The Spirit of Advance

A lesson in the experience of David for all of us ministers.

By L.H. Christian

"David tarried still at Jerusalem." 2 Sam. 11: 1. David was a mighty man of God. He began to serve the Lord in his youth. As a poet he was deeply spiritual; as a statesman, wise and far-seeing; as a warrior, fearless and aggressive. He went on from strength to strength. Present himself in the battles, he bravely endured hard­ship and led the forces on to victory. But a change came. Instead of going out with Joab and the others to war, he began to study his ease. But in doing this he lost his sturdy aggres­siveness, and settled down to snug com­fort. " David tarried still at Jerusa­lem." We know the results. His inac­tivity brought temptation and a fall from which he never regained his early power.

There is a lesson in his experience for us as ministers. Many do valiant service in their youth, but quite early in life, even, begin to think of lighter work,—an office, or a pastorate of some church. Their early passion for souls, their burning zeal to defend the truth, their willingness to labor from cottage to cottage in hard, small country dis­tricts, and thus to suffer for Christ, in­deed their entire service begins to de­cline. The advent movement itself to­day is in danger of losing its first spirit of militant though spiritual propa­ganda, without which we cannot suc­ceed.

The other day I heard a young la­borer say that the pioneers of this mes­sage had an easier time. " Then the truth was new, and the field unworked; while now, in many cities and States, we, find but burned-over territory."

He was indeed mistaken. The truth was never so clear, the evidences of the coming of the Lord were never so abundant, the longing to hear this mes­sage was never so deep as to-day. We can win more souls. We can in every way build up the work much more rap­idly than ever before. And we can do this if we hold fast to a strong spirit of advance. An army is measured by its morale, its courage and initiative. God expects many fold more from us who to-day stand in our prime than from men earlier in the movement. They toiled in the day of little things. We are living in " the day of His power." Every minister, in our ranks needs to keep alive in his heart the first love, and a heroic spirit of a forward move­ment, an earnest, soul-winning evan­gelism to the glory of God.

Bern, Switzerland. 

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By L.H. Christian

July 1928

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