For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Mark 13:34.
A great work is before us; it is not our own devising or planning. All heaven is interested in this work, and those who engage in it must stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel. God would have us stand with our faces to the front, watching every movement of our Leader and prepared to obey orders. To every man He has given His work. God has given men and women faculties that are not to be wasted in idle contemplation and fitful emotion, but employed in decided action. Our abilities are not to be absorbed in abstraction, and neither are they to be used in idle bustle. Everything in the outside world is stirred by a power from beneath. Those who know the truth must be filled with an inspiration from God Himself. The lamps of the soul must be kept trimmed and burning.
The work we do is the least part of our taxation. It is the sin which has attached itself to all the activities that wears us out. God did not design that labor should be anything but a blessing. Man never could have been happy without something to do. When man had no dark, condemning thoughts, before sin came, his own companionship was not a burden; for he could contemplate all nature with the most satisfactory results. But the slimy track of the serpent has left its trail of misery in a hardened conscience. Labor does not bring misery; it is carrying lawful things to excess which taxes the powers of mind and body. A life of the hardest labor is more satisfying than a life of idleness.
The Word of God is plain and distinct upon this point of labor. No man or woman who is converted to God can be anything but a worker....
The last call to the supper is now being given. The lamp of the soul must be kept trimmed and burning by being replenished with the holy oil. (See Zechariah 4:11-14). In the name of the Lord let every soul now depart from all iniquity, lest the day of the Lord overtake them as a thief. The truth is to be proclaimed in clear, straight lines but always as it is in Jesus.—Letter 11, January 25, 1899, to “Dear Brethren.”