A Time For Prayer --Be sure to pray and counsel together before laying your plans, and then, in the Spirit of Christ, push the work unitedly. If one of your number decides that he cannot cooperate with his brethren, and has no desire to work because of differences of opinion, the course to be pursued is without a question. Humble yourselves before God and resort to prayer, for you cannot and must not attempt to work at variance.
From anyone who persists in stubbornness and self-will, God will remove His Spirit, and another will wear the crown that was for him. God accepts only those who will learn of Christ, those who study His word, learning lessons of meekness and lowliness of heart, lessons of obedience, willingness to do his work in God's way, not their finite way. . . .
Love of self, pride and self-sufficiency lie at the foundation of the greatest trials and discords that have ever existed in the religious world. Again and again the angel has said to me, "Press together, press together, be of one mind, of one judgement." Christ is the Leader, and you are brethren; follow Him. Walk in the light as He is in the light. Those who walk in the footsteps of Christ shall not walk in darkness, but those who draw apart in unsanctified independence cannot have God's presence and blessing in the work. . . .
Workers can easily place themselves where divine love and power and wisdom cannot reach them, where they cannot have help in counsel, in difficulties and trials, because they would not understand and rightly appropriate heaven's rich treasure. They would glorify themselves, and think their own ways perfect, and become established in self-righteousness.--Letter 4, 1890 (Mar. 9, 1890 Brethren in Africa)
Wisdom from Above --Men are wanted who feel their need of wisdom from above, men who are converted at heart, who understand that they are but sinful mortals and must learn their lessons in the school of Christ before they are prepared to mould other minds. When men have learned to depend on God, when they have faith that works by love, and purifies their own souls, then they will not lay on other men's shoulders burdens that are grievous to be borne. --Letter 83, 1896 (May 22, 1896, To O. A. Olsen)
Haphazard Leadership --You love praise and excitement and to bring yourself to the front. You care far more for the approbation and praise of men than for the approval of God. You lead others. They do not know where you are leading them neither do you, because you go on haphazard, heedless, impulsive, without sound judgement, or heavenly wisdom. God has warned you. God has counselled you. Have you trembled at His word? Have you resisted temptations? Have you separated yourself more and from worldly influences? --Letter 3, 1882, p. 3 (April 1, 1882)
God Exalts the Humble --He is most fit to carry responsibilities and command who most resembles God in character, --in goodness, mercy, and staunch loyalty to the cause and work of God. Every one needs now to work for brother, for friend, for neighbour, and for stranger, drawing the mind away from the discouragements that will crowd in. The truth is to be magnified. We must not be surprised at strange movements. No one must seek exaltation. The more humbly we move and work, the more will be exalted with God. The return of Jesus Christ to our world will not be long delayed. This is to be the keynote of every message. --Letter 39, 1898, p. 13 (March 27, 1898 to Brethren Woods and Miller)
Time For a Change --There is much for men in responsible positions to learn. When men feel that their ideas are without a flaw, it is the time for them to change their position from president to that of a learner. When they think that their ideas, their judgement, should be accepted without question, they show that they are unfit for their position. God sees not as man sees. Whatever position a man may be called to fill, his judgement is not to be regarded as unerring. His entrusted responsibility makes it far more
needful than it otherwise would be for him to be free from all egotism, and willing to receive counsel. --Manuscript 55, 1897 (June 3, 1897 Development of Workers)
Extorting Means to be Used in God's Cause --Has there been any of this rejoicing among those who have been given positions of responsibility in the work of God? It is a shame to them, and when they see what an offense their course was to God, they will be filled with shame. The anger of the Lord is kindled against those who can rejoice in the robbery of their fellow men, who extort means to be used for the advantage of the cause. The Lord asks, Who gave these men this authority? The cause of God was dearer to the ones they were robbing, than it was to them. They exercised their ingenuity, a precious talent entrusted to them by God to be used to glorify him, to make it as hard as possible for those who were earnestly and sincerely seeking to do the will of God. In this they manifested the attributes of Satan.--Letter 34, 1899, p. 12 (Feb. 14, 1899 to Brother--Sister)
Position Does Not Give Holiness --"Solomon was never so rich or so wise or so truly great as when he confessed, 'I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.'
Those who today occupy positions of trust should seek to learn the lesson taught by Solomon's prayer. The higher the position a man occupies, the greater the responsibility that he has to bear, the wider will be the influence that he exerts and the greater his need of dependence on God. Ever should he remember that with the call to work comes the call to walk circumspectly before his fellow men. He is to stand before God in the attitude of a learner. Position does not give holiness of character. It is by honouring God and obeying His commands that a man is made truly great. . .
So long as he remains consecrated, the man who God has endowed with discernment and ability will not manifest an eagerness for high position, neither will he seek to rule or control. Of necessity men must bear responsibilities; but instead of striving for the supremacy, he who is a true leader will pray for an understanding heart, to discern between good and evil."-- Prophets and Kings , pp. 30-31. 14
Leaders Are Learners --"Those who accept a position of responsibility in the cause of God should always remember that with the call to this work God has also called them to walk circumspectly before Him and before their fellow men. Instead of considering it their duty to order and dictate and command, they should realise that they are to be learners themselves. When a responsible worker fails to learn this lesson, the sooner he is released from his responsibilities the better it will be for him and for the work of God. Position never will give holiness and excellence of character. He who honours God and keeps His commandments is himself honoured.
The question which each should ask himself in all humility is: "Am I qualified for this position? Have I learned to keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgement?" The Saviour's earthly example has been given us that we should not walk in our own strength, but that each should consider himself, as Solomon expressed it, "a little child."-- Testimonies, Vol. 9, pp. 282-283.
A Fatal Deception --"There is a most fearful, fatal deception upon human minds. Because men are in positions of trust, connected with the work of God, they are exalted in their own estimation, and do not discern that other souls, fully as precious in the sight of God as their own, are neglected, and handled roughly, and bruised, and wounded, and left to die."-- Testimonies to Ministers , pp. 357-358.
Prominent Characters Special Target For Satan --"David knew that it would require humility of heart, a constant trust in God, and unceasing watchfulness, to withstand the temptations that would surely beset Solomon in his exalted station; for such prominent characters are a special mark for the shafts of Satan."-- Patriarchs and Prophets , pp. 750-751.
Cultivate Humble Dependence -- "Men whom the Lord calls to important positions in His work are to cultivate a humble dependence upon Him. They are not to seek to embrace too much authority; for God has not called them to a work of ruling, but to plan and counsel with their fellow labourers. Every worker alike is to hold himself amenable to the requirements and instructions of God."-- Testimonies , Vol. 9, p. 270.