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What Shall We Do?

How does one know what they are suppose to do when it comes to country living or any other subject? There are several means that the Lord uses to teach us. His Word, nature and life experiences are three ways that are very valuable lesson books for the child of God. How diligently we use these lesson books will affect our decisions.

Searching the Scriptures is important but it must be done as directed by the Scriptures. Line upon line, here a little, there a little. (Isaiah 28: 9-13) To gain the treasures in the Word of God, one must dig deep in the mine of truth. Any subject upon which we enquire can be dealt with from the Word of God - even vaccination. There are set principles outlined in the Word that should guide our daily decisions. These however are not understood fully until one has spent sufficient time talking to God and reading His Word on the matter. Thankfully, technology has made this process seamless. In the days of William Miller, a literal searching of the Bible with a printed concordance for help was all that was available. Today, on our electronic devises, we could type in a word or phrase and see a list of text and Spirit of Prophecy quotes that speak to the word or phrase. By prayerfully reading all that the Bible and inspired writings have to say on the matter, one can then safely come to a conclusion as to what should be done or believed.

What does this method of study have to do with country living? Everything. Knowing God’s direction in all aspects of your life saves one from many a blunder. Let’s take an example that stood out in my mind when I read it. The advice was clearly given that wooden buildings are preferable for health reasons than brick buildings. This was even concluded by brethren upon receiving this advice from Ellen White that: “wooden buildings are more in accordance with our belief in the third angel’s message than brick buildings.”      (White, E.G. 6 Manuscript Release p. 52.)  I met these readings ten years later while living in a wooden A-frame country house and I praised God for His guidance in time of great ignorance. While we were building our house, we had asked God’s guidance, for we experienced the pain of building a brick, city house in the past and we knew the Lord’s way must be simpler - His yoke is easy and His burden light. What an endorsement to read these things later on in our experience. Let me give another example. Do you know that advice was given on how we should plant our trees? This we learnt after having planted several trees the traditional way. The fruit of each method stand as a living testimony that God’s way is best.

Nature is an interesting textbook. Have you ever seen a bird with a worried face or an ant relaxing? Not that things would not bother us or that good recreation should not be engaged in. It is just that the Bible continually gives us the assurance that the Lord will take care of us. Then why do we worry? We have not considered the lilies of the field sufficiently. We have not reflected enough on His handiwork. Some of us get too busy What shall we do? working to stop and smell the roses. This can happen even while engaging in country living. The busy pace of the city life can be exchanged for an even busier pace in the country. Ask anyone living off-grid about the pace that life can sometimes demand. While sitting down to eat lunch on our deck this week, we observed a bannaquite, a small black and yellow bird, patiently building a nest. Each day he patiently collects straw and works on his nest. It seems that he is unaware of how close to our observation he has chosen to construct his nest and so we enjoy having a front row seat to this process. Birds are diligent creatures much like the ants, and are willing to go at a task, one straw at a time. How often do we have such diligence, to work at a project one piece at a time? The mortgage world has taught a very bad habit to many, giving the impression that with no work or waiting, we can own completed structures. Delayed gratification is not known in this generation. Sadly, this instant and disposable generation, approach country living in the same way, producing sad templates for others to follow. Remember, it is not how you could manage to build your dream house, instead, it is about the Lord building your house - except He builds it, we labor in vain, regardless of how pretty it looks. Everything in nature impresses the mind that patient progress under God’s guidance is best. Did Noah need one hundred and twenty years to build an ark?

The one lesson book that often gets neglected is our past experiences with the Lord. It was not long after miraculously crossing the Red Sea that the children of Israel began to complain. Often we are like that. The Lord has not too long ago worked out a seeming impossible situation for us yet we soon forget and resume worrying about a new situation. As we go through life, we need to remember how the Lord has led us in the past.

“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? God reveals His will to us in His word, the Holy Scriptures. 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. 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 cooperating with Him by working out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” ( E.G White Testimonies to the church Vol. 5 p. 512.)

As we pay attention to the lessons God is teaching us, we should not loose hope. One really comforting statement that shows how important we are to God and how much He cares, is: “In the book of God’s providence, the volume of life, we are each given a page. That page contains every particular of our history; even the hairs of the head are numbered. God’s children are never absent from His mind.” (White, E.G. Desire of Ages p. 313) May we diligently learn and grow up in Christ.

Written By Nicole Belfast


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