Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

September 19, 1893

Now Is the Time to Dedicate All to God

By Mrs. E. G. White

Our time and our talents belong to the Lord. “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Then how can any one feel that he can be independent of God, and not subject to the Spirit of God? Those who imagine that they are independent of God's providences and plans, are in their supposed independence, in the veriest slavery to a power that is in rebellion against God.

“Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us. For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, a confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary.”

“Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.”

We are not safe in following the imagination of our own hearts. We cannot be independent of God. We are safe only as we realize our entire dependence upon him as our Creator and Redeemer.

Satan has many devices whereby he holds us back from rendering prompt and unquestioning obedience to God. We have often had strong promptings and conviction of duty, but have shrunk back from fulfilling them. Yet Jesus says, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” How many at times have been deeply stirred, and yet because duty demanded a sacrifice, they have tampered with their conscience, seated themselves in the enemy's debating chair, and have not made the decision that God sought to have them make. They have not broken away from the associates whose seductive influence for evil, led them to follow their own carnal reasoning, and because there was not evidence of any immediate danger, they have rested down in their false security. They have debated in their minds, saying, Shall I obey the voice of God that bids me shake off the lethargy of the world, and escape from the world as did Lot from Sodom, or shall I listen to the voice of the world that cries peace and safety to my soul? Shall I wait for a more convenient season? All the sophistry of Satan is bound up in that one word, “wait.” O that those who are now moved by the Spirit of God, would make a decided stand for God and for the truth!

We shall never be able to discern spiritual and heavenly things while we remain indifferent to the word of God. The voice of Jesus is calling, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Those who remain away from Jesus have placed their necks under a yoke that is not easy. They have clasped their arms about burdens that are not light. O, why not exchange the heavy yoke you now wear for the yoke of Christ? The voice of mercy is now sounding in warnings and entreaties, but that voice will not always be heard, if you continue to resist, and still choose your own way.

There is true missionary work to be done for those who move in higher circles, and the followers of Christ are to be true representatives of Christ, who though he was rich, for our sake became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich. The rich should consecrate their all to God, and he who is sanctified through the truth in body, soul, and spirit, will also devote his property to God, and will become an agent whereby other souls will be reached. In his experience and example it will be made manifest that the grace of Christ has power to overcome covetousness and avarice, and the rich man who renders unto God his intrusted goods, will be accounted a faithful steward, and can present to others the fact that every dollar of their accumulated property is stamped with the image and superscription of God. He can present to those who are rich the truth as it is in Jesus, showing that it was God who intrusted him with ability to get wealth, and prospered his enterprises with his blessing that he might acquire wealth, and gladly acknowledging the fact that his talents are not his, but God's who gave. The wealthy man who is truly converted, can bring to bear upon his wealthy brethren the lessons of Christ, and show to them that their wealth is only safe as it is laid up in the bank of heaven.

There is great danger that the riches of the wealthy shall prove not a blessing, but a curse to them. Rich men are in danger of trusting in their riches, of placing God's intrusted treasure where Christ should be in the heart, and interposing their wealth between the soul and God. Wealth thus becomes an idol, and separates the affection from its Giver. But let those who are fitted to work for the rich, and for those in high position, consecrate their all to God, and in the name of Jesus go forth to do this work. Paul had converts even in Caesar's household. Truth will have its adherents even in kings’ courts. Paul wrote, “All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household.” The throne of the Caesars was then occupied by that monster of cruelty, Nero. If there ever was an atmosphere charged with the malarious influence of Satan, it was to be found in his household. The powers from beneath stirred up most fierce and determined hostility against Christians in that place, and Paul himself suffered death at the emperor's command. In such a household as this, it seemed impossible that truth should find favor, and yet in this place there were those who were worthy to be called saints, and who sent greetings to the saints of other cities. Nothing is impossible with God.

We need more faith to work for those who are rich and in high position. For though Christ has said, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God,” every rich man who does yield himself to the converting power of God, and is an overcomer will find an abundant entrance into the kingdom of God. The rich who are truly converted to God, will understand that they are stewards of the Lord's property; and through the grace given unto them, they will discern that they have been intrusted with property, only that they may use it to advance the cause and kingdom of Christ in the world. There are many among the rich, who, were the truth presented to them as it is in Jesus, would be charmed with, and transformed through, the grace of Christ, and would see that money is of value only as it is devoted to doing good in the name and Spirit of Jesus. The wealthy man or woman converted to God, will begin to comprehend what good may be done with their intrusted capital. They will see that institutions are to be established for the education of the youth, and that they are to be sustained by gifts and offerings. They will know that many youth must be trained for the missionary field, and the wealthy will become agents in the hands of God to set in operation the instrumentalities whereby men and women may become enlightened, and turned from degradation and error unto the living God.

Through the grace of Christ, those who have riches and are connected with him, will sow abundantly, seeking out the youth, and running a risk in educating them, hoping that they will devote their lives to missionary work. God has intrusted the rich with gifts, that, if wisely used, will produce a hundredfold in this world, and in the world to come life everlasting. To have the knowledge that our talents are being employed for the good of others, affords satisfaction in this life that brings a great reward. We know that if the Lord's intrusted capital is selfishly spent or hoarded, God will call us to an account. Because the rich are judgment-bound, we should put forth more decided efforts to win them to the service of Him who has intrusted them with large talents. God designed that through these very agents, many souls should be converted, and sent forth on a mission of blessing to the world. His cause would be greatly advanced if those to whom he has given talents of means, would devote their wealth to the upbuilding of his kingdom.

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