Promptness in Work of God - GW p. 96

                G O S P E L      W O R K E R S        ( 1892  edition )             

                                                    SECTION  1:     't h e    m i n i s t e r'                                                                     

                                      promptness   in   the   work   of   god                  PAGE  96 - 97                               


   Independent men of earnest endeavor are needed, not men as impressible as putty. Those who want their work made ready to their hand, who desire a fixed amount to do and a fixed salary, and who wish to prove an exact fit without the trouble of adaptation or training, are not the men whom God calls to work in his cause. A man who cannot adapt his abilities to almost any place if necessity requires, is not the man for this time. Men whom God will connect with his work are not limp and fiberless, without muscle or moral force of character. It is only by continued and persevering labor that men can be disciplined to bear a part in the work of God. These men should not become discouraged if circumstances and surroundings are the most unfavorable. They should not give up their purpose as a complete failure until they are convinced beyond a doubt that they cannot do much for the honor of God and the good of souls. { GW92 96.1 } 


 There are men who flatter themselves that they might do something great and good if they were only circumstanced differently, while they make no use of the faculties they already have by working in the positions where providence has placed them. Man can make his circumstances, but circumstances should never make the man. Man should seize circumstances as his instruments with which to work. He should master circumstances, but should never allow circumstances to master him. Individual independence and individual power are the qualities now needed. Individual character need not be sacrificed, but it should be modulated, refined, elevated . . .  { GW92 96.2 } 


The cause of God demands men who can see quickly and act instantaneously at the right time and with power. If you wait to measure every difficulty and balance every perplexity you meet, you will do but little. You will have obstacles and difficulties to encounter at every turn, and you must with firm purpose decide to conquer them, or they will conquer you. { GW92 97.1 } 


  Sometimes various ways and purposes, different modes of operation in connection with the work of God, are about evenly balanced in the mind; but it is at this very point that the nicest discrimination is necessary. And if anything is accomplished to the purpose, it must be done at the golden moment. The slightest inclination of the weight in the balance should be seen, and should determine the matter at once. Long delays tire the angels. It is even more excusable to make a wrong decision sometimes than to be continually in a wavering position; to be hesitating, sometimes inclined in one direction, then in another. More perplexity and wretchedness result from thus hesitating and doubting than from sometimes moving too hastily.  { GW92 97.2 }  also  { 3T 497.3} 


I have been shown that the most signal victories and the most fearful defeats have been on the turn of minutes. God requires promptness of action. Delays, doubtings, hesitation, and indecision frequently give the enemy every advantage.... { GW92 97.3 } 

The timing of things may tell much in favor of truth. Victories are frequently lost through delays. There will be crises in this cause. Prompt and decisive action at the right time will gain glorious triumphs, while delay and neglect will result in great failures and positive dishonor to God. Rapid movements at the critical moment often disarm the enemy, and he is disappointed and vanquished, for he had expected time to lay plans and work by artifice. { GW92 97.4 } 

  God wants men connected with his work in Battle Creek whose judgment is at hand, whose minds, when it is necessary, will act like the lightning. The greatest promptness is positively necessary in the hour of peril and danger. Every plan may be well laid to accomplish certain results, and yet a delay of a very short time may leave things to assume an entirely different shape, and the great objects which might have been gained are lost through lack of quick foresight and prompt dispatch. Much may be done in training the mind to overcome indolence. There are times when caution and great deliberation are necessary; rashness would be folly. But even here, much has been lost by too great hesitancy. Caution, up to a certain point, is required; but hesitancy and policy on particular occasions have been more disastrous than would have been a failure through rashness.  { GW92 97.5 }

    End of section in GW

Note:  This passage is taken from Chapter 44 on Leadership found in Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 3, page 496 to 499  which continues on this topic so we include it on this page:

  My brother, you need to cultivate promptness. Away with your hesitating manner. You are slow and neglect to seize the work and accomplish it. You must get out of this narrow manner of labor, for it is of the wrong order. When unbelief takes hold of your soul, your labor is of such a hesitating, halting, balancing kind that you accomplish nothing yourself and hinder others from doing. You have just enough interest to see difficulties and start doubts, but have not the interest or courage to overcome the difficulties or dispel the doubts. At such times you need to surrender to God. You need force of character and less stubbornness and set willfulness. This slowness, this sluggishness of action, is one of the greatest defects in your character and stands in the way of your usefulness. { 3T 498.2} 

Your slowness of decision in connection with the cause and work of God is sometimes painful. It is not at all necessary. Prompt and decisive action may accomplish great results. You are generally willing to work when you feel just like it, ready to do when you can see clearly what is to be done; but you fail to be that benefit to the cause that you might be if you were prompt and decisive at the critical moment, and would overcome the habit of hesitation and delay which has marked your character and which has greatly retarded the work of God. This defect, unless overcome, will prove, in instances of great crises, disastrous to the cause and fatal to your own soul. Punctuality and decisive action at the right time must be acquired, for you have not these qualities. In the warfare and battles of nations there is often more gained by good management in prompt action than in earnest, dead encounter with the enemy. { 3T 499.1} 

. . . No earthly ties, no earthly considerations, should weigh one moment in the scale against duty to the cause and work of God. Jesus severed His connection from everything to save a lost world, and He requires of us a full and entire consecration. There are sacrifices to be made for the interests of God’s cause. The sacrifice of feeling is the most keen that is required of us; yet after all it is a small sacrifice. You have plenty of friends, and if the feelings are only sanctified, you need not feel that you are making a very great sacrifice. You do not leave your wife among heathen. You are not called to tread the burning African desert or to face prisons and encounter trial at every step. Be careful how you appeal to your sympathies and let human feelings and personal considerations mingle with your efforts and labors for the cause of God. He demands unselfish and willing service. You can render this and yet do all your duties to your family; but hold this as a secondary matter. { 3T 500.2} 

             Continue to next section - - Thoroughness in the Work

            Return  to  Selected Topics in Writings of EGW  page

Related Information

Selected Topics 2SM - Chap.3 - Holy Flesh Doctrine Agressiveness - Christian Service, p. 228 Domination - Christian Leadership, p. 31 Education, Chap. 15 - Business Principles Elements of Good Leadership - PM, Chapter 23 End of 2300 Days - EW, 54-56 Evangelism, Chap 8 - Distinctive Truth Gospel Workers, p 330 - No respect of persons How to Celebrate Thanksgiving Last Deceptions of Satan - Ms 16, 1884 Ministry of Healing - Chap 35 - Knowledge of God Prayer Meeting - Pastoral Ministry, page 183 Right or Wrong - Upward Look, p. 140 Testimony to Ministers, p. 45 - A Living Church What Shall We Play - Adventist Home, Chapter 80