It is a great mistake to keep a minister constantly at work in business lines, going from place to place, and sitting up late at night in attendance at board meetings and committee meetings. This brings upon him weariness and discouragement. Ministers should have time to rest, to obtain from God's word the rich nourishment of the bread of life. They should have time to drink refreshing draughts of consolation from the stream of living water.
Let ministers and teachers remember that God holds them accountable to fill their office to the best of their ability, to bring into their work their very best powers. They are not to take up duties that conflict with the work that God has given them.
When ministers and teachers, pressed under the burden of financial responsibilities, enter the pulpit or the schoolroom with wearied brain and overtaxed nerves, what else can be expected than that common fire will be used instead of the sacred fire of God's kindling? The strained, tattered efforts disappoint
the listeners and hurt the speaker. He has had no time to seek the Lord, no time to ask in faith for the unction of the Holy Spirit. . . .
I am instructed to say to my fellow-workers, If you would have the rich treasures of heaven, you must hold secret communion with God. Unless you do this, your soul will be as destitute of the Holy Spirit as were the hills of Gilboa of dew and rain. When you hurry from one thing to another, when you have so much to do that you cannot take time to talk with God, how can you expect power in your work?
The reason so many of our ministers preach tame, lifeless discourses is that they allow a variety of things of a worldly nature to take their time and attention. Unless there is constant growth in grace, we shall be wanting in words suitable for the occasion. Commune with your own heart, and then commune with God. Unless you do this, your efforts will be fruitless, made thus by unsanctified hurry and confusion.
Ministers and teachers, let your work be fragrant with rich spiritual grace. Do not make it common by mixing it with common things. Move onward and upward. Cleanse yourselves "from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."[1 2 COR. 7:1.]
We need to be converted daily. Our prayers should be more fervent; then they will be more effectual. Stronger and stronger should be our confidence that God's Spirit will be with us, making us pure and holy, as upright and fragrant as the cedar of Lebanon. -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. VII, pages 250-252 .