And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23.
Monday morning meeting commenced half past five under the tent. I spoke about thirty minutes upon the necessity of economy in dress and in the expenditure of means. There is danger of becoming reckless and careless of the Lord’s money. Young ministers who engage in tent labor should be careful and not run up high expenses. The wants of the cause are many, as tents are entering new fields and as the missionary work is enlarging. The most rigid economy should be used in this matter without stinginess....
Our morning meeting was held in the tent. I spoke again about thirty minutes in reference to genuine sanctification which is nothing less than a daily dying to self and daily conformity to the will of God. Paul’s sanctification was a daily conflict with self. Said he, “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31). His will and his desires daily conflicted with duty and the will of God. In the plan of not following inclination, he did the will of God, however unpleasant and crucifying to his nature. The reason many in this age of the world make no greater advancement in the divine life is because they interpret their own will to be just what God wills. They do exactly as they desire and flatter themselves they are conforming to God’s will. They please self in everything and have no conflict with self.
Many battle well at first against selfish desires for pleasure and ease. They are sincere and earnest, but grow weary of protracted effort of daily death, ceaseless turmoil with resisting Satan’s temptations, and indolence seems inviting, death too self-repulsive, and they close the drowsy eyes and drop under temptation instead of resisting it. Fashionable sins, pride of life, do not seem so very repulsive.
There are no compromises in the Word of God for those who conform to the world. The Son of God has manifested that He might draw all men unto Him, but He came not to lull the world to sleep, not to send peace, but a sword. The followers of Christ must walk in the light of His glorious example, and at whatever sacrifice of ease or selfish indulgence, at whatever cost of labor or sufferings, we must maintain the constant battle with self and exalt the gospel standard.—Letter 49a, August 30, 1878.