HINTS FOR WORKERS
Jessie Penn-Lewis was an influential Christian leader in the early part of the twentieth century. Although written to vocational Christian workers, it’s truths apply to all believers.
May I suggest that you take each paragraph and make it the focus of your daily devotion for 12 days.
By Jessie Penn-Lewis
“God’s fellow-workers” (I Corinthians 3:9), who “watch (for) souls as those that shall give account” (Hebrews 13:17) *
1. Seek to meet souls on their own level, and to look at difficulties from their standpoint (I Corinthians 9:22). Give them sympathy (I Peter 3:8,m); but gently lead their thoughts away from the human to the Divine side. Give them encouragement and do not cast them down (I Thessalonians 2:11, I Thessalonians 5:14). Always teach them that the ground of their peace is the priceless blood of Christ, not their feelings or experiences.
2. Seek to be but a “voice” used to direct souls to Christ. Be willing to pass out of sight and be forgotten, and do not allow your thoughts to dwell upon the honor of being “used”.
(See II Corinthians12:15; John 1:37; John 3:26-30.)
3. Fear the human impress upon the souls you help , for that must pass away; and covet to be but an instrument through whom the Spirit of God can work unhindered (Colossians 1:29; Romans 15:18).
4. Seek for grace to discern the working of God in souls, so as to cooperate with Him, and to be able to wait with, and for Him, in His “long patience” (James 5:7). Fear to push souls beyond their measure and thus hinder His work in them. (See Isaiah 42:3,4; II
Corinthians 6:1) Pray for heavenly wisdom to know the “grace” wherein a soul stands experimentally (Romans 5:2), that you may lead it on to the next stage. Never scold it for not “seeing” all at once. God is tender with His children and “allures”, not forces, them on (Job. 36:16, m. See John 16:12, and I Corinthians 3:2).
5. Seek earnestly to know the “silence of Jesus” , and never talk of “where people are” in their spiritual growth. The “measuring rod” is for ourselves (as to our limits), not others (II Corinthians 10:12-17). Given diligence to cultivate the unity of the Spirit and do not dwell upon “divisions”, but pour out the love of God upon all who appear to misjudge you. Enter into the interests of others (Romans 15:2) and be fervent in prayer and silent in speech over all un-Christ-likeness (I Peter. 4:8).
6. Seek to manifest that lowliness of mind which makes it easy to take the lowest place (Phillipians 2:3). Never argue nor enter into discussions that “gender strife” (II Timothy 2:23). Note the symptoms of the soul-sickness described in I Timothy 6:4, that you may not “minister questions, rather than godly edifying” (I Timothy 1:4).
7. Do not dogmatize over anything, much less “doubtful” things, nor be anxious to press others to walk by your light. (Note I Corinthians 7:17.) Lead souls to search the written Word to know the mind of the Spirit for themselves. God will teach honest souls. Give credit to others for integrity of heart in desiring to do the will of God (See Romans 14:1).
8. Seek to live in unbroken communion with God , so that there will be a continuous inflow of Divine life to quicken all past knowledge of His truth. Light without life is our danger. Witnesses are needed to tell out what they know, not what they think; to such testimony the Spirit will bear witness also (John 15:26,27), and the letter of the Word will not merely lodge in the intellect of others, but sink into the heart and spring forth into life eternal (II Corinthians 3:6).
9. If we teach from last week’s experience without the fresh life of God passing through us today, we shall become as “sounding brass”, empty and powerless; but if we draw direct from the Living Lord, He will make use of our capabilities, old experiences, and knowledge. A very different thing to our making use of them, and depending upon them instead of upon Him. (See Leviticus 26:10.)
10. A soul that is an “instrument” has nothing to “maintain”; it does not cling to “views”, nor seek to fight for God. It prefers not to say “I think”, nor “This is my opinion”, lest it should intrude between God and others; therefore it says “It is written” and leaves the rest to Him. (See the attitude of the Lord Jesus in John 7:16,17.)
11. The interior and exterior life should correspond. It is therefore unwise to be absorbed in the “deep things of God” to the neglect of practical duties, and the winning of souls. Others have a right to gauge our “spirituality” by our “practicality”. See I Corinthians 2:10; Ephesians 4:1,2; I Thessalonians 2:12; II Corinthians 6:4-9; I Pet. 2:12.
12. Above all things press on to know God , and the deepest meaning of the life hid with Christ in God, leaving behind all craving for emotional experiences and “manifestations”. (See Philippians 3:10, 13, 14.) Let your ceaseless position, as to the past be: “I have been crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20) whilst moment by moment, under the cleansing blood, you “Present yourselves unto God, as ALIVE from the dead, and your members as INSTRUMENTS” (Romans 6:13).
*References from Revised Version (1881-85)