The Review and Herald

268/1902

July 1, 1884

Our Mighty Helper

[Remarks addressed to the ministers assembled in General Conference at Battle Creek, Mich., in their morning meeting held November 19, 1883.]

EGW

Jesus is very precious to me this morning. There is gratitude in my heart for his mercy and love, for the privilege of counting myself a child of God, and of crying, Abba, Father. I wish every one present could realize the rich blessing that Jesus is waiting to bestow upon us,—upon each one; for he is no respecter of persons. It is our privilege to say with Paul, “I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” RH July 1, 1884, par. 1

And yet how many are making laborious work of walking in the narrow way of holiness. To many the peace and rest of this blessed way seems no nearer today than it did years in the past. They look afar off for that which is nigh; they make intricate that which Jesus made very plain. He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” The plan of salvation has been plainly revealed in the word of God; but the wisdom of the world has been sought too much, and the wisdom of Christ's righteousness too little. And souls that might have rested in the love of Jesus, have been doubting, and troubled about many things. RH July 1, 1884, par. 2

The testimonies borne here are not expressive of great faith. It is not hard to believe that Jesus will pardon others, but it seems impossible for each to exercise living faith for himself. But, dear brethren, is it profitable to express doubts in regard to the willingness of Christ to accept you? I fear you are depending too much on feeling, making that a criterion. You are losing much by this course; you are not only weakening your own souls, but the souls of others who look to you. You must trust Jesus for yourselves, appropriate the promises of God to yourselves, or how can you educate others to have humble, holy confidence in him? You feel that you have neglected duties, that you have not prayed as you should. You seem at a distance from Jesus, and think that he has withdrawn from you; but it is you who have separated from him. He is waiting for you to return. He will accept the contrite heart. His lips have assured us that he is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him than parents are to give good gifts to their children. RH July 1, 1884, par. 3

We are wounded, polluted with sin; what shall we do to be healed from its leprosy? As far as it is in your power to do so, cleanse the soul-temple of every defilement, and then look to the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” In the wilderness, when the Lord permitted poisonous serpents to sting the rebellious Israelites, Moses was directed to lift up a brazen serpent, and bid all the wounded look to it and live. But many saw no help in this Heaven-appointed remedy. The dead and dying were all around them, and they knew that their fate was certain; but they would lament their wounds, their pains, their sure death, until their strength was gone, and their eyes were glazed, when they might have had instant healing. RH July 1, 1884, par. 4

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,” even so was “the Son of man lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you are conscious of your wants, do not devote all your powers to representing them and mourning over them, but look and live. Jesus is our only Saviour; and notwithstanding millions who need to be healed will reject his offered mercy, not one who trusts in his merits will be left to perish. RH July 1, 1884, par. 5

Why do you refuse to come to Jesus and receive rest and peace? You may have the blessing this morning. Satan suggests that you are helpless, and cannot bless yourself. It is true; you are helpless. But lift up Jesus before him: “I have a Saviour. In him I trust, and he will never suffer me to be confounded. In his name I triumph. He is my righteousness, and my crown of rejoicing.” Let not one here feel that his case is hopeless; for it is not. It may seem to you that you are sinful and undone; but it is just on this account that you need a Saviour. If you have sins to confess, lose no time. These moments are golden. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled; for Jesus has promised it. Precious Saviour! His arms are open to receive us, and his great heart of love is waiting to bless us. RH July 1, 1884, par. 6

The important future is before us; and to meet its trials and temptations, and to perform its duties will require great faith, energy, and perseverance. But we may triumph gloriously. Not one waiting, watching, praying, believing soul will be ensnared by the devices of the enemy. All Heaven is interested in our welfare, and waits our demand upon its wisdom and strength. If any of us are not saved, it will be because we have chosen the service of Christ's great adversary, and the companionship of those who are his loyal followers. RH July 1, 1884, par. 7

The Lord is willing to do great things for us. We shall not gain the victory through numbers, but through the full surrender of the soul to Jesus. We are to go forward in his strength, trusting in the mighty God of Israel. RH July 1, 1884, par. 8

There is a lesson for us in the story of Gideon's army. The ten thousand men who chose to follow Gideon were a small company compared with the vast and powerful army they were to meet. But the Lord would not work with them; for their trust was altogether too much in their own strength and skill. Gideon was astonished when the Lord said his army was still too large. When they came to a stream the Lord singled out the three hundred who in their haste caught up water in their hands as those through whom he would deliver Israel, while those who felt that there was time to get down on their knees to drink could return to their homes. Through this little handful of tried men the Lord wrought for his people; and their enemies, who were as grasshoppers for multitude, were utterly defeated and destroyed. Thus in a most decided manner the Lord made known to Gideon and his army that he was interested in his people and their cause. He revealed his power in their behalf, and taught them to look to him in every difficulty. RH July 1, 1884, par. 9

The Lord is just as willing to work through human efforts now, and to accomplish great things through weak instrumentalities. It is essential to have an intelligent knowledge of the truth; for how else could we meet its wily opponents? The Bible must be studied, not alone for the doctrines it teaches, but for its practical lessons. You should never be surprised, you should never be without your armor on. Be prepared for any emergency, for any call of duty. Be waiting, watching for every opportunity to present the truth familiar with the prophecies, familiar with the lessons of Christ. But do not trust in well prepared arguments. Argument alone is not enough. God must be sought on your knees; you must go forth to meet the people through the power and influence of his Spirit. RH July 1, 1884, par. 10

Act promptly. God would have you minute men, as were the men who composed Gideon's army. Many times ministers are too precise, too calculating. While they are getting ready to do a great work, the opportunity for doing a good work passes unimproved. The minister moves as though the whole burden rested on himself, a poor finite man, when Jesus is carrying him and his burden too. Brethren, trust self less, and Jesus more. He is willing to save the souls for whom we labor. Because he lives to intercede for us, we shall see of his great power. He “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” Jesus wants us to ask for help; he wants us to cast our helpless souls on him; and he will give us according to our faith. RH July 1, 1884, par. 11

Ministers who are self-sufficient, and feel that so much depends upon themselves, give Jesus no room to work, and but little credit when he does work. They trust in their own ability, forgetting the words of Christ, “Without me ye can do nothing.” The man that is self-righteous and wise in his own eyes,—rich and increased in goods, having need of nothing,—cannot ask in faith, and receive, because he trusts in himself, and feels no lack. His works testify that he labors out of Christ. It is those who feel themselves sinful before God, poor and helpless, that Jesus loves to help; for they will appreciate his aid. They have a longing desire to do the Master's work, and, knowing that the power is not of themselves, they take hold of the mighty arm of God, and by faith claim his promises. RH July 1, 1884, par. 12

God is not pleased when his servants remain weak, wanting in courage, in faith, in hope, in love, and consequently inefficient laborers in his cause. God has given men reasoning powers, not to remain inactive or be perverted to earthly and sordid pursuits, but that these powers may be developed to the utmost, and used in his service to advance the interests of his kingdom. RH July 1, 1884, par. 13

A high standard of purity and nobility of character is set before the Christian, and he can attain to this excellence only through the aid of Christ. But many experience grief, pain, and disappointment, because they are unwilling to fill the humble place which God's providence assigns them, where they will remain unnoticed and unknown. They love the supremacy, and their anxiety leads them to work against their brethren, fearing they will be preferred before them. Envy, malice, jealousy, and distrust are cherished in the heart, and Jesus cannot dwell where these evil traits are entertained. He invites those who are ambitious of preferment to come unto him, and at the foot of the cross of Calvary learn his meekness and lowliness of heart. If any desire high positions of trust, the Lord will lay the burden, not on them, but on those who have tested and proved them, and can understandingly urge them forward. RH July 1, 1884, par. 14

The followers of Christ should not praise and flatter one another; for Satan will do a plenty of this work, and if persons have a high opinion of their own ability, it will prevent them from learning in the school of Christ. Let none censure and condemn others; for in doing this they are co-laborers with him who is the accuser of the brethren, who would steal from their hearts every particle of love for one another. Christians should not seek to tear others down that they may build themselves up on their ruins, but they should endeavor to strengthen and encourage one another. RH July 1, 1884, par. 15

We should make it our daily care to cultivate sympathy and affection for one another. This is the fruit that grows on the Christian tree; it does not produce the briars and thorns of hatred and strife. The harsh, unsympathetic words we sometimes hear spoken, and the hard-heartedness we see manifested, are wholly Satanic and this spirit must be supplanted by the Spirit of Christ. Jesus bids us, “Love one another as I have loved you. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” He is our mighty helper; and if he abides in our hearts, we shall manifest his spirit. We shall love one another—we cannot help it, for he is love. RH July 1, 1884, par. 16