Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 184

Careful Planning Necessary in God's Work, June 26

Let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah; and a letter unto Asaph ... that he may give me timber ... for the wall of the city. Nehemiah 2:7, 8.

As his [Nehemiah's] request to the king had been so favorably received, he was encouraged to ask for such assistance as was necessary to carry out his plans. To give dignity and authority to his mission, as well as to provide protection on the journey, he secured a military escort. He obtained royal letters to the governors of the provinces beyond the Euphrates, the territory through which he must pass on his way to Judea; he obtained also a letter to the keeper of the king's forest in the mountains of Lebanon, directing him to furnish such timber as was needed for the wall of Jerusalem and such buildings as Nehemiah proposed to erect.

The example of this holy man should be a lesson to all the people of God, that they are not only to pray in faith but to work with wise diligence and fidelity. How many difficulties we encounter, and how we hinder the working of Providence on our behalf, because prudence, forethought, and painstaking are regarded as having little to do with religion.... Careful consideration and well-matured plans are as essential to the success of sacred enterprises today as in the time of Nehemiah....

Nehemiah does not depend upon uncertainties. The means that he has not he solicits from those who are able to bestow. All the world, with its riches and treasures, belongs to God, although it is now in the possession of wicked people. If His servants take a wise and prudent course, so that the good hand of the Lord may be with them, they can obtain the means that they need to advance His cause.

Nehemiah's experience in connection with the rebuilding of Jerusalem teaches lessons that will be needed by God's people as long as time shall last. The times call for men and women of strength and decision of character. Paul says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” The enemy will mingle his evil with every good work that is done if the workers are not on guard. Thus he seeks to spoil God's purposes.—Manuscript 58, 1903.

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