Day 3 of ASI brought a truly high Sabbath, starting with a powerful message from General Conference President Ted Wilson and capped off by outgoing ASI president Frank Fournier.
Elder Wilson praised the members of ASI for their tireless dedication to sharing Jesus in the marketplace and beyond, stating that “ASI is everywhere, and it is building God’s church.”
Always Stay Involved, A Spiritual Identity, an Aggressive Scriptural Interest were all phrases that Elder Wilson used to describe the passion, dedication, and commitment that ASI and its members have when it comes to growing God’s kingdom. And as I have observed this week, they are all very fitting.
Elder Wilson reiterated over and over again that we are called to “Build God’s church, to lift HIM up!” giving numerous passages from both the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy to back up the call we were given.
Speaking of the Spirit of Prophecy, he implored all not only to believe in it but to use it. He reminded us that, combined with Bible study, we are to use the Spirit of Prophecy to lift Him up not only to others but also in our own hearts.
Elder Wilson spoke with passion and compassion as he poured out his heart in regard to the work that needs to be done and the pitfalls and stumbling blocks that will inevitably come. Saying, “Don’t ever be a reproach to God,” he reminded us, “With one hand do the work of God, and in the other hold the Word of God.”
The work that we, as God’s chosen people, have been called to is not easy, nor is it without opposition. We were cautioned to not allow ourselves to fall into a false sense of security just because we live in the U.S. and have relative comfort. Seeing all that has happened in such a short time, I completely agree.
As a society in general we have an overabundance of everything and are in need of nothing. This false sense of security that so many have will inevitably lead to unforeseen trials, fear, and compromise.
We must not allow our human nature to dictate and control us when the times of trial come. Quoting Ellen White: “God’s people are neither to fear nor to despise their enemies. Putting their trust in God, they are to go steadily forward, doing His work with unselfishness, and committing to His providence the cause for which they stand” (Prophets and Kings 645).
Do We Have the Right Focus?
Frank Fournier closed out his term with a message that caused all of us to take a hard look at whether we are truly ready to meet HIM, pointing out that many people have made the choice to focus on the wrong things.
If every Seventh-day Adventist was focused on present truth, the three angels’ messages, what God expects, etc., then all the “issues” would be non-issues, and the work that Jesus has called us to do would move forward with great power. This was one theme that Fournier presented, stating, “As a people we are not ready for Jesus to come.” He cited the bickering, power plays, and personal agendas that come when we take our eyes off Jesus.
We have occupied our minds with minor matters instead of Who matters. Like Elder Wilson, Fournier quoted Mrs. White as he reminded us that “whenever minor matters occupy the attention, the divine power which is necessary for the growth and prosperity of the church, and which would bring all other blessings in its train, is lacking, though offered in infinite plenitude” (Acts of the Apostles 50).
We are well able to be the peculiar people that God has called us to be, and while it is not easy to lay self aside, for the sake of the salvation of souls we must. No, this is not easy, and yes, this does go against our human nature. However, we have a great High King who is willing to pour His Spirit upon us, if only we are willing to empty ourselves of self and allow Him.
I have been challenged in many ways by these messages to look long and hard at what I have made a priority in my life. My prayer now is that our gracious Father will give me the will to give Him my will.
“Build God’s church, to lift HIM up!”