All my life I wanted to write a book. It’s all I ever wanted to do. When I was in college I started to write a book that soon took over my life. Everything—my friends, family, how I spent my money—was decided on how the book would be affected.
One evening in 1979, I wandered back to my room to continue writing. I had spent two and a half years writing this story, and that evening I felt more excited about the project than ever before. Never had it been going better.
In my room, I stuck a sheet of paper in the typewriter (no computers back then), and when I struck the first key—as real as anything that ever happened to me, I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Cliff, you have been playing with me long enough. If you want me, burn the book.”
Now, this didn’t happen instantly. Jesus had been working to bring me to this moment. He showed me that the book I was writingwas my idol. If I wanted the true God, the false one had to go. But why now? I was the most excited about the book than I had ever been. Why couldn’t Jesus asked me to do this when it wasn’t going so well?
After a night of struggling with what I should do, I burned the book. I chose Jesus.
Within days, the devil whispered in my ears: Oh, you burned the book because you knew you couldn’t finish it. Suddenly I was doubting. Was that true? But then, as I remembered my experience, I thought, No! No! That night I was the surest of the book than ever. That’s why the Lord had me burn it then! Go away Satan!
Ellen White explains this so well: “At the moment of success, when the nets were filled with fish . . . Jesus asked the disciples at the sea to leave all for the work of the gospel.” (The Desire of Ages, p. 273).
When the disciples caught the biggest number of fish ever, Jesus asked them to walk away. Choosing Jesus when you are the most successful is when it is the hardest.
I’m really glad I chose Jesus that day!
—This is adapted from an article written by Clifford Goldstein for the April Adventist Review.
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