reflectingJesus | Providence
christian formation, spiritual formation, discipleship, prayer, bible study methods, mission, witness, how to, spirituality, spiritual, christian, christianity, lessons, study, guide,
290
page-template-default,page,page-id-290,page-child,parent-pageid-270,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode-theme-ver-10.0,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.12,vc_responsive

Quotations on Providence in the Writings of Ellen White

I looked up what Ellen White says about Providence–the work of God around us that does not immediately appear to be God. Here are some of my own conclusions about this subject.

 

Summary

 

Providence is:

  1. The circumstances we find ourselves in (that God is guiding)
  2. The possibilities that open up (God’s guiding ahead)
  3. The way the whole of life is designed (excluding the work and injuries of Satan)
  4. Not necessarily instantly visible
  5. To be acknowledged in all situations
  6. Opportunities that open up for us to increasingly fulfil God’s purposes

 

Providence understood by:

  1. The direction of scripture
  2. A willingness to be used however God desires
  3. A willingness to work and not be slovenly
  4. The study of it
  5. Submission to what it brings us
  6. Anointing of the Holy Spirit

 

We take advantage of providence by;

  1. Making decisions that push as far as we can see providence move (that circumstances and possibilities open up) which are according to scripture
  2. Progressing only as far or as fast as providence clearly reveals
  3. Working hard — not just praying for
  4. Using God’s natural means, not just requesting his supernatural intervention
  5. Following, even though we don’t have all the funds (but must see God ahead)
  6. Submitting to it, even though we suffer through it

 

Quotations—

 

Providence is an opportunity

Opportunities are opening on every side. Press into every providential opening. Eyes need to be anointed with the heavenly eyesalve to see and sense their opportunities. God calls now for wide-awake missionaries. There are ways that will be presented before us. We are to see and understand these providential openings.  {9T 130.2}

 

How God guides

  1. Go to the Bible for his will
  1. Look around at the possibilities that arise, but I will only see this as the direction of God if my will and emotions are not so turbulent that the voice of Satan could be confused as God’s voice
  1. Listen to the Holy Spirit’s call to change into conformity with scripture (working out salvation with fear and trembling) and at the same time desire to be totally pliable in God’s hands so that he can lead me where he wills.

There are three ways in which the Lord reveals His will to us, to guide us, and to fit us to guide others. How may we know His voice from that of a stranger? How shall we distinguish it from the voice of a false shepherd? [1] God reveals His will to us in His word, the Holy Scriptures. [2] His voice is also revealed in His providential workings; and it will be recognized if we do not separate our souls from Him by walking in our own ways, doing according to our own wills, and following the promptings of an unsanctified heart, until the senses have become so confused that eternal things are not discerned, and the voice of Satan is so disguised that it is accepted as the voice of God.  {5T 512.1}

[3] Another way in which God’s voice is heard is through the appeals of His Holy Spirit, making impressions upon the heart, which will be wrought out in the character. If you are in doubt upon any subject you must first consult the Scriptures. If you have truly begun the life of faith you have given yourself to the Lord to be wholly His, and He has taken you to mold and fashion according to His purpose, that you may be a vessel unto honor. You should have an earnest desire to be pliable in His hands and to follow whithersoever He may lead you. You are then trusting Him to work out His designs, while at the same time you are co-operating with Him by working out your own salvation with fear and trembling. You, my brother, will find difficulty here because you have not yet learned by experience to know the voice of the Good Shepherd, and this places you in doubt and peril. You ought to be able to distinguish His voice.

 

God’s providence seen when we are not indolent or slothful

When the reproach of indolence and slothfulness shall have been wiped away from the church, the Spirit of the Lord will be graciously manifested. Divine power will be revealed. The church will see the providential working of the Lord of hosts. The light of truth will shine forth in clear, strong rays, and, as in the time of the apostles, many souls will turn from error to truth. The earth will be lighted with the glory of the Lord.  {9T 46.2}

Heavenly angels have long been waiting for human agents–the members of the church–to co-operate with them in the great work to be done. They are waiting for you. So vast is the field, so comprehensive the design, that every sanctified heart will be pressed into service as an instrument of divine power.  {9T 46.3}

 

God’s will carried through openings of his providence – so be quick to notice

During the loud cry, the church, aided by the providential interpositions of her exalted Lord, will diffuse the knowledge of salvation so abundantly that light will be communicated to every city and town. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of salvation. So abundantly will the renewing Spirit of God have crowned with success the intensely active agencies, that the light of present truth will be seen flashing everywhere.–Review and Herald, Oct. 13, 1904.  {Ev 694.1}

Do we realize how large a number in the world are watching our movements? From quarters where we least expect will come voices urging us forward in the work of giving to the world the last message of mercy. Ministers and people, wake up! Be quick to recognize and seize every opportunity and advantage offered in the turning of the wheel of providence. God and Christ and the heavenly angels are working with intense activity to hold in check the fierceness of Satan’s wrath, that God’s plans may not be thwarted. God lives and reigns. He is conducting the affairs of the universe. Let His soldiers move forward to victory. Let there be perfect unity in their ranks. Let them press the battle to the gates. As a mighty Conqueror, the Lord will work for them.  {7T 14.1}

 

We are to trust God and acknowledge his providence in all things

Whatever position in life we may occupy, whatever our business, we must be humble enough to feel our need of help; we must lean implicitly on the teachings of God’s word, acknowledge His providence in all things, and be faithful in pouring out our souls in prayer. Lean to your own understanding, dear brethren, as you make your way through the world, and you will reap sorrow and disappointment. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and He will guide your steps in wisdom, and your interests will be safe for this world and for the next. You need light and knowledge. You will take counsel either of God or your own heart; you will walk in the sparks of your own kindling, or will gather to yourself divine light from the Sun of Righteousness.  {5T 427.2}

 

Close relationship between obeying God’s word and providence that “bids His children forward”

It is important to believe God’s word and act upon it promptly, while His angels are waiting to work for us. Evil angels are ready to contest every step of advance. And when God’s providence bids His children go forward, when He is ready to do great things for them, Satan tempts them to displease the Lord by hesitation and delay; he seeks to kindle a spirit of strife or to arouse murmuring or unbelief, and thus deprive them of the blessings that God desired to bestow. God’s servants should be minutemen, ever ready to move as fast as His providence opens the way. And delay on their part gives time for Satan to work to defeat them.  {PP 423.1}

 

Submit to providence (the circumstances we find ourselves in)

Religion, pure and undefiled, ennobles its possessor. You will ever find with the true Christian a marked cheerfulness, a holy, happy confidence in God, a submission to His providences, that is refreshing to the soul. By the Christian, God’s love and benevolence can be seen in every bounty he receives. The beauties in nature are a theme for contemplation. In studying the natural loveliness surrounding us, the mind is carried up through nature to the Author of all that is lovely. All the works of God are speaking to our senses, magnifying His power, exalting His wisdom. Every created thing has in it charms which interest the child of God and mold his taste to regard these precious evidences of God’s love above the work of human skill.  {3T 377.1}

 

Our circumstances are God’s providences

You are continually finding fault with circumstances, which is nothing less than finding fault with providences. (2T571)

 

God’s providence is the opening of the way in which he is moving (like pillar of cloud )

“We are to follow where God’s providence opens the way,” the speaker continued; “and as we advance, we shall find that Heaven has moved before us, enlarging the field for labor far beyond the proportion of our means and ability to supply. The great want of the field open before us, should appeal to all to whom God has entrusted means or ability, that they may devote themselves and their all to God.”  {LS 337.2}

 

God directs his work in detail through a) his word, b) his Spirit, c) his providence

Those who have in hand the erecting of a sanitarium are to represent the truth by working in the spirit and love of God. As Noah in his day warned the world in the building of the ark, so, by the faithful work that is done today in erecting the Lord’s institutions, sermons will be preached, and the hearts of some will be convicted and converted. Then let the workers feel the greatest anxiety for the constant help of Christ, that the institutions which are established may not be in vain. While the work of building is going forward, let them remember that, as in the days of Noah and of Moses God arranged every detail of the ark and of the tabernacle, so in the building of His institutions today He Himself is watching the work done. Let them remember that the great Master Builder, by His word, by His Spirit, and by His providence, designs to direct His work. They should take time to ask counsel of Him. The voice of prayer and the melody of holy song should ascend as sweet incense. All should realize their entire dependence upon God; they should remember that they are erecting an institution in which is to be carried forward a work of eternal consequence, and that, in doing this work, they are to be laborers together with God. “Looking unto Jesus” is ever to be our motto. And the assurance is: “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.” Psalm 32:8. {7T 94.1}

 

God speaks to us through providence (and by nature and the Holy Spirit)

Through nature and revelation, through His providence, and by the influence of His Spirit, God speaks to us. But these are not enough; we need also to pour out our hearts to Him. In order to have spiritual life and energy, we must have actual intercourse with our heavenly Father. Our minds may be drawn out toward Him; we may meditate upon His works, His mercies, His blessings; but this is not, in the fullest sense, communing with Him. In order to commune with God, we must have something to say to Him concerning our actual life.  {SC 93.1}

 

God’s testimony guided and prosperity resulted from following God’s providence

We had a hard struggle in establishing organization. Notwithstanding that the Lord gave testimony after testimony upon this point, the opposition was strong, and it had to be met again and again. But we knew that the Lord God of Israel was leading us, and guiding by His providence. We engaged in the work of organization, and marked prosperity attended this advance movement.  {TM 26-27}

 

“Providence is a continual school”

There are deep mysteries in the word of God, which will never be discovered by minds that are unaided by the Spirit of God. There are also unsearchable mysteries in the plan of redemption, which finite minds can never comprehend. Inexperienced youth might better tax their minds and exercise their ability to gain an understanding of matters that are revealed; for unless they possess more spiritual enlightenment than they now have, it would take a lifetime to learn the revealed will of God. When they have cherished the light they already have, and made a practical use of it, they will be able to take a step forward. God’s providence is a continual school, in which He is ever leading men to see the true aims of life. None are too young, and none too old, to learn in this school by paying diligent heed to the lessons taught by the divine Teacher. He is the True Shepherd, and He calls His sheep by name. By the wanderers His voice is heard, saying: “This is the way, walk ye in it.”  {4T 444.1}

It is in this life that we are to separate sin from us, through faith in the atoning blood of Christ. Our precious Saviour invites us to join ourselves to Him, to unite our weakness to His strength, our ignorance to His wisdom, our unworthiness to His merits. God’s providence is the school in which we are to learn the meekness and lowliness of Jesus. The Lord is ever setting before us, not the way we would choose, which seems easier and pleasanter to us, but the true aims of life. It rests with us to co-operate with the agencies which Heaven employs in the work of conforming our characters to the divine model. None can neglect or defer this work but at the most fearful peril to their souls. {GC 623.2}

 

Men fail to make decisions that extend as far as providence leads

Oct. 25, 1869, while at Adams Center, N. Y., I was shown that some ministers among us fail to bear all the responsibility that God would have them. This lack throws extra labor upon those who are burden bearers. Some ministers fail to move out and venture something in the cause and work of God. Important decisions are to be made, but as mortal man cannot see the end from the beginning, some shrink from venturing and advancing as the providence of God leads. Some one must advance; some one must venture in the fear of God, trusting the result with Him. Those ministers who shun this part of the labor are losing much. They are failing to obtain that experience which God designed they should have to make them strong, efficient men that can be relied upon in any emergency.  {LS 194.1}

 

Providence is leading every day

Every breath, every pulsation of the heart, is an evidence of the care of Him in whom we live and move and have our being. From the smallest insect to man, every living creature is daily dependent upon His providence.  (Ed 131)

 

God’s providence to be our continual map

In everything we need to move along the line of God’s providence.  {CH 381.2}

 

Providence is not a guessing game but is clearly revealed

Move no faster, brethren, than the unmistakable providence of God opens the way before you.  {1T 559.2}

We are taught in God’s word that this is the time, above all others, when we may look for light from heaven. It is now that we are to expect a refreshing from the presence of the Lord. We should watch for the movings of God’s providence as the army of Israelwatched for “the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees”–the appointed signal that heaven would work for them. {5T 728.2}

 

The providences of God may lead us to suffer for him

Into the experience of all there come times of keen disappointment and utter discouragement–days when sorrow is the portion, and it is hard to believe that God is still the kind benefactor of His earthborn children; days when troubles harass the soul, till death seems preferable to life. It is then that many lose their hold on God and are brought into the slavery of doubt, the bondage of unbelief. Could we at such times discern with spiritual insight the meaning of God’s providences we should see angels seeking to save us from ourselves, striving to plant our feet upon a foundation more firm than the everlasting hills, and new faith, new life, would spring into being.  {PK 162.1}

God is Himself the source of all mercy. His name is “merciful and gracious.” Exodus 34:6. He does not treat us according to our desert. He does not ask if we are worthy of His love, but He pours upon us the riches of His love, to make us worthy. He is not vindictive. He seeks not to punish, but to redeem. Even the severity which He manifests through His providences is manifested for the salvation of the wayward. He yearns with intense desire to relieve the woes of men and to apply His balsam to their wounds. It is true that God “will by no means clear the guilty” (Exodus 34:7), but He would take away the guilt.  {MB 22.1}

 

Don’t wait for funds to arrive before you follow Providence

From the beginning of our missionary work, we have been much perplexed to know how we could secure funds adequate to the support of missionary enterprises in the fields which Providence has opened before us. Missionary work is to be widely extended, and those who believe the truth should avoid using their means in purchasing that which is unnecessary. We are not to study our convenience but rather our necessities. We shall have to bind about our wants in order that there shall be means in the treasury to raise the standard of truth in new territory.  {TM 217.1}

Seek God; believe in Him who has infinite resources. If we move wisely, putting our ability into the work, the good hand of God will be upon us. We must push forward the work, not waiting to see the funds in the treasury before we undertake it. God forbid that when His providence summons us to enter the fields white already to harvest, our steps should be retarded by the cry, “Our treasury is exhausted. We have no means to sustain the workers that are already in the field, and it is impossible for us to enlarge our operations.”  {TM 217.2}

 

Following Providence includes following the natural as well as the supernatural

If they take the position that in praying for healing they must not use the simple remedies provided by God to alleviate pain and to aid nature in her work, lest it be a denial of faith, they are taking an unwise position. This is not a denial of faith; it is in strict harmony with the plans of God. When Hezekiah was sick, the prophet of God brought him the message that he should die. He cried unto the Lord, and the Lord heard His servant and worked a miracle in his behalf, sending him a message that fifteen years should be added to his life. Now, one word from God, one touch of the divine finger, would have cured Hezekiah instantly, but special directions were given to take a fig and lay it upon the affected part, and Hezekiah was raised to life. In everything we need to move along the line of God’s providence.  {CH 381.2}

 

Don’t misinterpret the working of Satan as God’s Providence by uncontrolled appetite etc

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Those who overcome as Christ overcame will need to constantly guard themselves against the temptations of Satan. The appetite and passions should be restricted and under the control of enlightened conscience, that the intellect may be unimpaired, the perceptive powers clear, so that the workings of Satan and his snares may not be interpreted to be the providence of God. Many desire the final reward and victory which are to be given to overcomers, but are not willing to endure toil, privation, and denial of self, as did their Redeemer. It is only through obedience and continual effort that we shall overcome as Christ overcame.  {3T 491.2}

 

Should study Providence…

…to see how to give

And it is the duty of those who labor in word and doctrine to show an equal self-sacrifice. A solemn responsibility rests upon those who receive the liberal donations of the church, and administer the means in God’s treasury. They are to study carefully the providences of God, that they may discern where there is the greatest necessity. They are to be co-laborers with Christ in establishing His kingdom on the earth, in harmony with the prayer of the Saviour, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” [MATT. 6:10.]  {GW 454.2}

 

…in reformatory movements

There is a study of history that is not to be condemned. Sacred history was one of the studies in the schools of the prophets. In the record of His dealings with the nations were traced the footsteps of Jehovah. So today we are to consider the dealings of God with the nations of the earth. We are to see in history the fulfillment of prophecy, to study the workings of Providence in the great reformatory movements, and to understand the progress of events in the marshaling of the nations for the final conflict of the great controversy.  {MH 441.2}

 

Suffering not necessarily a result of providence — but intemperance

Since the fall in Eden, the race has been degenerating. Deformity, imbecility, disease, and human suffering have been pressing heavier and heavier upon each successive generation since the fall, and yet the masses are asleep as to the real causes. They do not consider that they themselves are guilty, in a great measure, for this deplorable state of things. They generally charge their sufferings upon Providence, and regard God as the author of their woes. But it is intemperance, to a greater or less degree, that lies at the foundation of all this suffering.  {2SM 411.1}

 

Providence will open the way for the establishment of evangelistic training centres

In small and large cities, and in settlements that lie outside the cities, there should be maintained small centers where faithful watchmen are stationed who will labor for souls. Wherever the missionary worker goes, there should follow his efforts the establishment of some small plant that the advance of the work may be hastened. When God’s servants do their work faithfully, Providence will open the way for these facilities in many places.  {Ev 535.2}

 

Providence opens not just by prayer but by hard work

God’s children are not only to pray in faith, but to work with diligent and provident care. They encounter many difficulties and often hinder the working of Providence in their behalf, because they regard prudence and painstaking effort as having little to do with religion. Nehemiah did not regard his duty done when he had wept and prayed before the Lord. He united his petitions with holy endeavor, putting forth earnest, prayerful efforts for the success of the enterprise in which he was engaged. Careful consideration and well-matured plans are as essential to the carrying forward of sacred enterprises today as in the time of the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls.  {PK 633.3}

%d bloggers like this: