Ellen G. White Writings

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Conflict and Courage, Page 275

I Must Decrease, September 26

John 3:23-36

That is why my happiness is now complete. He must grow greater and greater and I less and less. John 3:29, 30, Phillips.

In every stage of this earth's history God has had His agencies to carry forward His work.... John the Baptist had a special work, for which he was born and to which he was appointed—the work of preparing the way of the Lord.39The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 5:1115.

When, after Christ's ministry began, the disciples of John came to him with the complaint that all men were following the new Teacher, John showed how clearly he understood his relation to the Messiah, and how gladly he welcomed the One for whom he had prepared the way.40Testimonies for the Church 8:333.

John had been called to lead out as a reformer. Because of this, his disciples were in danger of fixing their attention upon him ... and losing sight of the fact that he was only an instrument through which God had wrought. But the work of John was not sufficient to lay the foundation of the Christian church. When he had fulfilled his mission, another work was to be done, which his testimony could not accomplish. His disciples did not understand this. When they saw Christ coming in to take the work, they were jealous and dissatisfied.

The same dangers still exist. God calls a man to do a certain work; and when he has carried it as far as he is qualified to take it, the Lord brings in others, to carry it still farther. But, like John's disciples, many feel that the success of the work depends on the first laborer. Attention is fixed upon the human instead of the divine, jealousy comes in, and the work of God is marred. The one thus unduly honored is tempted to cherish self-confidence. He does not realize his dependence on God. The people are taught to rely on man for guidance, ... and are led away from God.

The work of God is not to bear the image and superscription of man. From time to time the Lord will bring in different agencies, through whom His purpose can best be accomplished. Happy are they who are willing for self to be humbled, saying with John the Baptist, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”41The Desire of Ages, 181, 182.

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