Ellen White Called to Australia | Episode 35 | Lineage


How do you know when you are called to do something or go somewhere? How do you decide if something is the right thing to do? Do you always know in black and white
which path to take or which way to go in life? Or is it sometimes less clear? Does God leave some of the decision-making to us? Ellen White’s call and subsequent trip to Australia illustrates in many ways the challenges that we face
in seeking God’s will, as she faced these, too. [music] In 1891 the General Conference officers
sent an urgent request to Ellen White to spend some time in the new field of Australia. They felt it would be a great blessing, and if she had light in this direction,
she was invited to set sail that same autumn. She prayed for weeks for guidance and direction,
but nothing was forthcoming. [music] She was willing to go, even though it was a great sacrifice,
as long as she knew that it was the will of God. But despite her prayers, she only heard silence. She said, ‘I have not special light
to leave America for this far-off country. Nevertheless, if I knew it was the voice of God, I would go.’ She had no light either way. [music] In the absence of any clear light either way,
rather than delay, she decided to go. Some have viewed her call to Australia
as the result of politically orchestrated circumstances, but Ellen White never got entangled in such debates. She later said to her son Edson that she
‘came in submission to the office of the General Conference, which I had ever maintained to be authority.’ This decision would prove a huge blessing to the work
here in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific, a blessing they are still reaping the rewards of today. [music] Not every decision we make does God have to spell out clearly,
and action is better than delay. Ellen White moved forward, and during her time
here in Australia they would establish a sanitarium, and later a hospital, a publishing house, a health food company,
a college–all of which would grow rapidly over time. [music] When Ellen White arrived in Australia,
she was soon sick with rheumatic fever for about eight months. She was in pain and was in bed for a long time. Despite her pain she would continue to write in bed,
but it got worse and worse. It got to a point where they had to move her
every two hours so as to lessen the pain. Eventually she asked to be anointed, and afterwards
she said that she was ‘relieved but not restored’, but content to wait for the Lord to work on her behalf. [music] During this time, while lying on her back in bed,
she spent a lot of time in prayer and later on said that she wouldn’t exchange
this experience for anything in the world. It was during this time that Jesus
became a friend more dear than before, and one of the results of this experience was the writing
of the book the Desire of Ages, later on during her time here. [music] Sometimes God was very explicit with how He led Ellen White,
and at other times He was less direct. Sometimes He was quiet,
and she would have to figure it out. If this was how God led a prophet, then we cannot
expect him to be more prescriptive in our lives today. Not every decision we make does He spell out exactly for us, and oftentimes He expects us
to use our minds to reason as we come to a decision. [music] God leads us in many ways; primarily through His word, through the wise counsel of friends,
and through providential circumstances. Knowing God’s will is a constant
struggle and challenge that we face at the many stages in life that we go through. I pray that as you seek God’s will in your life,
in the decisions that you have to make– whether to go into ministry or not,
what occupation to have, where to live, whom to marry– that as you seek His will,
you may move forward decisively.

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