Balancing Eternal and Temporal

Posted Jul 29, 2011 by Frank Klin in Devotional - Blog Hits: 3,350

Originally Entitled: "When You Have Difficulty Focusing on the Spiritual in an Attempt to Take Care of the Temporal"

The days seem to fly by and sometimes we have difficulty focusing on the spiritual in an attempt to take care of our temporal needs. Many of us feel pressure in balancing work and ministry. In my devotionals I came across a letter Sister White wrote from Australia to her son Edson and his wife in 1897.  I felt for her as I read and also realized that she struggled from time to time just as we do and I am glad to have record of her personal communications because she recognized and admitted her own faults and gave just the right thought provoking words to encourage with a call to return hearts to the Father and His Son.

"The things that need to be done in connection with the work in this missionary field are a continual strain, and the writing that I am called upon to do puts a double tax upon me. My head becomes very weary and refuses to work."  {21MR 367.4} 

"We have held our meetings in a loft above the sawmill, and there the furniture and all kinds of things used in the school gave it the appearance of an auction room. I am feeling sad, so very sad, that I should have consented to this. If the Lord will pardon my transgression, I will by His grace, in every place where I shall labor, make the spiritual rather than the temporal necessities of the first importance. I am so sorry as I realize that I have neglected this work, which should be first, until the last. The dearth of means was my excuse, but I ought to have walked by faith. I have not honored God as I should have done had I moved out in faith notwithstanding seeming impossibilities."  {21MR 367.6}  

"When the Lord sees that we will trust Him implicitly, He will work in our behalf, and we shall see the salvation of God. The Lord proves us, He tests us to see if we will make Him our only trust. We need a much sharper, keener faith than we now have. We need to constantly cultivate an earnest, living, trusting faith, and in cause and spiritual work keep our petitions constantly ascending, seeking the Lord for clear discernment. And sharp spiritual eyesight will be given every true seeker. Has not the Lord told us, "Seek ye My face"? And will we not individually respond, "Thy face, Lord, will I seek"? This is the call of God, and this the appropriate answer to that call. The Lord wishes us to know Him by an experimental knowledge as a kind, tender Father who has our interest and happiness in mind just as a loving earthly father cares for his children.  {21MR 368.1}

The heavenly Father loves His sons and daughters. He wishes all to know Him. It is because men are not more than half converted that the church is so dead and lifeless. There are many who are and have been all their lives half Christians. Their names are in the Book of Life, and if they turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, they then respect the voice that says unto them, "Seek ye My face," and reply, "Thy face, Lord, will I seek," and they shall see God with a clear, elevated, spiritual sense. The religious sentiment awakened in the heart is recognized as God's call, and is obeyed.  {21MR 368.2}

It is God's prerogative to command; it is the duty of man to obey. Nothing is forced upon any soul. The honor of duty is a thing conferred upon him as a son of God, an heir of heaven. He is to labor for God in interested, true-hearted, glad, honorable service. In obeying all His commandments, a spirit of love for God is revealed. In this very atmosphere of love, Christ lived and worked.  {21MR 370.3}

Each word, each action is a work for God. Here is faith in God, and faith in men. Christ would never have given His life for the human race if He had not faith in the souls for whom He died. He knew that a large number would respond to the love He had expressed for humanity. It is not every heart that responds, but every heart may and can, if it will, respond to that love that is without a parallel. "My sheep hear My voice," Christ said. A heart yearning for God will recognize the voice of God. God cannot respond to one soul that does not respond to His grace offered, His love bestowed.  {21MR 370.4}

 

He is waiting for a response from souls… The issue rests wholly with themselves. He bids them to the marriage feast, He sets before them the banquet that will satisfy every want. His Word is full of marrow and fatness. "And ye shall seek Me and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart" [Jeremiah 29:13]... Then the Lord will give an outpouring of His Spirit as on the Day of Pentecost.  {21MR 370.5}

Here are a few more words from Sister White's letter,

"There are times when Christ would say to those in His service whose energies have been overtaxed, "Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while." We have the record on one occasion, after a day of ceaseless toil, that our Redeemer lay, a coil of rope for His pillow, fast asleep in a fisherman's boat. His exhausted human nature cried for rest and sleep. What a lesson for human beings who do nothing to bless others. Behold the Saviour! How pressing were the necessities which sought Him for relief! Teaching in the temple, healing in the temple, explaining the Scriptures in the streets, by the wayside, in His retired walks--the subjects so urgent left Him no time for repose. His sympathies were drawn out for the oppressed, He comforted the mourner, He brought hope to the hopeless, He healed the scars and bruises that sin had made. He went about doing good.  {21MR 371.3}

The warning is given, Let us not sleep as do others in a spiritual lethargy. Let us watch and be sober. Oh, that the work of reformation ... should begin. In all our institutions, all on duty should stand at their posts saying, "Here am I, send me." He who was wise in counsel is waiting for you all to see your need of help, and it is abundantly provided. It is waiting for you. "The pure in heart shall see God." As a present help in every time of need His presence is revealed.  {21MR 371.4} 

As you ask Him and call upon His name for help, He says, "Here I am close beside you, ready to help you if you are ready to be helped." Communion with God is for each one personal and direct. Hearts under the guidance of the Holy Spirit will burn within them with the love of God. They are like trustful children. Christ looks not for merit. Oh, if all would come just as they are, and let Him make the preparation in taking them as His. The Lord only wants them to receive Him, learn to wear His yoke, and lift His burdens that heaven may behold that they are laborers together with God. Why cannot every soul that needs help and rest come to the Burden Bearer, that he may have light and life.  {21MR 371.5} --Letter 153a, 1897