My Testimony

I HAVE fully resigned myself to nothing because I have been nothing, because I have made nothing, and because I shall be nothing. Past struggles have proved me incapable of wresting aside the hands of fate. Those transformations that I would have wrought in those about me have not appeared. Thus, on every side life has shown herself my master. I could not turn the course of history in my environment. . .

I HAVE fully resigned myself to nothing because I have been nothing, because I have made nothing, and because I shall be nothing. Past struggles have proved me incapable of wresting aside the hands of fate. Those transformations that I would have wrought in those about me have not appeared. Thus, on every side life has shown herself my master. I could not turn the course of history in my environment.

To be sure, I speak with a bias, for I have done some little good; I have been of some little influence; I have performed some small tasks. But I knew of so much more. My mind had somehow grasped the scheme of what really was possible, had I been the right man for this hour. This man, alas, I have not been.

The pseudo-success that I have known has been too self-conscious, too much a holy commitment-preparation for the time God should snatch me into place His special cog on His special gear. And so I have waited. And I am special to God, but in a much different way not for what I have accomplished, but for what I yet may dare.

For I had not dared before to fail. Before, my world collapsed at failure, for I believed that God could only use success, that God, indeed, was Himself always successful. Neither belief was true. So, through denying my weaknesses I denied God opportunity to show me His strength. In fleeing the amazing silence of failure I had fled the few actually audible words I might ever have from God.

God loves me for myself not for what I have or have not made of myself. I love God for saving me, once, and ever after reminding me of it. Because I am saved in God nothing can happen to me but that will reveal in some more profound and clearer way the nature of God's character. I am no longer a man of the flesh but a man of the spirit. Therefore, one of the spirit cannot be destroyed by the natural implements of fire, hate, calamity, and failure. For if these things come when one's mind is stayed on God they can surely be endured.

Indeed, there is some joy to be taken in failure when it comes as a result of conviction, steadfastness, and daring. For if one sees himself as having been nothing and as being nothing (I speak of more than fame, for even the famous of this earth are nothing), then he need not fear the reproach of those seeing through mere eyes of flesh.

I must admit that to me this is a major part of denying oneself and taking up the cross (or that which cuts across the natural tendencies and affections). It smacks of seeking first the kingdom of God. It comes rejoicing when persecuted for Christ's sake. But what it really is to me most fully is the knowledge that in God's kingdom the last shall be first.


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October 1971

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A Message to the President

This letter was written by Ellen G. White from North Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia, September 20, 1892, to Elder O. A. Olsen, president of the General Conference. Its appropriateness to our own day leads us to share it with our MINISTRY readers.

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Seminary '71

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IN OUR work of evangelism we find that 10 to 60 percent of the audience are not members of our church. But out of this percentage of nonmembers attending, usually 85 to 95 percent have had no previous contact with our church or its members. They come in response to the advertising. . .

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