God has given His people a great work to do in the world, and every soul who professes to be a son or daughter of God should give evidence that his heart is being impressed by the Holy Spirit. This will mean everything to the success of his labors. The Lord has placed various gifts in the church that we may appreciate these gifts, and act our part in the grand finishing-up work of this earth’s history. Let us understand our need of communion with God. We are to experience the sanctifying power of His grace on the human heart. We are to be submissive to the will of God, and willing to engage in the work that He has appointed His servants to do.
We can not afford to lose any more time than we have already lost. We can not afford to be careless. We need the wisdom that cometh from God, and not that wisdom which is natural to the human heart. We need to study the Word of the living God, and to be sanctified through the truth. When the truth sanctifies the receiver, he will carry the light of truth to others. And when the worker is placed in a position where he is required to bear a straight testimony, God will inspire that testimony. Those who have no disposition to learn of Jesus, and who think they know all that is worth knowing, will be indifferent to the communication that God sends; but it will impress the hearts of those who are humble enough to learn of Christ.
Last night there was represented to me the danger there is that those who are assembled here will cherish their human traits of character. There is danger of their failing to see the need of individually humbling themselves before God each day, and several times each day, and of asking Him for the spiritual help they must have if they are to serve faithfully and acceptably in any office. They may be engaged in the publishing work, or in some line of medical work, or in the school work; but whatever our work for human beings may be we must perfect a Christian character, or we shall miss the mark. If we neglect to humble our hearts before God, we shall fail of gaining all that we might gain. . . .
My brethren, in your field of labor, you may be surrounded by unfavorable circumstances; but the Lord knows all about this, and He will supply your lack by His own Holy Spirit. We need to have much more faith in God. Very soon the strife and oppression of foreign nations will break forth with an intensity that you do not now anticipate. You need to realize the importance of becoming acquainted with God in prayer. When you have the assurance that He hears you, you will be cheerful in tribulation; you will rise above despondency, because you experience the quickening influence of the power of God in your hearts.
What we need is the truth. Nothing can take the place of this—the sacred, solemn truth that is to enable us to stand the test of trial, even as Christ endured. Early in His ministry the disciples wanted the Savior to go up to Jerusalem and show Himself there. “If thou be the Christ,” they said, “show thyself to the world.” Christ was doing this very thing, but He was doing it in a way they did not perceive. Speaking to the people on the streets, and healing the sick, Christ was working to make impressions that would arouse the sensibilities of the people. Even to the last He exercised His miracle-working power. These were the very deeds He came to the world to do.
We each need to experience a thorough conversion. Many of us take so much of self along with us that we fail entirely of representing Christ. We can not afford to have such an experience as this; for the eyes of the world are upon us. My brethren, when you speak to others, and they reply in a way that is not pleasant, do not allow yourselves to be aroused. Remember that Jesus was met in the same way. His precious words of truth were met with scorn. But did He cease His work because of this? No; He would continue His work until He had gathered about Him a multitude of hearers. The Savior would have us study our words and actions, and follow His example. Let us not, when we meet with insults and taunts, take up these things, and try to answer them. Let us rather go right on as though they had not been spoken.
Often as you seek to teach the present truth, opposition will be aroused; and if you seek to meet the opposition with argument, you will only multiply it, and that you can not afford to do. Hold to the affirmative. Angels of God are watching you, and they understand how to impress those whose opposition you refuse to meet with argument. If Christ had not held to the affirmative in the wilderness of temptation, He would have lost all that He desired to gain. Christ’s way is the best way to meet our opponents. We strengthen their arguments when we repeat what they say. Keep always to the affirmative. It may be that the very man who is opposing you will carry your words home, and be converted to the sensible truth that has reached his understanding.
This article was first published in the General Conference Bulletin, May 18, 1909. Ellen G. White, its author, was one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Her life and work testified to the special guidance of the Holy Spirit.