Special Testimonies to Ministers and Workers—No. 3


Obstacles to the Work

After these things were spoken, I heard men conversing together in a discouraging way. Poverty was, they thought, the greatest obstacle to the advancement of the work. Their words were more negative than positive, expressing little faith, hope, or courage. All admitted that the field was a hard one, to be worked with so little means, and so few workers. Then the Teacher said that these were not the most disheartening features; the most weighty difficulty is, that unless imbued with the Spirit of God, you will be inclined to allow your natural temperament to shape the work, and will leave Jesus out of the conflict. You have neglected to cherish love for one another, and it has not been strengthening in the heart. Criticism is the school in which some have been educated. Who are feeling a burden to come into perfect unity? Who will deny self, and make any and every sacrifice of your own ideas and preferences, that you may be in harmony with your brethren? It is the lack of the grace of the Holy Spirit, which makes the professed followers of Christ so decided and unyielding, so determined to please themselves. SpTA03 15.1

“Rebuke not an elder [a man older than yourself], but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren, the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. Honor widows that are widows indeed.” “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart and a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” “Charity [love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.” SpTA03 15.2

The greatest obstruction to your work will be the disregard of the tenderness of Christ in dealing with one another, because self is seeking the supremacy. Self loves to vaunt itself, and those who possess a spirit unlike Christ's, cannot discern what manner of spirit controls them. They speak and act like sinners, while they profess to be Christians. They more readily express their own will than the will of God, yet they are very strenuous to have their will regarded as the will of God. Satan is urging his attributes into the very midst of us; he is seeking to destroy our love for, and confidence in, each other; and the lack of confidence which brethren in the ministry repose in their fellow-laborers, is easily read in the rules and regulations concerning even the details of the work which they seek to impose upon them. SpTA03 15.3