The Lord directed Moses to recount to the children of Israel His dealings with them in their deliverance from Egypt and their wonderful preservation in the wilderness. He was to call to mind their unbelief and murmuring when brought into trial, and the Lord's great mercy and loving-kindness, which had never forsaken them. This would stimulate their faith and strengthen their courage. While they would be led to realise their own sin and weakness, they would realise also that God was their righteousness and strength.
It is just as essential that the people of God in this day should bear in mind how and when they have been tested, and where their faith has failed; where they have imperilled His cause by their unbelief and also by their self-confidence. God's mercy, His sustaining providence, His never-to-be-forgotten deliverances, are to be recounted, step by step. As God's people thus review the past, they should see that the Lord is ever repeating His dealings. They should understand the warnings given, and should beware not to repeat their mistakes. Renouncing all self-dependence, they are to trust in Him to save them from again dishonouring His name. In every victory that Satan gains, souls are imperilled. Some become the subjects of his temptations, never to recover themselves. Then let those who have made mistakes walk carefully, at every step praying: "Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not." Psalm 17:5.
God sends trials to prove who will stand faithful under temptation. He brings all into trying positions to see if they will trust in a power out of and above themselves. Everyone has undiscovered traits of character that must
come to light through trial. God allows those who are self-sufficient to be sorely tempted, that they may understand their helplessness.
When trials come to us; when we can see before us, not an increase of prosperity, but a pressure necessitating sacrifice on the part of all, how shall we receive Satan's insinuation that we are to have a very hard time? If we listen to his suggestions, unbelief in God will spring up. At such a time we should remember that God has always had a care for His institutions. We should look at the work He has done, the reforms He has wrought. We should gather up the evidences of Heaven's blessings, the tokens for good, saying: Lord, we believe in Thee, in Thy servants, and in Thy work. We will trust in Thee. The publishing house is Thine own instrumentality, and we will not fail or be discouraged. Thou hast honoured us by connecting us with Thy centre. We will keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgement. We will act our part by being true to the work of God."
If we lack faith where we are when difficulties present themselves we would lack faith in any place.
Our greatest need is faith in God. When we look on the dark side we lose our hold on the Lord God of Israel. As the heart is opened to fears and conjectures, the path of progress is hedged up by unbelief. Let us never feel that God has forsaken His work.
There must be less talking unbelief, less imagining that this one and that one is hedging up the way. Go forward in faith; trust the Lord to prepare the way for His work. Then you will find rest in Christ. As you cultivate
faith and place yourselves in right relation to God and by earnest prayer brace yourselves to do your duty you will be worked by the Holy Spirit. The many problems that are now mysterious you may solve for yourselves by continued trust in God. You need not be painfully indefinite because you are living under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You may walk and work in confidence.
We must have less faith in what we can do and more faith in what the Lord can do for us, if we will have clean hands and pure hearts. You are not engaged in your own work; you are doing the work of God.
More love is needed, more frankness, less suspicion, less evil thinking. We need to be less ready to blame and accuse. It is this that is so offensive to God. The heart needs to be softened and subdued by love. The strengthless condition of our people results from the fact that their hearts are not right with God. Alienation from Him is the cause of the burdened condition of our institutions.
Do not worry. By looking at appearances, and complaining when difficulty and pressure come, you reveal a sickly, enfeebled faith. By your words and your works show that your faith is invincible. The Lord is rich in resources. He owns the world. Look to Him who has light, and power, and efficiency. He will bless everyone who is seeking to communicate light and love.
The Lord desires all to understand that their prosperity is hid with Him in Christ; that it is dependent on their humility and meekness, their wholehearted obedience and devotion. When they shall learn the lesson of the great Teacher, to die to self, to put no confidence in man,
nor to make flesh their arm, then, as they call upon Him, the Lord will be to them a present help in every time of need. He will guide them in judgement. He will be at their right hand to give them counsel. He will say to them: "This is the way, walk ye in it."
Let the brethren in responsible positions talk faith and courage to the workers. Cast your net on the right side of the ship, the side of faith. As long as probation continues, show what can be done by a consecrated, living church.
We do not understand as we should the great conflict going on between invisible agencies, the controversy between loyal and disloyal angels. Over every man, good and evil angels strive. This is no make-believe conflict. It is not mimic battles in which we are engaged. We have to meet most powerful adversaries, and it rests with us to determine which shall win. We are to find our strength where the early disciples found theirs. "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication." "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting." "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost." Acts 1:14; 2:2, 4.
There is no excuse for defection or despondency, because all the promises of heavenly grace are for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. The intensity of desire represented by hungering and thirsting is a pledge that the coveted supply will be given.
Just as soon as we realise our inability to do God's work and submit to be guided by His wisdom, the Lord can work with us. If we will empty the soul of self, He will supply all our necessities.
Place your mind and will where the Holy Spirit can reach for them, for He will not work through another man's mind and conscience to reach yours. With earnest prayer for wisdom, make the work of God your study. Take counsel of sanctified reason, surrendered wholly to God.
Look unto Jesus in simplicity and faith. Gaze upon Jesus until the spirit faints under the excess of light. We do not half pray. We do not half believe. "Ask, and it shall be given you." Luke 11:9. Pray, believe, strengthen one another. Pray as you never before prayed that the Lord will lay His hand upon you, that you may be able to comprehend the length and breadth and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
The fact that we are called upon to endure trial proves that the Lord Jesus sees in us something very precious, which He desires to develop. If He saw in us nothing whereby He might glorify His name He would not spend time in refining us. We do not take special pains in pruning brambles. Christ does not cast worthless stones into His furnace. It is valuable ore that He tests.
The blacksmith puts the iron and steel into the fire that he may know what manner of metal they are. The Lord allows His chosen ones to be placed in the furnace of affliction in order that He may see what temper they are of and whether He can mold and fashion them for His work.