Often do I recall the early days of my ministry when, as a member of a small group of workers, I entered into the wonderful experience of power, victory, and blessing which attends the deeper spiritual life. Our conference president was a strong supporter of this experience, and joined with us in making the prayer life the outstanding feature of our service. Many times we would meet together three times a day for special seasons of prayer. Although there were some of our fellow workers at that time who boldly denounced our burden of heart and call to surrender, faith, and prayer, and while all through the years many have maintained this same attitude, yet the living reality of the actual experience has never been effaced, and has made all preaching, and service in any line, which is not actuated by the Holy Spirit, seem as chaff in comparison to the wheat.
I have longed for the time to come when the spiritual life would be universally stressed as of first importance in all our activities, and I am glad to see now that so many are entering into a new spiritual experience. I am convinced that the time is here when God is waiting to bestow upon us a fullness of spiritual life which transcends anything and everything that the world can give. As I have more earnestly sought the Lord of late, I find the sacred flame of love and zeal kindled anew in my own soul. The " oil of joy for mourning," and " the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness " is freely bestowed, and I have great peace in proclaiming victory through Christ Jesus.
As conference president, I have come to understand what it has meant through the years to keep up with requirements in the matter of gathering money for missions. Perhaps we have done the best we could under the circumstances, but I have been and still am convinced that when there comes to ministers and people a revival of true godliness and realization of the Spirit-filled life, the showers of the latter rain will fall in abundance, and with these showers will come all the money that is needed for the finishing of the gospel proclamation in all the world.
Through the Spirit of prophecy in the remnant church we are plainly told that we as a people do not occupy the place which the Lord would have His people fill, and that we are far behind in the work we have been commissioned to do. We are also told that worldliness has entered our ranks, blighting the spiritual life, and leaving us in a state of torpidity and weakness, resulting in formal activity taking the place of prayer and dependence upon God. The message of righteousness by faith, as the remedy for our situation, has been given line upon line, precept upon precept, and yet to many it seems but idle words, without present-day meaning. The only way back into line is by the individual route of absolute surrender and the enthronement of Christ as Lord of the life.
To my mind, this does not mean any lessening of financial resources, but it does mean the enlarging and deepening of these resources, as the Spirit of God takes greater control. It means increased power in reaching the souls of men through preaching the living Word, and in leading our own people into the needed revival and reformation in Christian life. It also means a greatly strengthened confidence on the part of the ministry, enabling them to lay hold of the divine promises as a living reality, and to proclaim with certainty that in this day and generation the " mystery of godliness," which we are told is " Christ in you, the hope of glory," will be finished, and the remnant church will welcome her returning Lord.
A Conference President.