It is a part of the economy of God, as well as of all right-thinking men, to seek to accomplish desired ends with the smallest possible outlay of expense. While in God, and in all his perfect creatures, there is a beautiful balancing of this principle with that of justice and benevolence, in fallen man it has generally overleaped the bounds of love and justice.
But in the proper use of this principle of our nature, it is right to inquire, Is there any use or necessity for this or that course? Recognizing this principle, God does not call upon us to do anything that is useless. Though we may not always be able to discover the design of his commands, it is a sufficient guarantee of their necessity and good to know that he commands. If then, he has called us into his service, it is because he has a definite purpose to accomplish through us. Since there is actual service to be accomplished, and God has chosen to use human instrumentalities in accomplishing it, there is then actual need of faithful service, though God's resources are by no means exhausted when you or I refuse the privilege. In that case the loss is ours, not his. When the toil and weariness and sacrifice are ended, we will have no need to say, I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for naught.
Because there is need for actual service, we are exhorted to be faithful, diligent, obedient servants, always abounding in the work of the Lord, to make full proof of our own ministry, to so invest our one or many talents as to secure the greatest possible advantage to the Master's cause. It was because Paul [R601 : page 4] and others of similar mould realized the necessity and privilege of such service, that they so boldly undertook the great work of stemming the popular tide, and proclaiming the glorious Gospel at the risk of life and every earthly good.
Ah, says one, that is placing too high an estimate upon human effort. God is able to accomplish his work if I never touch it. Yes, that is very true; but, if you do not touch it, some one else will, and you will lose the privilege. Did you ever think of that? Beware! Let no man take thy crown! O, how easy it is just here to fall short of overcoming!
One will say, Well, I have only this one talent, and I have need to use that for myself. It would not bring a very large interest if I should invest it for the Lord. If, like some other brother or sister, I had many talents, it would seem to be of some use, and I would heartily invest nearly all for the Lord. Another, with more talents, will cheerfully render much, but hold back part of that which he covenanted to give, which was his all. Ah, say they, the Lord has no need of that little; he is rich, and can accomplish his work without it. Well, that is true with reference to others, but without your full and complete sacrifice of all, he cannot accomplish the work of bringing you to the glory to which you are called. And so far as others are concerned, he will raise up some other human agency through which to minister to them.
It is his purpose to accomplish the great work in hand, largely through human agents, under the direction and leading of his Spirit. And if one human instrument withdraws from the service, another will fill the gap. Whether the Lord could have accomplished his work through other means is not for us to surmise; but since this is the method that infinite wisdom chose, who are we that we could devise a better? Let us see to it then that we work in harmony with his plans, faithfully utilizing every available talent in his service. "Blessed is that servant whom his Lord when he cometh shall find him so doing." Matt. 24:46. MRS. C. T. R.