1897. (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 324, 325.) 1MCP 261.1

Depend Upon God, Not Man—God desires to bring men into direct relation with Himself. In all His dealings with human beings He recognizes the principle of personal responsibility. He seeks to encourage a sense of personal dependence and to impress the need of personal guidance. He desires to bring the human into association with the divine that men may be transformed into the divine likeness. Satan works to thwart this purpose. He seeks to encourage dependence upon men. When minds are turned away from God, the tempter can bring them under his rule. He can control humanity.—The Ministry of Healing, 242, 243 (1905). 1MCP 261.2

Make God your entire dependence. When you do otherwise, then it is time for a halt to be called. Stop right where you are and change the order of things.... In sincerity, in soul-hunger, cry after God. Wrestle with the heavenly agencies until you have the victory. Put your whole being into the Lord's hands—soul, body, and spirit—and resolve to be His loving, consecrated agency, moved by His will, controlled by His mind, infused by His Spirit; ... then you will see heavenly things clearly.—Manuscript 24, 1891. (Sons and Daughters of God, 105.) 1MCP 262.1

Make God Your Counselor—In the place of bearing your perplexities to a brother or a minister, take them to the Lord in prayer. Do not place the minister where God should be but make him a subject of your prayers. We have all erred on this point. The minister of Christ is like other men. True, he bears more sacred responsibilities than a common businessman, but he is not infallible. He is compassed with infirmity, and needs grace and divine enlightenment. He needs the heavenly unction to do his work with exactitude and success, giving full proof of his ministry. There are those who are ignorant of the way of life and salvation, and these will find in the godly minister one who will teach them what they shall do to be saved. 1MCP 262.2

Those who know how to pray, who know what are the invitations of the gospel of Christ, who know the immutability of His promises, show dishonor to God when they lay their burden upon finite men. It is right, always, to counsel together. It is right to converse together. It is right to make the difficulties that present themselves in any enterprise plain before your brethren and your minister. But do not so greatly dishonor God as to depend on man for wisdom. Seek God for the wisdom that cometh from above. Ask your fellow laborers to pray with you, and the Lord will fulfill His word, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).—Manuscript 23, 1899. 1MCP 262.3